The UN Security Council on Wednesday failed to adopt a report on North Korea's uranium enrichment program submitted by a panel of experts on North Korea sanctions due to opposition by China.
The UNSC discussed the report, which urged additional sanctions on the North, in a two-hour closed-door session. But full member China, which has a veto, strongly opposed its adoption, UN officials said.
China's resistance was widely expected, but it brings home once again what an uphill struggle the West faces in bringing the rogue country to heel while it enjoys Beijing's protection.
The panel warned the North may have developed several clandestine facilities over the years, in addition to an enrichment plant it showed to a visiting U.S. expert late last year, and may be selling enriched uranium abroad.
The U.S. and other Western countries wanted the report endorsed and published to ensure transparency for the North Korean sanctions committee.
But China says the uranium facility is less significant than the North claims, and the matter should be discussed in six-party nuclear disarmament talks, which it chairs, not at the UNSC.