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UN powers reach deal on sanctions draft

The UN Security Council reached a deal on a draft resolution that would expand sanctions against North Korea to punish the reclusive regime for its recent nuclear test and weapons program, according to a diplomat. The vote is due on Friday.


Reuters - The five permanent Security Council members, Japan and non-council member South Korea on Wednesday agreed on the text of a draft U.N. resolution that would expand sanctions against North Korea for its recent nuclear test and weapons program, a diplomat said.


The draft resolution will be discussed at a meeting of the full 15-nation Security Council at 11 a.m. EDT/1500 GMT with a vote expected on Friday, the diplomat told Reuters on condition of anonymity.


The U.N. press office confirmed a meeting of the Security Council on North Korea was scheduled for Wednesday morning.


The United States and Japan have pushed for strong sanctions to punish North Korea for its nuclear test in May, but China and Russia have been cautious about provoking Pyongyang by imposing more sanctions.


Two diplomats from among the Security Council’s five permanent members said Tuesday night they believed China had agreed with the U.S.-drafted text of a resolution within the last 24 hours, but Russia had raised new concerns.


Russia holds a veto in the council and had some concerns about sanctions.


With Russia and China on board, Western countries are hoping for a unanimous vote in favor of sanctions that would send a strong signal of international unity.


Council members Vietnam and Libya, however, are seen as potential hurdles to a unanimous vote, Western diplomats say.


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