UNITED NATIONS - U.N. Security Council negotiations on how to respond to North Korea's launch of a long-range rocket are deadlocked, U.N. diplomats say.

The United States and Japan say Sunday's launch violated Security Council resolution 1718, imposed in 2006 after North Korea's nuclear test, which bans the firing of ballistic missiles or further nuclear tests by Pyongyang. They want the council to pass a resolution aimed at punishing North Korea.

China and Russia, which have veto powers on the council, question whether the launch was a violation and have so far blocked efforts to punish Pyongyang for Sunday's launch.

North Korea has warned the council that it would take strong steps if it took any action. Analysts say this could mean pulling out of the stalled six-party talks on ending its nuclear arms program and restarting some nuclear facilities.

The five veto-wielding permanent council members -- United States, Britain, France, China and Russia -- and Japan have met several times to try for a deal but have been unsuccessful.

Following are possible outcomes of the 15-nation Security Council negotiations on the rocket launch.


* Declares North Korea violated resolution 1718.

* Imposes new sanctions on Pyongyang.

* The preferred outcome for United States and Japan but unlikely since China and Russia would probably veto it.

* Would have been a political victory for Washington and Tokyo and a defeat for China and Russia, the main protectors of North Korea on the council.

* North Korea's government would retaliate.


* Declares that North Korea violated 1718.

* Calls for expanding existing sanctions but no new steps.

* It could also demand better enforcement of existing financial sanctions and arms embargo against North Korea.

* This outcome is also unlikely, due to Russian and Chinese opposition.

* It would be a victory for Japan and the United States, a defeat for Russia and China. North Korea would retaliate.


* Expresses concern about the launch without declaring that Pyongyang violated resolution 1718.

* No new punitive measures and no expansion of old ones.

* Reaffirms past resolutions on North Korea and calls for a resumption of the six-party talks.

* This is a very likely option and is being considered by Japan and the United States.

* China and Russia could allow it to pass by abstaining.

* Partial victory for Japan and United States, which want the council to pass a resolution, even if it is a weak one.

* North Korea could ignore it if China or Russia abstain but would likely respond with harsh criticism of the council.


* A so-called presidential statement is read out by the president of the Security Council, currently Mexican U.N. Ambassador Claude Heller, and remains in the official record.

* Non-binding but can difficult to agree on divisive issues because they must be agreed unanimously.

* United States would accept it as long as it is a strongly worded condemnation, something China and Russia reject.

* Disliked by Tokyo, which diplomats say wants a resolution to protect its unpopular government from criticism at home.

* China has also proposed a press statement, which would be read out to reporters but would not be included in the official record. Tokyo and Washington dislike this option.

* North Korea might react to a council statement with harsh words but could ignore it because it is not binding.


* Council members could give up and do nothing.

* Americans and Japanese would blame Russia and China.

* China and Russia would not have a problem with this.

* North Korea would treat it as a victory.

* It is an unlikely option since the United States, Britain, France and Japan want the council to do something to show that major powers are not divided on the issue.

* Japan's government could be accused of failure at home.