Vote on Tough New N. Korea Sanctions Delayed

Vote on Tough New N. Korea Sanctions DelayedVote on Tough New N. Korea Sanctions Delayed

A UN Security Council vote on a resolution to dramatically expand sanctions on North Korea after its recent nuclear test and satellite launch has been delayed to Wednesday after Russia negotiated changes in the US-Chinese drafted text.

Last week, the United States presented the 15-nation council with the draft resolution that would significantly tighten restrictions after the Jan. 6 nuclear test and Feb. 7 rocket launch, to create what it described as the toughest UN sanctions regime in two decades, Reuters reported.

The vote, first scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, is now planned for 10 a.m. (1500 GMT) on Wednesday, the council said.

The US mission to the United Nations said in a statement the vote was rescheduled after “Russia invoked a procedural 24-hour review of the resolution.”

Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters “it’s a resolution which is necessary, which the Security Council needs to adopt because of the certain challenges coming from DPRK (North Korea).”

After nearly two months of bilateral negotiations that at one point involved US President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, China agreed to support the unusually tough measures intended to persuade its close ally North Korea to abandon its atomic weapons program.

North Korea has been under UN sanctions since 2006 because of its four nuclear tests and multiple rocket launches.

The draft, seen by Reuters, would require UN member states to conduct mandatory inspections of all cargo passing through their territory to or from North Korea to look for illicit goods. Previously states only had to do this if they had reasonable grounds to believe there was illicit cargo.