Russia and China have carried out a joint military exercise near North Korea, according to a Xinhua report.
The allies conducted the drills after repeated provocative missile launches by North Korea, which have been met with calls for a peaceful solution from both countries. The North's most recent launch, which was its sixth overall and second of this month, took place on Friday.
The Chinese performed drills in the Sea of Japan, near North Korea, before pairing with Russia at the port of Vladivostok for joint land and sea military exercises.
The pair previously conducted drills in the Baltic in July.
The North is expected to feature significantly in the United Nations General Assembly meeting that is scheduled to be held this week.
The tests, reminded Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, violated UN Security Council resolutions. In a New York Times editorial on Sunday, Abe urged the international community to enforce sanctions against North Korea. He explained that pressure from the international community, as a group, would be the only realistic option to neutralize North Korea.
A China Daily published a more even-toned editorial, stating that sanctions are warranted and should be enforced but the option for dialogue must remain on the table.
“With its Friday missile launch, Pyongyang wanted to give the impression that sanctions will not work. Some people have fallen for that and immediately echoed the suggestion, pointing to the failure of past sanctions to achieve their purpose,” the editorial detailed.
“But that past sanctions did not work does not mean they will not. It is too early to claim failure, because the latest sanctions have hardly begun to take effect. Giving the sanctions time to bite is the best way to make Pyongyang reconsider.”
The United States, on the other hand, displayed far less patience after UN envoy Nikki Haley highlighted the Security Council's failure to control North Korea and stated that including the Pentagon is a likely next step.
Pyongyang has launched dozens of missiles, in an accelerated weapons program, designed to reach an “equilibrium” of military force with the United States, according to The North.