NEW YORK – Japan, Britain, France and the United States on Friday jointly submitted to an informal U.N. Security Council meeting a resolution condemning North Korea’s missile launches.

Clauses referring to sanctions in an original draft crafted by Japan had been modified.

Denmark, Greece and Slovakia also joined as cosponsors of the resolution.

Despite China’s strong opposition to the resolution, which it apparently intends to veto, Japan, Britain, France and the United States have prepared the resolution in time to be put to a vote Monday. According to U.N. Security Council sources, 13 countries expressed support, in principle, for the resolution during the meeting.

China said the best way to address the issue would be a U.N. Security Council presidential statement.

Chinese Ambassador to the United Nations Wang Guangya said that in the event the resolution was adopted, the Security Council would lose its unity.

“All options are on the table,” he said, suggesting China has not ruled out the possibility of vetoing the resolution.

Provided no permanent member wields their veto, the resolution will require approval from at least 10 of the 15 Security Council members to be adopted.

According to sources, Russia, which has called for the issuance of a U.N. Security Council presidential statement, did not speak out during the meeting. Some U.N. diplomats have interpreted this silence as an indication it will abstain from voting.

China and Russia can veto the resolution, abstain from voting, or demand that it be modified.

A nation that vetoes the resolution will inevitably draw criticism that it supports North Korea’s missile launches, and a nation that abstains would see its influence undermined. With the resolution’s proposers refusing to significantly modify the resolution, China and Russia have found themselves on the back foot.

The resolution states that, in light of North Korea’s declaration that it possesses nuclear arms, its missile launches threaten international peace and security.

Therefore, the U.N. Security Council can impose sanctions and take military action against North Korea under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter.

The resolution orders North Korea immediately halt its missile program and cancel further missile launches. The resolution also demands North Korea unconditionally and immediately return to the six-way talks on its nuclear program and halt the building of nuclear weapons.

Under the resolution, U.N. member countries are required to prevent the flow to North Korea of funds and materials that could be used for developing weapons of mass destruction. In addition, U.N. member countries will be called on to prevent North Korea procuring materials and technologies for missile development.

After submitting the resolution, U.N. Ambassador Kenzo Oshima said Japan had showed a firm stance on the matter.



(c) 2006, The Yomiuri Shimbun.

Visit the Daily Yomiuri Online at http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/index-e.htm/

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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PHOTOS (from MCT Photo Service, 202-383-6099): NKOREA

GRAPHIC (from MCT Graphics, 202-383-6064): NKOREA

AP-NY-07-08-06 1449EDT


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