UN Security Council sets sanctions against North Korea
Highlights: No blockade, but something more vague dubbed "stop and search" ... luxury restrictions aimed at the appetites of Kim (good luck enforcing) ... Drafts of the resolution rule out military action ... But, the resolution falls under Section 7.
UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- The U.N. Security Council on Saturday voted unanimously to impose sanctions against North Korea in response to the country's claimed nuclear test.When it is made available, resolution 1718 will be posted by the United Nations on this website.
The 15-0 vote for Resolution 1718 sent a "clear and strong message" to North Korea, said U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton.
Rather than mandating stop and search operations, "the resolution will say to countries to inspect as necessary all goods going in and out of North Korea," CNN's Richard Roth reported.
The aim is to stop materials and technology that could be used for nuclear weapons production from going to or from North Korea.
In his remarks after the resolution's passage, Chinese Ambassador to the U.N. Wang Guangya urged restraint in carrying out the resolution's stop and search provisions.
He said that all parties must "avoid any acts that may cause escalation of tension" in the region.
While details of the draft resolution were incomplete, diplomats said it could prevent materials for weapons programs and luxury goods from being sold to North Korea.
The language is directed at North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, who has a long, documented record of living a life of luxury while his people wasted away in famine. On Friday Bolton said, "The North Korean population's been losing average height and weight over the years, and maybe this will be a little diet for Kim Jong Il."
On Friday the Japanese Cabinet approved wide-ranging sanctions against North Korea.
A preliminary analysis of air samples from North Korea shows "radioactive debris consistent with a North Korea nuclear test," according to a statement sent to U.S. lawmakers Friday from the office of Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte.
If the evidence is confirmed, the United States would be in a position to say the North Korean test was nuclear, a U.S. official told CNN Friday.
To build support for the resolution, the United States has agreed to some changes. They include dropping a ban on North Korean imports and exempting money intended for purchases of food and medicine from a freeze on North Korean assets. Language encouraging further diplomatic efforts also was added to the latest version.
However, the U.S. proposal still calls for an arms embargo and a ban on materials that could be used in nuclear or missiles programs. The proposal also seeks a ban on travel by North Korean officials, an embargo on luxury goods and inspections of cargo imports and exports.
China has expressed concern that because the proposed sanctions fall under Section 7 of the U.N. Charter, which makes them binding on all member states, they could lead to a blockade or even military action to enforce them.
Versions of the draft resolution late Friday ruled out military action against North Korea, in response to pressure from China and Russia, the AP reported.