April 10, 2012 12:03
The UN Security Council may issue a warning in the form of a president's statement to North Korea against conducting another nuclear test, a South Korean government official said Monday. The North plans to launch a long-range missile between Thursday and next Monday, and there are signs that it is preparing for a third nuclear test this month.
South Korean intelligence services said Sunday they have concluded from satellite pictures that the North is preparing for the nuclear test in Punggye-ri, North Hamgyong Province, the site of the two previous tests in 2006 and 2009.
The official said if North Korea goes ahead with the missile launch, the UN Security Council is likely to adopt a statement condemning it as a violation of the UN resolutions and urging North Korea to desist from "further provocations," meaning the nuclear test.
Another official said, "China agrees with international attempts to discourage North Korea from launching the missile, but once it has been fired, Beijing is likely to oppose sanctions against North Korea because it's concerned that they would only exacerbate the situation and in fact goad the North into conducting a nuclear test."
Thus even if the launch of what the North claims is a space rocket goes ahead, there is unlikely to be a UN resolution slapping sanctions on the North, since China as a permanent member of the UNSC has a veto, so the only option is a non-binding UNSC president's statement.
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