N. Korea faces tightened U.N. sanctions

NEW YORK, Jan. 22 (UPI) --
U.N. Security Council members have a draft resolution for tightening sanctions against North Korea for its recent rocket launch, a source told Yonhap News.

The report, quoting a South Korean diplomatic source, said the resolution had been circulated among the Security Council's 15 members who may pass it as early as Wednesday.

Separately, Japan's Kyodo News said the draft was presented to the Security Council by the United States after China agreed on it. Kyodo also quoted diplomats as saying the draft appeared to have been accepted by other council members.

"To my knowledge, the draft resolution will be put to a vote early this week and adopted on Wednesday or Thursday, unless there is another variable," Yonhap reported, quoting the source it said has direct knowledge of the U.N. debate.

North Korea fired its long-range rocket Dec. 12, saying it was to place a satellite in orbit. However, the United Nations and other Western countries strongly condemned it, saying it was in violation of earlier U.N. sanctions imposed on the Communist country after its missile and two nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.

The Dec. 12 action was seen as a coverup by North Korea to test its intercontinental ballistic missile capability.

The support of China is crucial for any action against North Korea as it is a close ally of the isolated Communist country and is also one of the five permanent members of the Security Council with veto power.

Yonhap reported the draft resolution, pushed by South Korea and United States, emerged after China reversed its stance against taking stricter actions against Pyongyang. The report, quoting its source, said in a diplomatic compromise last week the United States and China agreed on tightening existing sanctions against North Korea, rather than imposing new ones.

While details of the draft resolution were not known immediately, the source told Yonhap when adopted it would add more North Korean individuals and entities to the current sanctions list.


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