UN security council will be unified in its condemnation but, with little scope for further economic sanctions, the best course of action is unclear

Amid the welter of 14 missile tests by North Korea this year, the firing of a missile over Japanese mainland on Monday stands out as representing an unprecedented escalation, but it is not clear how the rest of the world can meaningfully provide an equally powerful response, short of military action.

The UN security council will meet on Tuesday, unified in its condemnation of Pyongyang, but China has already voted to strengthen economic sanctions to the maximum point that the UN collectively, and China specifically, would find politically tolerable.

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