Security Council votes for N. Korea sanctions
Pyongyang vows to continue missile test launches


UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Saturday to impose limited sanctions on North Korea for its recent missile tests and demanded that the reclusive communist nation suspend its ballistic missile program.

North Korea immediately rejected the resolution and vowed to continue missile launches.

U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said North Korea set "a world record" for a rejection -- in just 45 minutes -- but warned that Pyongyang's failure to comply could lead to further council action. (Read the resolution)

The resolution bans all U.N. member states from selling material or technology for missiles or weapons of mass destruction to North Korea -- and it bans all countries from receiving missiles, banned weapons or technology from Pyongyang.

It condemns North Korea's multiple missile launches on July 5 and demands that North Korea "suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile program" and re-establish a moratorium on missile launching. It also strongly urges North Korea to return to six-party talks on its nuclear program, which have been stalled since last September.

North Korea's U.N. Ambassador Pak Gil Yon, who was in the Security Council chamber for the vote, spoke afterward and accused the council of trying to isolate his country, known officially as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"The delegation of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea resolutely condemns the attempt of some countries to misuse the Security Council for the despicable political aim to isolate and put pressure on the DPRK and totally rejects the resolution," he said.

The Korean People's Army "will go on with missile launch exercises as part of its efforts to bolster deterrent for self-defense in the future, too," he said.

Pak warned that North Korea will "take stronger physical actions of other forms should any other country dares take issue with the exercises and put pressure on it."

Pak also told the council the six-party talks were a separate issue and made no mention of North Korea returning to them.

"The DPRK remains unchanged in its will to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula in a negotiated peaceful manner just as it committed itself in the September 19 joint statement of the six-party talks," he said. "The latest missile launch exercises are quite irrelevant to the six-party talks."

At the end of his speech, he immediately left the council chamber in a move considered a breach of diplomatic protocol.

Agreement on the resolution culminated 10 days of difficult negotiations and was reached after a last-minute compromise between Japan, the United States and Britain -- who wanted a tough statement -- and Russia and China, who favored weaker language.

In the final negotiations, the council was divided on one issue: If the resolution should be adopted under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, which allows for the use of military force to make sure the resolution is obeyed.

China had threatened to veto any resolution that mentioned Chapter 7 and in the final compromise proposed by Britain, with support from France and China, it was dropped.

Resolution passed unanimously
The resolution adopted Saturday by a 15-0 vote states that the Security Council was "acting under its special responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security."

The United States, Britain, France and Japan insist that even without Chapter 7, the resolution is mandatory and all countries are required to comply -- including North Korea.

Japan, which views itself as a potential target of North Korean missiles, sponsored the initial resolution, but it was put to a vote as a presidential text, with the support of all council members.

"The council has acted swiftly and robustly in response to the reckless and condemnable act of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea," Japan's Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Shintaro Ito told the council.

Before Pak spoke, Bolton said the United States looked forward "to North Korea's full, unconditional and immediate compliance with this Security Council resolution."

"It sends an unequivocal, unambiguous and unanimous message to Pyongyang: suspend your ballistic missile program; stop your procurement of materials related to weapons of mass destruction, and implement your September, 2005 commitment to verifiably dismantle your nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs," he told the council.

British Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry was equally tough, saying: "The requirements of this resolution are clear and the DPRK and all states concerned must now comply with these obligations."

China's Ambassador Wang Guangya said his country, the North's closest ally, adopted "a responsible attitude" in opposing a Chapter 7 resolution, which would "further complicate and aggravate the situation.

Russia's Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said the resolution sends "an appropriate signal" to North Korea "on the need to display restraint and to abide by its obligations regarding missiles, and at the same time it should work in favor of continuing the negotiating process in the interest of strengthening security and stability in the region."