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    UN Security Council votes for sanctions vs. N. Korea

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    The UN Security Council unanimously approved sanctions against North Korea following the reported nuclear test in the reclusive communist state.

    UNITED NATIONS, October 15 (RIA Novosti) - The UN Security Council unanimously approved sanctions against North Korea following the reported nuclear test in the reclusive communist state.

    Pyongyang, which declared it had nuclear weapons in 2005, claimed Monday to have carried out an underground nuclear weapons test. In response to concerns from North Korea's neighbors, China and Russia, the United States ruled out military force against the country, but was pressing for sanctions and drafted a resolution.

    Diplomats accredited at the UN told RIA Novosti that the resolution aims at restraining North Korea's nuclear and missile potential but contained no economic sanctions or appeals for the use of force.

    The resolution, which called North Korea's test a "clear threat to international peace and security", allows inspections of North Korean cargos, which may contain weapons of mass destruction or related supplies.

    The resolution also prohibits trade with North Korea in dangerous weapons, imposes bans on heavy conventional weapons and luxury goods and urges other countries to freeze funds connected with North Korea's non-conventional arms programs.

    The sanctions will be lifted as soon as Pyongyang agrees to give up its nuclear programs and returns to the six-nation talks.

    The six-nation talks - North Korea, South Korea, Russia, Japan, China and the United States - on the nuclear issue were launched in 2003, when the North withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but stalled last November over Pyongyang's demands that the U.S. lift sanctions imposed on it for its alleged involvement in counterfeiting and other illegal activities.

    Russian Ambassador at the UN Vitaly Churkin said, "The sanctions aim to return North Korea to its nuclear-free status immediately and to resume the six-nation talks without preliminary conditions."

    He said the resolution contained "extraordinary measures" but its purpose was to prevent further escalation of tensions.

    U.S. President George W. Bush said the resolution showed "the world is united in our opposition to its nuclear weapons plans" and the North Korean delegation called the resolution "gangster-like" and warned that Pyongyang considered any further U.S. pressure a "declaration of war" before leaving the Security Council's meeting.

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