U.S., China in tentative U.N. deal on North Korea resolution: envoys

Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:16am EST
 
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By Louis Charbonneau

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United States and China have struck a tentative deal on a draft U.N. Security Council resolution condemning North Korea for its December rocket launch, though Beijing has yet to give its final approval, U.N. diplomats said on Friday.

The resolution would not impose new sanctions, but would call for expanding existing U.N. sanctions measures against Pyongyang, the envoys said on condition of anonymity.

A draft was expected to reach the 15-nation council as early as later on Friday, with adoption possible next week, they said.

The deal, if China and the rest of the council accept it, represents a compromise.

The United States had wanted to punish North Korea with a U.N. Security Council resolution that imposed new sanctions against Pyongyang, but Beijing rejected that option.

Beijing had wanted the council to merely issue a statement calling for the council's North Korea sanctions committee to expand the existing U.N. blacklists, diplomats said.

The tentative deal reached, they said, was that Washington would forgo the idea of immediate new sanctions, while Beijing would accept the idea of a resolution instead of a statement, which makes the rebuke more forceful.

Assuming the North Korea sanctions committee agrees to expand existing measures, the resolution will ultimately lead to more stringent sanctions against Pyongyang.   Continued...