U.S. circulates draft North Korea resolution at U.N.
By Louis Charbonneau
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United States has circulated a draft resolution to the U.N. Security Council that would condemn North Korea for its December rocket launch and calls for tightening existing U.N. sanctions, diplomats said on Monday.
The draft was the result of a deal between the United States and China, the envoys said on condition of anonymity. Even though the draft does not call for any new sanctions against Pyongyang, diplomats said China's support for the resolution represented a significant diplomatic blow to Pyongyang.
"We hope to have a vote midweek," one diplomat told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
China said earlier on Monday that the Security Council needed to pass a cautious resolution on North Korea, adding that this was the best way to ensure regional tensions did not escalate further.
Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin voiced Moscow's backing for the draft text last week.
"I expect we will support it," Russia's state-run RIA Novosti news agency 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," Churkin said.
The draft, which was sent to the 15 council members, calls for sanctioning a number of additional North Korean entities, including Pyongyang's space agency, diplomats said on condition of anonymity. Continued...