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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 October 2006, 21:27 GMT 22:27 UK
UN slaps sanctions on North Korea
China's UN envoy, Wang Guangya, votes in favour of Resolution 1718
China backed the text despite "reservations" on cargo checks

The UN Security Council has voted unanimously in favour of a resolution imposing sanctions on North Korea over its claimed nuclear test.

Resolution 1718 imposes weapons and financial sanctions but is not backed by the threat of military force.

North Korea's UN envoy said he totally rejected the resolution and walked out.

After hours of talks, China agreed to back the resolution but said it had "reservations" about provisions for cargo checks on North Korean ships.

The Security Council... condemns the nuclear test proclaimed by the DPRK on 9 October 2006 in flagrant disregard of its relevant resolutions
UNSC Resolution 1718
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US President George W Bush said the UN had taken a "swift and tough" step to show its determination to keep the Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons.

North Korea's UN envoy, Pak Gil Yon, left the UN chamber after rejecting the "unjustifiable" resolution and accusing the Security Council of neglecting US pressure on North Korea.

He warned that any increase in US pressure would be considered as a "declaration of war".

The resolution:

  • Demands North Korea eliminate all its nuclear weapons, weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles

    North Korean UN envoy Pak Gil Yon
    North Korea's envoy walked out of the chamber

  • Requires all countries to prevent the sale or transfer of materials related to Pyongyang's unconventional weapons programmes, as well as large-sized military items such as tanks, missiles and helicopters

  • Demands nations freeze funds overseas of people or businesses connected with North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs

  • Allows nations to inspect "as necessary" cargo moving in and out of North Korea to check for banned items

  • Bans export of luxury goods to North Korea

  • Calls on Pyongyang to return "without precondition" to stalled six-nation talks on its nuclear programme.

'Not indefinite'

John Bolton, the US envoy to the UN, warned the Security Council that stronger measures might be required if North Korea did not comply.

Believed to have 'handful' of nuclear weapons
But not thought to have any small enough to put in a missile
Could try dropping from plane, though world watching closely

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov said that both Moscow and Beijing believed the sanctions should not be viewed as indefinite.

"If North Korea returns to six-party talks and these talks achieve progress, sanctions... should be automatically lifted," he said.

China and Russia have been concerned that the cargo inspections permitted in the resolution could spark naval confrontations with North Korean boats.

China's UN envoy Wang Guangya called on UN member states to adopt a "prudent and responsible attitude" to the checks and refrain from "provocative steps".

The BBC's Laura Trevelyan at the UN says China has taken the slightly confusing position of apparently disagreeing with something to which it has signed up.

She says the test of the resolution will be in the implementation of the sanctions.

Revised resolution

The US proposed the initial draft resolution but revised it to remove the threat of imminent military action and dilute a blanket ban on defence exports in an effort to allay Chinese and Russian concerns.

US officials say they may have detected radioactive gas consistent with a nuclear explosion near the site of North Korea's claimed nuclear test on Monday.

Throughout the week there has been uncertainty about whether North Korea carried out a nuclear test, tried to but failed, or made a false claim.

White House officials cautioned that this result alone did not confirm a successful test but it could mean that a nuclear test had been attempted.

The North Korean envoy walks out after the vote

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