WASHINGTON—The U.N. Security Council on Saturday unanimously agreed to impose economic sanctions on North Korea to punish the totalitarian nation for its nuclear test.
The resolution called the Oct. 9 test a "clear threat to international peace and security." It demanded that North Korea not conduct any more nuclear tests or launch any ballistic missiles, and that the country give up its nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and ballistic missile programs under the watch of international inspectors.
Bending to objections from Russia and China, the United States agreed not to back the sanctions with threat of military force. Now it will be up to individual countries to make sure that the sanctions are carried out.
The measures are intended to put pressure on isolated and impoverished North Korea to give up its more than 30-year national quest for nuclear weapons. Historically, sanctions often have failed to make nations change course.
The resolution calls on countries to freeze all funds that could be used by North Korea for its weapons and missile programs. It also blocks the transport of any materials that could be used for weapons or missiles and bans the transit of people working on them.
It also prohibits any country from providing North Korea with military equipment or luxury goods.
The measure also calls for nations to inspect cargo going to and from North Korea. Russia and China had warned that these inspections could flare into conflicts with North Korea.
President Bush said the resolution "says that we are united in our determination to see to it that the Korea Peninsula is nuclear weapons free."
"If the leader of North Korea were to verifiably end his weapons programs, the United States and other nations would be willing to help the nation recover economically," Bush said.
North Korea's U.N. Ambassador Pak Gil Yon rejected the resolution, telling the Security Council that its behavior was "gangster-like" and that it had "completely lost its impartiality." He said North Korea conducted its nuclear test because of the "nuclear threat, sanctions and pressure" of the United States, and he warned that if the United States kept up the pressure, North Korea would consider it a declaration of war and retaliate.
Pak then walked out, moments before the meeting adjourned.
U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said that North Korea was to blame for refusing to negotiate about ending its nuclear weapons programs. Six-nation talks in Beijing have been moribund since September 2005.
The United States got "essentially" what it wanted in the resolution, Bolton said. "I think this shows quite strongly that the council is not going to tolerate the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction," he said.
The measure was revised several times to take into account concerns of China and Russia. The final version of the resolution said that inspections would be made "as necessary" and in accord with international law.
China's U.N. Ambassador Wang Guangya said China feared the inspections could easily lead to conflicts and urged that they be conducted carefully.
China has an 880-mile border with North Korea, and trade between the two countries is growing. At the busiest checkpoint, near Dandong, China, about 200 trucks cross into North Korea every day. Goods also cross the border by rail.
Russia has a narrow border with North Korea but shares a coast along the Sea of Japan. Russia earlier on Saturday expressed its concerns about inspections, but was satisfied with the resolution, Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said.
"Of course it's our intention to observe all those measures and we want others to do the same. It's a very strong resolution, it's a very clear resolution and it has to be complied with," Churkin said.
(c) 2006, McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
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