The United States, Japan, Britain and France have presented a binding draft resolution to the United Nations Security Council that would place economic sanctions on North Korea in response to Pyongyang's test-launch of seven missiles this week.
Security Council veto-holders China and Russia had pushed for milder wording in the document introduced on Friday. But U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, said sentiment among Council members for such a resolution was overwhelming.
The resolution calls on member states to prevent the transfer to North Korea of any type of material that could be used in North Korean missiles or weapons of mass destruction. It also instructs North Korea to immediately stop developing, deploying and testing ballistic missiles, and to return to six-party negotiations on its nuclear program.
A vote on the resolution could come as early as Saturday.
Earlier today, President Bush told reporters at a news conference in Chicago that he wants a diplomatic solution to the crisis. He said he wants the world to speak with one voice in opposition to North Korea's missile tests. But he added that arriving at a common goal and message can be a slow and cumbersome process.
North Korea is demanding that Tokyo immediately lift sanctions imposed on Pyongyang in response to the test launches. A North Korean envoy to Japan (Song Il Ho) said his country will retaliate with stronger measures if the sanctions are not lifted.
Tokyo has cut off food aid, barred a North Korean ferry from Japanese ports for six months, and banned North Korean officials from entering the country.
South Korea has rejected Pyongyang's request for military talks, saying they are not appropriate at this time. But Seoul says ministerial talks will go ahead as scheduled next week.
The top U.S. envoy on North Korea, Christopher Hill, is in Seoul on a tour of nations engaged in the six-party nuclear negotiations with North Korea. He is to meet with South Korea's chief negotiator and its foreign minister Saturday.