The United States Thursday will formally ask the United Nations Security Council to punish North Korea for its claimed nuclear test...
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U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton is circulating a draft resolution that would impose tough new sanctions against Pyongyang. These would include a strict arms embargo, a travel ban and financial restrictions.
Security Council talks on the draft are under way in New York. Before heading into the talks, Bolton said he will push for a Council vote on Friday. He said it is important that the Council send a very clear signal to the North Koreans.
China's U.N. ambassador, Wang Guangya, told reporters the Council must firmly condemn the North Korean action. However, he said members are still discussing how forceful that response should be.
Pyongyang said earlier this week that it would regard any tough new sanctions as a declaration of war.
In Washington Thursday, President Bush met with a visiting Chinese diplomat who agreed that strong measures are needed in dealing with North Korea.
A White House spokesman says Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan also met with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and with the president's national security adviser Stephen Hadley.
Japan's ruling party Thursday approved new sanctions on North Korea that go beyond what the United States is asking from the Security Council.
The Japanese sanctions, announced earlier this week, include barring all imports from North Korea, banning North Korean ships from Japanese waters, and prohibiting most North Korean nationals from entering Japan.
The sanctions would add to existing financial restrictions Tokyo slapped on Pyongyang after it test-fired missiles last July.
South Korea's parliament Thursday passed a resolution condemning North Korea's claimed nuclear test and urging the government in Pyongyang to return to stalled international negotiations over its nuclear program.
The United States is still working to confirm whether the explosion reported in North Korea Monday was caused by a nuclear device.
North Korea says it was, and it is threatening to carry out further nuclear tests.