UN to impose sanctions against North Korea (Lead)

May 26th, 2009 - 6:15 am ICT by IANS  

New York, May 26 (DPA) The UN Security Council was unanimous Monday in its agreement to strongly condemn and impose sanctions against North Korea for testing a nuclear device in violation of its resolutions.
Council members acted swiftly in response to North Korea’s nuclear test Sunday, which stunned the world and in particular South Korea and Japan, which consider the action a threat to their security.

“The meeting was brief and everybody spoke and essentially took the same view,” said US Ambassador Susan Rice. “We are now resolved to work on a new resolution, a strong resolution and strong contents.”

“The US believes that this is a grave violation of international law and threat to regional and international security, and therefore the United States will seek a strong resolution and strong measures,” she said.

“The United States is in favour of sanctions,” Rice said when pressed to be clearer on the contents. She said the decision to condemn North Korea was swiftly accepted by all 15 council members.

Japan’s UN Ambassador Yukio Takasu told reporters that the nuclear test was a “direct threat” against his country and represented an “extremely grave challenge to the international community”.

He said Tokyo supports sanctions against North Korea.

But council members who spoke to the reporters refrained from being more specific about the nature of the sanctions. They said negotiations were to begin Tuesday at UN headquarters in New York for a new draft resolution with the sanctions.

France’s Deputy Ambassador Jean-Pierre Lacroix said North Korea has to pay a “price” for defying UN resolutions.

“The behaviour of North Korea has a grave consequence and a price,” Lacroix said. “France is not alone in supporting the sanctions.”

Before the council held its emergency session, the council’s five permanent members - the US, Russia, China, Britain and France - along with Japan and South Korea met separately to discuss a common action against the Pyongyang government. But none of them revealed details of their discussion.

The council president, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, emerged from the council’s closed door session to say that the council “strongly” condemned North Korea’s nuclear test. But he declined to provide other details of the meeting.

The council in April also issued a condemnation when Pyongyang tested a missile. But it did not deter that government from stepping up activities of its nuclear programme. Pyongyang also broke all ties with the six-party talks after its missile test was condemned.

The six-party talks involved China, the US, Japan, Russia, North Korea and South Korea.

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