A diplomat close to talks at the United Nations says the Security
Council is expected to vote soon on a resolution in response to North
Korea's recent underground nuclear test.
The U.N. Security Council began discussing a text of a draft resolution
in a full meeting of its 15 members on Wednesday morning.
A diplomat close to the talks told VOA that the full council is likely to vote on the new resolution on Thursday.
The draft is the product of negotiations by the five permanent members - the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia - with Japan and South Korea.
Media reports say the draft includes additional financial sanctions
against North Korea and also urges countries to impose tighter
inspections of North Korea's ship-based cargo. China reportedly
resisted making the cargo provision mandatory.
Meanwhile, Pyongyang continued its bellicose rhetoric in state media
Wednesday, accusing the United States of "openly hinting at nuclear
war" against North Korea.
In separate news, a Russian deputy prime minister said Wednesday that
he believes the international community will be able to convince North
Korea to halt its test launches of ballistic missiles.
Earlier Wednesday, a Russian military source told the Interfax News
Agency that it has certain information regarding the type and
characteristics of the missile but not when it might be launched. The
source added that Russia would be monitoring the launch, but did not
say whether it would be a short- or long-range missile.
North Korea has launched a series of short-range missiles since
carrying out a nuclear test on May 25 and is reportedly preparing to
launch a long-range missile.
Pyongyang's actions have triggered international condemnation and threats of new sanctions against the reclusive state.
U.S. officials have indicated that Washington may also impose unilateral financial sanctions against North Korea.
A South Korean news report Wednesday cites an unidentified Seoul
official who says South Korea has given the U.S. information about 10
to 20 North Korean bank accounts.
The Chosun Ilbo newspaper says most of the accounts are in Chinese banks, but some are in Switzerland.