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S. Korea seeks U.N. response to N. Korea's rocket launch by end-Jan.

All Headlines 13:58 January 09, 2013

SEOUL, Jan. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is making a fresh push at the U.N. Security Council to get it to take action against North Korea's recent rocket launch by the end of this month, or before it assumes the rotating presidency of the council, a senior Seoul diplomat said Wednesday.

The Security Council condemned North Korea's Dec. 12 rocket launch as a breach of U.N. resolutions, but efforts by South Korea and the U.S. to push for fresh U.N. sanctions against the North have been unsuccessful because of resistance from China.

South Korea started a two-year term on the Security Council this month and is scheduled to assume the role of the president of the world body from February.

"Discussions at the U.N. Security Council over a response to North Korea's rocket launch have gained momentum since early this week," said the diplomat who has a direct knowledge of the U.N. debate.

"Our top priority is to wrap up the U.N. discussions by the end of this month because no council members would want to discuss the issue from next month when our country assumes the presidency of the council," the official said on the condition of anonymity.

Asked about the resistance from China to impose new sanctions against North Korea, the official replied, "We are continuing to push for" the Chinese side to take a tougher response to the North.

China, a key ally of North Korea and one of the veto-wielding council members, has said any Security Council response to the North's rocket launch should be "prudent."

In Washington, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters on Tuesday that, "Consultations continue among the permanent members of the Security Council on an appropriate resolution in response to the North Korean launch."

kdh@yna.co.kr
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