Security Council unanimously OKs N. Korea sanctions
POSTED: 2:08 p.m. EDT, October 14, 2006
UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- The U.N. Security Council on
Saturday voted unanimously to impose sanctions against
North Korea in response to the country's claimed
The 15-0 vote for Resolution 1718 sent a "clear and
strong message" to North Korea, said U.S. Ambassador
to the U.N. John Bolton.
"We are pleased that the Security Council is united in
condemning the actions by the regime and Pyongyang and
taking clear, firm and punitive action in passing this
resolution," he said.
The passage of the resolution proves to "North Korea
and others that the Security Council is prepared to
meet threats to international security with swift
resolve," Bolton added.
The vote was scheduled soon after negotiators agreed
on the sticking point of cargo inspections, the
language over which China had expressed some concerns
Rather than mandating stop and search operations, "the
resolution will say to countries to inspect as
necessary all goods going in and out of North Korea,"
CNN's Richard Roth reported.
The aim is to stop materials and technology that could
be used for nuclear weapons production from going to
or from North Korea.
Diplomats from the five permanent council members plus
Japan gathered in closed-door meetings Saturday
morning to reach agreement.
While details of the draft resolution were incomplete,
diplomats said it could prevent materials for weapons
programs and luxury goods from being sold to North
The language is directed at North Korean leader Kim
Jong Il, who has a long, documented record of living a
life of luxury while his people wasted away in famine.
On Friday Bolton said, "The North Korean population's
been losing average height and weight over the years,
and maybe this will be a little diet for Kim Jong Il."
Earlier Saturday, Chinese Ambassador to the U.N. Wang
Guangya expressed concerns about the draft's stop and
"... This interception idea, once they put it in
operation, it could easily lead by one side or the
other to a provocation of conflict which would have
serious implications for the region, for the
countries," Wang said.
One Western diplomat described Chinese and Russian
concerns as differences over procedural matters, not
deal breakers. Russian and Chinese diplomats have met
with North Korea this week and could be getting input
President Bush on Saturday urged the adoption of a
"strong" U.N. Security Council resolution, saying
"peace and security in northeast Asia and a
nuclear-free Korean Peninsula" are the goals. (Watch
as Bush demands a clear message be sent to North Korea
"We will do what is necessary to achieve these goals.
We will support our allies in the region. We will work
with the United Nations, and together we will ensure
that North Korea faces real consequences if it
continues down its current path," Bush said in his
weekly radio address.
He said the United States will increase its defense
alliances with Japan and South Korea, including
cooperation on ballistic missile defense and the
prevention of North Korea from importing and exporting
nuclear or missile technologies.
On Friday the Japanese Cabinet approved wide-ranging
sanctions against North Korea. (Full story)
North Korea claimed Monday it had tested a nuclear
weapon, although the claim has not yet been verified.
Some analysts have questioned whether the test was
A preliminary analysis of air samples from North Korea
shows "radioactive debris consistent with a North
Korea nuclear test," according to a statement sent to
U.S. lawmakers Friday from the office of Director of
National Intelligence John Negroponte. (Watch for the
first evidence that Pyongyang did test a nuke -- 1:23
If the evidence is confirmed, the United States would
be in a position to say the North Korean test was
nuclear, a U.S. official told CNN Friday.
Two U.S. government officials with access to
classified information earlier told CNN that an
initial air sampling showed no indication of
Pyongyang's claim sparked international condemnation.
To build support for the resolution, the United States
has agreed to some changes. They include dropping a
ban on North Korean imports and exempting money
intended for purchases of food and medicine from a
freeze on North Korean assets. Language encouraging
further diplomatic efforts also was added to the
However, the U.S. proposal still calls for an arms
embargo and a ban on materials that could be used in
nuclear or missiles programs. The proposal also seeks
a ban on travel by North Korean officials, an embargo
on luxury goods and inspections of cargo imports and
China has expressed concern that because the proposed
sanctions fall under Section 7 of the U.N. Charter,
which makes them binding on all member states, they
could lead to a blockade or even military action to
Versions of the draft resolution late Friday ruled out
military action against North Korea, in response to
pressure from China and Russia, the AP reported.
As the council members met in New York, word came that
North Korea may consider resuming six-nation talks
aimed at resolving the nuclear dispute.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Alexeyev and
North Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Gye-gwan
"discussed opportunities to resume the six-nation
process and the settlement of the problem of a full
denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula by peaceful
and diplomatic means," Russia's Foreign Ministry said
on its Web site.
The Bush administration has insisted any negotiations
with Pyongyang be conducted within the framework of
six-party talks among North Korea, the United States,
Russia, China, South Korea and Japan. The latest draft
of the Security Council resolution calls on North
Korea to return to those talks without precondition.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is to visit
Asia next week to shore up alliances and discuss the
North Korean crisis.
Rice is scheduled to be in Tokyo, Japan; Seoul, South
Korea; and Beijing from Tuesday through October 22,
State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Friday.
"She's going to be talking about how to go about
actually implementing" the expected U.N. resolution,
CNN's Hugh Riminton, Richard Roth, Barbara Starr and
Susie Xu contributed to this report.