U.S., China in deal on U.N. North Korea rebuke; Russia to back it
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, U.N. diplomats said on Friday, and Russia predicted it would be approved by the council.
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. They added that China's support for the move would be a significant diplomatic blow to Pyongyang.
The 15-nation council could adopt the compromise resolution next week, they said.
Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin confirmed the diplomats' comments in remarks quoted by the Russian state-run RIA Novosti news agency, saying that adoption was likely early next week.
"I expect we will support it," RIA quoted Churkin as saying. "I don't expect that the U.N. Security Council members will have any serious problems (with the resolution)."
"Our position is that the North Korean rocket launch is a violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution, so the council should react," he said.
South Korea gave a guarded welcome to the tentative agreement.
"Although we (the government) may not be fully satisfied with the outcome, (we) will have to welcome it if it can help restrain the unpredictable North's ultra-provocative action," said a government spokesman in Seoul, who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the diplomatic negotiations. Continued...