U.S. officials say Washington is happy with the U.N. Security Council resolution that imposes weapons sanctions on North Korea. Pyongyang last week angered the world by conducting what it says was a nuclear test, which followed a series of missile tests in July.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says she is satisfied with the U.N. resolution that passed unanimously Saturday.
"This is a remarkable unity of purpose and unity of message to North Korea," she said.
The resolution demands Pyongyang abandon its nuclear-weapons programs. It also orders all countries to prevent North Korea from importing or exporting any material for weapons of mass destruction or ballistic missiles.
China shares a 1,400 kilometer border with North Korea, and is often considered to be its closest ally. When asked about media reports that China does not intend to inspect shipments going to and from North Korea, Rice, speaking on the Fox News Sunday program, pointed out that China did sign on to the U.N. resolution.
"It [China] voted for this resolution. It is a Chapter-Seven mandatory resolution, and so I am quite certain that China is going to live up to its responsibilities," she noted.
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, said the resolution leaves open the possibility for Pyongyang to return to the so-called six-party North Korean nuclear talks, which include the United States, China, South Korea, Japan, and Russia.
But Ambassador Bolton told NBC's Meet the Press television program that things could
get worse for Pyongyang, if it chooses not to return to negotiations.
"We are going to continue to ratchet up the pressure, make it clear that their international isolation is only going to increase," said Bolton. "We are going to make it, to the extent we can, impossible for them to continue the program, through making sure they do not get the materials and technology and equipment they need to continue these programs."
Bolton said President Bush has not taken the military option off the table, but prefers to resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis peacefully. Pyongyang has said it feels threatened by the United States, but President Bush has repeatedly said U.S. forces will not attack North Korea.
Meanwhile, Senator John Kerry, who ran against President Bush in the 2004 presidential election, accused the Bush administration of, in his words, tolerating a nuclear North Korea. He also appeared on Fox News Sunday.
"This administration is doing exactly what it said it would not do, which is allowing North Korea to get away with what it is doing. These [U.N.] sanctions are not the bold tough sanctions that the Secretary [Rice] talked about," commented Kerry. "China walked out of there, and said, 'We voted for it, but we are not going to enforce the cross-border mechanism. It is too dangerous for our region.' So, you have sanctions that are just, by statement of those involved, not going to do the job."
He added that he believes there should be direct U.S.-North Korean talks, to address the nuclear crisis and other unresolved issues remaining from the armistice agreement that ended the Korean War in 1953.
Meanwhile, Secretary Rice will discuss implementation of the details of the U.N. resolution on North Korea when she travels to Tokyo, Seoul and Beijing this week.