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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 July 2006, 21:22 GMT 22:22 UK
UN votes for N Korean sanctions
2002 picture of Taepodong-type missile
Pyongyang warns UN sanctions would be strongly opposed
The UN Security Council has unanimously voted to impose sanctions on North Korea following recent missile tests.

The resolution demands UN members bar exports and imports of missile-related materials to North Korea and that it halt its ballistic missile programme.

The move comes after North Korea test-fired seven missiles including a long-range Taepodong-2 - believed to be capable of reaching Alaska.

North Korea has said it "totally rejects" the resolution.

'Unambiguous message'

Japan had produced its draft resolution for the 15-member Security Council just days after tests earlier this month.

The council has acted swiftly and robustly in response to the reckless and condemnable act
Shintaro Ito
Japan Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs

To avert a veto from China, the resolution does not mention Chapter Seven of the UN Charter, which is legally binding and can authorise sanctions or even military action.

The resolution requires all UN members to prevent imports from or exports to North Korea of materials that could be used in weapons of mass destruction.

The resolution underlines the need for North Korea "to show restraint and refrain from any action that might aggravate tension".

And it calls for Pyongyang to return to six-nation talks over its nuclear programme.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso urged North Korea to obey the vote.

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

The UK and US ambassadors to the UN described the resolution as strong and binding.

US Ambassador John Bolton said it sent "an unequivocal, unambiguous and unanimous message to Pyongyang".

He said that if North Korea did not comply with the resolution, the council could consider further action.

Missile moratorium

The country drew worldwide condemnation and sparked intense negotiations following its missile tests on 4 and 5 July.

The missiles failed and fell into the Sea of Japan.

It was Pyongyang's first test of a long-range missile since a self-imposed moratorium in 1999.

The last time North Korea tested a long-range missile was in 1998, when it launched a Taepodong-1 over northern Japan.

N Korea has told the UN they reject the resolution

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