UNITED NATIONS – The United States and China have reached agreement on a new draft sanctions resolution to punish North Korea for its latest nuclear test, U.N. diplomats said late Monday.
The U.N. Security Council announced late Monday evening that it will hold closed consultations on North Korea and nonproliferation this morning. The diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity because no official announcement has been made, said the United States is expected to circulate a draft resolution to the full council at the meeting. Council members are then expected to send the draft to their capitals for review.
All 15 council members approved a press statement condemning Pyongyang’s nuclear test and pledging further action hours after North Korea carried out its third atomic blast Feb. 12.
The swift and unanimous response from the U.N.’s most powerful body set the stage for a fourth round of sanctions against Pyongyang.
For the last three weeks, the United States, a close ally of South Korea and Japan, has been negotiating the text of a new resolution with China, the closest ally of North Korea.
Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, whose country holds the council presidency this month, told a news conference Monday that a resolution on North Korea might be approved in March, though the text had not yet been circulated.
Last month’s statement from the Security Council called the underground test in February a “grave violation” of three U.N. resolutions that ban North Korea from conducting nuclear or missile tests.