World News

UN Security Council to Discuss North Korea Sanctions

The United Nations Security Council is meeting Tuesday to discuss new sanctions in response to North Korea's latest nuclear test.

The closed-door meetings come as diplomats report the United States and China have reached a tentative deal to punish Pyongyang for last month's test, its third and most powerful yet.

Diplomats told reporters late Monday they hope the council will be able to vote on a resolution by the end of the week. Details of the draft resolution were not immediately available.

The Security Council already unanimously condemned the February 12 nuclear test as a "grave violation" of existing U.N. sanctions on North Korea's nuclear and missile programs. Pyongyang said its test was aimed at its "arch-enemy," the United States.



China, North Korea's long-time ally, joined the rest of the 15-member Security Council in immediately condemning the test. But diplomats say China has been reluctant to agree to tough action against Pyongyang.

A spokesperson for China's foreign ministry said Tuesday that Beijing would support a "proper and moderate" response from the Security Council, insisting that any action be "conducive to denuclearization, non-proliferation and peace and stability on the peninsula."

Diplomats from Washington and Beijing have for weeks been in talks aimed at expanding or adding a fourth round of sanctions against the impoverished Communist state. Speaking anonymously, several diplomats have said both sides are nearing a deal.

North Korea is already under tough sanctions as a result of its previous nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009. In January, the Security Council expanded those sanctions in response to a December rocket launch.

The North says its latest tests prove that it can strike the mainland U.S. with a long-range missile. It has angrily rejected the U.N sanctions, and threatened to carry out more missile and nuclear tests in response to what it says is U.S. hostility.

Feature Story

Conditions are harsh, food is bad, and most wages for construction work are taken away by Pyongyang government, recruitment companies.

Photogallery North Koreans Toil for Little Pay Overseas

Conditions are harsh, food is bad, and most wages for construction work are taken away by Pyongyang government, recruitment companies More