Published : 2013-03-05 14:47
Updated : 2013-03-05 15:23
South Korea on Tuesday reported a "significant progress" at the U.N. Security Council debate over how to punish North Korea for conducting a nuclear test last month, the foreign ministry said, as the council is set to hold a meeting in New York.
"A significant progress has been made (at the U.N. Security Council over sanctions against North Korea), but no final agreement has been reached yet," foreign ministry spokesman Cho Tai-young said.
Cho confirmed that the Security Council will hold a meeting at 11:00 a.m. in New York on Tuesday (New York time).
The Tuesday meeting is aimed at "consulting with council members about sanctions against North Korea, so it is unclear whether a resolution would be adopted," Cho said.
Earlier in the day, a senior Seoul diplomat said the council's planned meeting came after Washington and Beijing tentatively agreed on a draft resolution, a senior Seoul diplomat said.
"The meeting was called after the U.S. and Beijing reached a tentative agreement on a draft resolution against North Korea," the diplomat said on the condition of anonymity.
The diplomat said he did not know details of the draft resolution nor what kind of sanctions were included in it.
North Korea's Feb. 12 nuclear test, its third since 2006, raised the prospect that Pyongyang might be a step closer to a workable long-range nuclear missile.
Seoul and Washington have been seeking to convince the U.N.'s most powerful body to adopt a resolution against Pyongyang that would include Articles 41 and 42 of Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, which allow all U.N. members to enforce sanctions by military means.
If passed, the resolution will theoretically enable Navy ships to intercept and board North Korean vessels suspected of carrying illicit weapons or nuclear and missile components.
South Korean diplomats have admitted that China, the North's last-remaining ally and one of the veto-wielding council members, has expressed opposition to including Chapter 7 in the new resolution. (Yonhap News)