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7 nations agree on draft resolution on DPRK nuclear test

THE five permanent members of the UN Security Council, along with Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK), yesterday reached agreement on a draft resolution in response to the recent nuclear test conducted by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

The draft resolution is a "very strong, very credible, very appropriate" response, US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice told reporters at the end of closed-door consultations by the 15 members of the UN Security Council to consider a draft resolution on the DPRK nuclear test.
"North Korea's behavior is unacceptable," Rice said. "They must pay a price."

The 15-nation Council is expected to adopt the resolution within 24 to 48 hours after some Council members consult their capitals, Mexican UN Ambassador Claude Heller told reporters here on Wednesday.

Apart from expressing the "gravest concern for" the DPRK nuclear test, the 34-paragraph resolution includes a range of punitive measures that would severely curtail loans and money transfers to the DPRK, as well as an arms embargo.

"This daft would impose a complete embargo on the export of arms from North Korea," said Rice. "These arms exports have been a significant source of revenue for North Korea and we think it important that that source of revenue be curtailed."

The five permanent members -- China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States -- and Japan and the ROK also agreed to inspect cargo ships, with the consent of the ship's flag state, on the high seas suspected of carrying nuclear-related material to or from the DPRK.

If the flag state does not agree to an inspection on high seas, the vessel will be directed to a convenient port, where it will be inspected by local authorities who will dispose of prohibited items in "an appropriate manner," said Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin, who added that the technical process will be left up to individual countries' navies.

The draft resolution urges the DPRK to come back to the six-party talks without preconditions and expresses the Security Council's commitment to a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution to the situation.

It also requests that UN Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon create a panel of experts to monitor the sanctions' enforcement, and asks UN members to report on steps they're taking to implement the sanctions within 45 days.

Under the draft, the sanctions committee has 30 days to decide on further entities, goods and individuals to be subject to the travel ban and asset freeze imposed in Resolution 1718 after the 2006 nuclear test.

Speaking to reporters, Japanese Ambassador to the UN Yukio Takasu said the additional sanctions will have "an extremely important impact," adding that he hoped they would "induce the DPRK to change their course of action and comply with our demands."

He added that Resolution "1718 contains many actions but ... they didn't send any effective signal. This time ... we tried to change this situation."

All 15 Council members met on the draft resolution at 11:00 am EDT (1500 GMT) behind closed doors on Wednesday, with the earliest date for vote likely today.

On May 25, the Security Council voiced "the strong opposition to and the condemnation of" the DPRK nuclear test, the second of its kind since 2006, vowing to prepare a strong response to Pyongyang.

Following the DPRK's claims to have conducted a nuclear test in October 2006, the Security Council had demanded that the country "not conduct any further nuclear test or launch of a ballistic missile," and imposed sanctions against Pyongyang.


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