>> China and Russia joining forces on Tuesday, calling for North Korea, South Korea, and the US to agree to a de-escalation plan to defuse tensions. Just hours after the hermit kingdom announced its first successful test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile. Apart from a pair of tweets from the President, the US response to the missile test has been muted, says Reuters correspondent in Washington, David Brunnstrom.
>> Obviously it's the July the 4th holiday here. And we actually had very little response, in fact no real response from the White House at all, except to say that President Trump has been briefed on the issue. The Pentagon has given some estimates of how far the missile traveled, or the duration of the flight.
And their conclusions are actually quite worrying from the US point of view. It does seem that North Korea has made considerable progress in developing an ICBM. And if expert extrapolations are correct, this missile that was fired earlier today is of a type that could in fact hit all of Alaska.
>> Frustration is growing within the Trump administration over how hard China is trying to pressure North Korea. The DPR case state run news agency showing what appeared to be a Chinese timber truck that was used in Tuesday's launch. Highlighting how difficult it's been to enforce sanctions to slow North Korea's weapons program.
>> I think the key question now is whether or not, we will see more sanctions activity in the United Nations. China in the past has reacted strongly to very long-range North Korean missile tests, and also nuclear tests. Whether or not it would be willing to support even tougher sanctions now on North Korea remains to be seen.
>> China's preferred option is for a return to negotiations. Which would occur after North Korea suspends its ballistic missile program and the US and South Korea suspend military exercises. So far neither side is backing down.>>