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Japan offers new Security Council resolution on North Korea missile launches

[JURIST] Japan circulated a new UN Security Council [official website] draft resolution on Friday, tougher than a previous draft resolution [text] circulated earlier this week [JURIST report], that would direct states to take whatever steps necessary to prevent North Korea [JURIST news archive] from obtaining materials that could be used in their missile program. The new draft, which has the support of the United States and Britain, also retains a threat of sanctions against North Korea if it continues to launch test missiles [VOA report]. Russia has opposed sanctions, advocating instead a strongly-worded condemnation of Tuesday's missile tests, and China has yet to say whether it would vote against a resolution or abstain from a vote on the drafts. Insisting it is within its legal rights [JURIST report], North Korea has said it will continue missile launches, and has threatened to use force if the international community tries to stop the test-launches. North Korea pulled out of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty [PDF text; IAEA backgrounder] in 2003 and international law regarding nuclear weapons is therefore largely inapplicable to North Korea.

In the milder draft resolution, UN member states would be blocked from providing North Korea with money, materials or technology that contribute to a nuclear program. The Security Council will continue discussions of the drafts into Saturday. Meanwhile, President Bush said Friday that he will rally world support to send a clear message [AP report] to North Korea that its missile tests will not be tolerated. AP has more.

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