Security Council set to adopt non-binding text on N. Korea

Friday, October 6, 2006

The UN Security Council will "mostly likely" adopt a non-binding statement later today on North Korea's announcement of planned nuclear bomb tests; the statement does not explicitly mention the threat of sanctions. This was announced by the Security Council president late yesterday.

Japan's UN envoy Kenzo Oshima, who chairs the 15-member body this month, said council experts made "good progress" in efforts to fine tune a Japanese draft, but said they had yet to finalize it.

"Most likely we will have something adopted (Friday)" once council members consult their respective capitals for "final clearance," he added.

Earlier on Thursday, Japan and the United States pushed for a threat to resort to mandatory sanctions under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. This would includes arms, trade, and economic embargoes. China and Russia (two veto members of the Council) however, voted against the sanctions.

It is hoped that the latest text will urge Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear tests and return back to six-party talks "without precondition". North Korea had earlier boycotted the talks in response to a sanction placed by the US on one of its banks, believed to linked to the regime of Kim Jong-Il.

North Korea claims it has nuclear weapons, although this has not yet been independently verified.