The U.N. Security Council plans to vote Saturday after reaching a compromise on a resolution that would impose sanctions on North Korea for its claimed nuclear test.
The compromise text specifically rules out the use of force in what is seen as a concession to China and Russia. Officials from those countries met Friday in Moscow and said they oppose what Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called "extreme sanctions."
The draft U.N. resolution includes economic and weapons sanctions against North Korea, including a travel ban and financial restrictions.
Meanwhile, officials from both the United States and a Vienna-based nuclear monitoring body (Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization) said analysis of seismic data and air samples taken after North Korea claimed to have detonated a nuclear device shows no evidence of such an event. But they say that does not rule out that a nuclear test was conducted.
In other developments, Russia's Itar-Tass news agency quotes Russia's deputy foreign minister Alexander Alexeyev as saying in Pyongyang that North Korea is open to returning to the six party talks on its nuclear program in the near future.
In Washington, President Bush signed a law allowing the United States to impose sanctions on any foreigner who provides weapons technology to North Korea.
Japan's government also approved its own sanctions on North Korea Friday, including barring all imports from North Korea, banning North Korean ships from Japanese waters, and prohibiting most North Korean nationals from entering Japan.
North Korea is threatening to carry out more nuclear tests. Pyongyang has said it would regard any tough new sanctions as a declaration of war.