Fri, Jun 12, 2009 - Page 1 News List

Powers agree on N Korea sanctions in UN resolution


China called yesterday for an “appropriate and balanced” UN resolution against North Korea for its recent nuclear test and missile launches after a draft was submitted to the Security Council.

Major powers at the UN, including China, agreed on Wednesday on a draft resolution that includes expanded sanctions on North Korea, such as tougher cargo inspections and a tighter arms embargo.

The compromise draft was worked out following two weeks of bargaining by envoys of seven nations — the five permanent members of the Security Council, and Japan and South Korea — and has been presented to other council members.

It is widely expected to be endorsed at a vote by the end of the week.

China is North Korea’s main ally and has always favored cautious diplomacy with Pyongyang, wary of any moves that could push the regime to collapse and potentially send millions of refugees streaming over its border.

But analysts say it is finding it harder to defend the isolated regime as it assumes a greater role in world affairs, particularly after Pyongyang’s recent test, missile launches and renunciation of a 1953 truce that ended the Korean War.

Meanwhile, North Korea is showing no signs of preparing a major troop build-up, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told reporters traveling with him to NATO talks in Brussels yesterday, describing its routine military stance as a “source of comfort.”

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