The international community should focus on diplomacy rather than punishing North Korea over its missile tests, a senior South Korean official said Saturday amid a US and Japanese drive for sanctions.
"It's time to focus on diplomacy rather than coercive measures," said Ambassador Chun Yung-Woo, the South's envoy to stalled six-nation talks on the North's nuclear program.
"We did not talk much about coercive measures," Chun told reporters after meeting in Seoul with his US counterpart in the talks, Christopher Hill.
China and Russia, which have veto power at the UN Security Council, have opposed a draft resolution that would apply further sanctions on North Korea in response to Wednesday's missile launches.
South Korea said Friday it was suspending crucial food aid to the impoverished North but said it would maintain its policy of reconciling with its neighbour.