UNITED NATIONS The United States and China have agreed on a draft resolution that would expand U.N. Security Council sanctions against North Korea over its latest nuclear test and hope to put it to a vote in the coming days, council diplomats said on Wednesday.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, two council diplomats said Beijing and Washington reached a deal on the draft, which could go to the full 15-member council soon. The two veto powers had been negotiating on a draft resolution for the past seven weeks following Pyongyang's fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6.
"It's a substantive, long, full draft ... which I hope will be adopted in the coming days," a senior council diplomat said. "There were a significant number of blockage points between the two countries ... There is an agreement between those two countries."
China and the United States have had different views on how strong the response should be to North Korea since Pyongyang's nuclear test last month with Washington urging harsh punitive measures and Beijing emphasizing dialogue and milder U.N. steps that are confined to non-proliferation.
The diplomats declined to divulge details about the draft sanctions resolution.
Western diplomats told Reuters that restricting North Korean access to international ports was among the measures Washington was pushing Beijing to accept in the wake of Pyongyang's nuclear test and its latest rocket launch earlier this month.
Washington also wanted to tighten restrictions on North Korean banks' access to the international financial system, the diplomats said.
North Korea has been under U.N. sanctions since 2006 because of its multiple nuclear tests and rocket launches. In addition to a U.N. arms embargo, Pyongyang is banned from importing and exporting nuclear and missile technology and is not allowed to import luxury goods.
China and the United States signalled on Tuesday that they were near agreement on a draft sanctions resolution on North Korea.
(Editing by G Crosse and Alistair Bell)
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First Published On : Feb 25, 2016 04:16 IST