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U.N. Security Council set to adopt resolution against N. Korea's rocket launch

All Headlines 22:16 January 18, 2013

SEOUL, Jan. 18 (Yonhap) -- The U.N. Security Council is poised to adopt a new resolution calling for tougher sanctions against North Korea for its recent rocket launch that drew international condemnation, a diplomatic source said Friday.

The move comes as China, a veto-wielding council member and a key ally of North Korea, apparently reversed its stance against taking strict actions against the North and agreed to punish Pyongyang, the source said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Adoption of the Security Council resolution is expected sometime next week, the source said.

The source said the Council is currently at the final stage of consultations on the new sanctions, stating that "Unless there is another variable, I think it will be done in three or four days."

The United States and China are likely to start gathering and coordinating opinions from other permanent and non-permanent members of the Council about a draft resolution, the source said.

Details of the document were unknown, but the new resolution, if adopted, is expected to add more North Korean individuals and entities to the list of sanctions already in place for its earlier nuclear tests, the source said.

South Korea and the U.S. have been pushing to get the Security Council to adopt stiffer sanctions against North Korea in response to its Dec. 12 rocket launch

Officials in both Seoul and Washington have said lately that they were expecting the Council to take action soon.

This week, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell told reporters in Seoul that Washington is "actively engaged in diplomacy and we recognize how important the outcome is and we anticipate formal steps in the Security Council in the immediate future."

Foreign ministry spokesman Cho Tai-young also said that South Korea expects the Security Council to wrap up discussions on its action "in the near future."

South Korea, which began its two-year rotating term as a non-permanent Council member this month, is working hard to "make its utmost possible achievement," he said.

North Korea has been under U.N. sanctions since 2006 when it conducted its first nuclear test. The sanctions were tightened in 2009 after its second nuclear test.

North Korea insists the recent rocket launch was a peaceful bid to put a satellite into orbit, but South Korea, the U.S. and other nations have condemned it as a disguised test of long-range ballistic missile technology.

Concerns persist that North Korea may conduct a third nuclear test following the latest rocket launch as it did with the previous two rocket launches.

kdh@yna.co.kr
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