The UN Security Council will adopt a fresh resolution and even tougher sanctions if the renegade country goes ahead with another nuclear test, a senior South Korean government official said Tuesday.
"If the North should carry out a third nuclear test despite the UN resolution, the UN will discuss whether to adopt an additional resolution based on Chapter 7, which stipulates the toughest measures in the UN Charter," the official added.
Chapter 7 of the UN Charter is concerned with "action with respect to threats to the peace, breaches of the peace, and acts of aggression."
The UNSC must "decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41 [economic sanctions] and 42 [military sanctions], to maintain or restore international peace and security."
Chapter 7 was mentioned when the UNSC adopted Resolution 1718 against the North after its first nuclear test in October 2006.
South Korea, which assumes the rotating UNSC presidency next month, is considering ways to work out the toughest resolution, including hard-line financial sanctions.
It is possible to work out a huge range of non-military sanctions under UN Charter Article 41 which stipulates they "may include complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations."