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Security Council Unanimously Urges N. Korea to Halt Nuclear Test


Security Council has threatened North Korea with unspecified consequences, if it goes ahead with planned nuclear weapons tests.

The statement adopted Friday warns North Korea that testing a nuclear device would bring universal condemnation.

The message, read by the Security Council president, Japanese U.N. Ambassador Kenzo Oshima, threatens further action against the DPRK, as North Korea is referred to at the U.N.

"The Security Council stresses that a nuclear test, if carried out by the DPRK, would represent a clear threat to international peace and security, and that, should the DPRK ignore calls of the international community, the Security Council will act consistent with its responsibility under the Charter of the United Nations," he said.

The statement gives no indication of what that action might be.

With intelligence reports indicating that a North Korean nuclear test may be imminent, the United States had pushed for tough language in the statement.

Washington's U.N. ambassador, John Bolton, had offered amendments that would have threatened an arms embargo and other sanctions, unless Pyongyang withdrew its nuclear test threat.

That language was rejected during three days of Security Council negotiations. Bolton explained to reporters Friday why he takes North Korea's threat so seriously.

"Because there would be another nuclear power," he said. "This would be proof positive of North Korea having a nuclear weapon. This would be an example of nuclear proliferation that we're very much concerned about. And it's one of the reasons we feel so strongly that North Korea should not test."

The Security Council statement urges North Korea to return to stalled six-party talks on its nuclear program. Parties to the talks include Russia, China, Japan, the United States and both North and South Korea.

North Korea walked out of the talks last year.

U.N. diplomats Friday said they were aware of intelligence reports suggesting Pyongyang might stage a nuclear test in the next few days. They note that North Korea has, in the past, timed its actions to coincide with significant dates.

Monday is a holiday in both North Korea and the United States. It is also a time when Japan's new prime minister, Shinzo Abe, is making his first official visits to Beijing and Seoul, and Pyongyang's nuclear threat is expected to dominate discussions in both capitals.