UNITED NATIONS – The U.N. Security Council will meet on Monday to approve a statement condemning North Korea's rocket launch and demanding enforcement of existing sanctions against Pyongyang, a Mexican diplomat said.
The Security Council will hold a meeting at 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT) today regarding the situation in the DPRK (North Korea), said Marco Morales, spokesman for the U.N. mission of Mexico, which holds the council's rotating presidency this month.
We expect the (statement) that was circulated on Saturday among its members to be approved then, he said.
The United States, Japan and South Korea have repeatedly said that North Korea on April 5 launched a long-range ballistic missile, not a satellite as it insists, in violation of Security Council resolution 1718 banning such launches.
Japan had been pushing for a council resolution that would declare Pyongyang in violation of that resolution. But China and Russia, which have vetoes on the council, opposed this. They were not convinced the rocket launch was a violation.
China insisted instead that the council adopt a cautious and proportionate presidential statement, which is a formal statement of the council's position by its president. Statements must be adopted unanimously but are generally seen as weaker than resolutions.
The Security Council condemns the 5 April 2009 launch by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), which is in contravention of Security Council resolution 1718, the draft statement says.
The statement, penned by Washington and agreed in a meeting on Saturday of the five permanent council members and Japan, also orders the U.N. Sanctions Committee to begin enforcing financial sanctions and an arms embargo laid down in resolution 1718. That agreement ended a week-long deadlock on the issue.
Resolution 1718 was passed after a nuclear test by Pyongyang in October 2006. It forbids North Korea from launching ballistic missiles or carrying out further nuclear tests. It also bans the import or export of arms and related goods by Pyongyang.
Analysts say that the passage of the council statement will be largely symbolic and is unlikely to result in a strict enforcement of sanctions against Pyongyang.