- Title: VARIOUS: U.N. Security Council delays sanctions vote on North Korea
- Date: 8th July 2006
- Summary: (W4) UNITED NATIONS (FILE) (AGENCY POOL) REPORTERS
- Reuters ID: LVA8SOOUT4AYTNAY80XHO4XMKES1
- Location: Usa, Korea, Democratic People's Republic of, Korea, Republic of
- Country: USA
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- Story Text: Japan formally introduced a U.N. resolution on Friday (July 7) that would impose sanctions against North Korea's missile program, despite strong opposition from veto-wielding members China and Russia.
But ambassadors from Japan, France and the United States said no vote in the U.N. Security Council would be held until Monday (July 10) at the earliest. Japan had pushed for a Saturday vote.
"The launch of this missile is a very serious, it has created a very serious situation and it is a threat to international peace and security and the Council has to react firmly and the draft resolution we are proposing is an appropriate way to answer," said France's ambassador Jean-Marc de la Sabliere, the current council president.
Some delegations have asked the co-sponsors not to vote on Saturday (July 8) or Sunday (July 9)," said France's ambassador Jean-Marc de la Sabliere, the current council president.
"It was decided that there would be no vote during the weekend."
China's U.N. Ambassador Wang Guangya said if the draft was put to a vote "there would be no unity" in the council. But he did not say whether China would use its veto power to kill the resolution or abstain and let the measure go through.
"All possibilities are on the table," Wang told reporters.
President George W. Bush also stressed that he was pursuing diplomatic efforts to rein in North Korea, even if the process was "slow and cumbersome," and sidestepped a question about whether the United States had a military option on the table.
At a news conference in Chicago, Bush responded to a question about whether Pyongyang had perhaps sought concessions with its missile tests this week by saying North Korea should not be rewarded for defying the international community with the tests.
He was upbeat that the U.N. Security Council, which is considering its options, would "speak with one voice" to condemn the launches.
"We're now working the diplomacy and you're watching the diplomacy work, not only in North Korea but in Iran ... The diplomatic process can be slow and cumbersome," he said.
The draft resolution comes after North Korea launched at least six missiles early on Wednesday (July 5) and fired off a seventh some 12 hours later. The missiles included a long-range Taepodong-2, which some experts had said could hit Alaska. U.S. officials said it flew for less than a minute and fell into the sea west of Japan.
Japan's revised draft, co-sponsored by the United States, Britain and France, says that no nation can procure missiles or missile related "items, materials goods and technology" from North Korea, or transfer financial resources to the isolated Communist country's dangerous weapons programs.
China has used its veto only four times in the Security Council, all on issues related to Taiwan. Analysts say Beijing does not want action that could risk bringing down the North Korean government and send millions of refugees across the border to China.
Instead Wang said he wanted a presidential statement with a "strong message." A Security Council statement carries less weight, and does not impose any penalties.
Japan's U.N. ambassador Kenzo Oshima told reporters that for Tokyo the sanctions under the legally-binding provisions of Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charters were crucial for a firm and robust response.
In addition to the sanctions, the Japanese draft condemns the missile launches and says North Korea should "immediately cease the development, testing, deploying and proliferation of ballistic missiles."
It also describes North Korea as a "leading proliferator of ballistic missiles and related technology."
Bush on Thursday said he telephoned Presidents Hu Jintao of China and Vladimir Putin of Russia asking them to back him with a tough response to the missile tests. But there is no sign yet they agree.
The last time North Korea fired a missile in 1998, the Security Council ended up, at China's insistence, issuing an press statement that did not chastise Pyongyang or lead to sanctions.
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