UNITED NATIONS, June 5 (RIA Novosti) - The five permanent members of the UN Security Council 'are close' to passing a draft resolution on N. Korea which includes new sanctions against the reclusive communist regime, Russia's UN envoy has said.
The ambassadors from Russia, the U.S., China, the U.K. and France, as well as envoys from Japan and South Korea held a new round of closed-door consultations late on Thursday in an attempt to determine what will be included in the sanctions following Pyongyang's latest nuclear test and missile launches.
"We are very close to finishing the work [on the sanctions]," Vitaly Churkin told reporters after a three-hour meeting at the U.S. mission to the UN in New York.
The UN Security Council has already denounced Pyongyang's May 25 nuclear test as a violation of Resolution 1718 and the international non-proliferation regime. North Korea is under a number of UN sanctions over its first nuclear test, carried out in 2006.
Possible new sanctions may include a ban on importing and exporting all arms and not just heavy weapons, additional asset freezes and travel bans for North Korean officials, and placing more firms on a UN blacklist, according to UN sources.
Once the representatives have agreed the draft text, it will be sent to their governments for approval. The resolution will then be voted on by the 15-nation Security Council.
Churkin earlier said that the new document should be aimed at reducing the risks of nuclear proliferation and encouraging a return to six-nation talks on North Korea's nuclear program, but should not cause hardship for the civilian population.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said he is ready to support economic sanctions to deter North Korea's nuclear program, and will discuss Pyongyang's nuclear test with his U.S. counterpart during Barak Obama's visit to Moscow in July.