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Security Council considers North Korea sanctions resolution after missile launches

[JURIST] The UN Security Council [official website] held an emergency meeting Wednesday to consider a draft resolution [text] to impose sanctions on North Korea following Tuesday's missile launches [VOA report]. The five permanent members agreed that the Council should respond to the missile launches, but disagreed on how severe that response should be. The draft resolution, circulated by Japan and joined by the United States, France, and Britain, would block UN member states from providing North Korea with money, materials or technology that contribute to a nuclear program. Russia, however, opposed sanctions, instead advocating a strongly worded condemnation of Tuesday's missile tests. Japan's ambassador to the UN on Wednesday called for a "swift, strong and resolute" response [recorded video] from the Council, noting that the missile launches were in violation of a September 2005 agreement [JURIST report] reached during six-party talks on North Korea's return to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty [PDF text; IAEA backgrounder].

During a Tuesday press conference [transcript] on the missile launch, US National Security Advisor Steve Hadley [official profile] also expressed concern that North Korea's actions violated the moratorium agreed to last year. Hadley said the agreement "committed all the parties to the security and enhancing the security of Northeast Asia and, of course, we think that this kind of activity does not enhance the security of Northeast Asia and therefore is inconsistent with at least the spirit and maybe even the letter of the September 2005 agreement." According to a joint statement [text] released following that meeting, North Korea "committed to abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs and returning, at an early date, to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to IAEA safeguards." Reuters has more. The UN News Centre has additional coverage.

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