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U.N. slaps trade, travel sanctions on North Korea

Story Highlights

• World body punishes North Korea for claimed nuclear weapons test
Bush: "Swift, tough" resolution says world united against N. Korean nukes
• Resolution bans trade, luxury goods, travel by some officials
• NK ambassador "totally rejects" resolution, and walks out of chamber
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UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Saturday to slap North Korea with trade, travel and other sanctions as punishment for its claimed nuclear weapons test.

President Bush described the U.N. action as a "swift and tough" message that the world is "united in our determination to see to it that the Korean Peninsula is nuclear-weapons free."

He said North Korea has an opportunity for "a better way forward" and promised help to the impoverished country if it verifiably ends its nuclear weapons program. North Korean ambassador to the United Nations Pak Gil Yon said Pyongyang "totally rejects the unjustifiable resolution." (Full story)

"If the United States increases pressure upon [North Korea] persistently, [it] will continue to take physical countermeasures considering it as a declaration of war," Pak, said. (Watch Pak accuse council of being "gangster-like" -- 5:15)

After Pak spoke, he walked out of the chamber. That prompted John Bolton, the U.S. ambassador, to point to Pak's empty chair and denounce him.

Bolton said the 15-0 vote sent a "clear and strong message" to North Korea, whose claimed nuclear test on Monday poses "one of the gravest threats to peace and security" the council has ever confronted. (Watch U.S. slam North Korean walkout at U.N. -- :48)

The resolution calls on Pyongyang to end all nuclear weapons programs, Bolton said. It forbids U.N. member nations from North Korean trade involving nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction.

North Korean government officials known to be involved in WMD efforts are banned from traveling to member states. It also includes a North Korean ban on "luxury goods." (Resolution text)

The ban appeared to be directed at North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, who has a long, documented record of living a life of luxury while his people battled against a national famine. On Friday Bolton said, "The North Korean population's been losing average height and weight over the years, and maybe this will be a little diet for Kim Jong Il."

South Korea's ambassador to the United Nations welcomed the resolution, saying it had his government's full support.

Choi Young-Jian urged North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program and "return immediately to the six-party talks without any preconditions."

South Korea, the United States and four other nations have been trying to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

China: Sanctions 'balanced, constructive'

Wang Guangya, U.N. ambassador for China -- a strong ally of North Korea --said the resolution represents "a balanced and constructive message."

"I think that all sides have to exercise restraint," Wang said. "No more provocation. And also the important thing is that in the face of such crisis, I think it is all the more important for the international community to reinvigorate diplomatic efforts to find a solution for the nuclear issue on the Korea Peninsula."

He said that all parties must "avoid any acts that may cause escalation of tension" in the region.

The vote was scheduled soon after negotiators reached an agreement on the sticking point of cargo inspections, the language over which China earlier had expressed some concerns.

Rather than mandating stop and search operations, "the resolution will say to countries to inspect as necessary all goods going in and out of North Korea," CNN's Richard Roth reported.

The aim is to stop materials and technology that could be used for nuclear weapons production from going to or from North Korea.

'Radioactive debris' detected

A preliminary analysis of air samples from North Korea showed "radioactive debris consistent with a North Korea nuclear test," according to a statement sent to U.S. lawmakers Friday from the office of Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte.

If the evidence is confirmed, the United States would be in a position to say the North Korean test was nuclear, a U.S. official told CNN on Friday.

Two U.S. government officials with access to classified information earlier told CNN that an initial air sampling showed no indication of radioactive debris.

Confirmation would make the blast the world's first nuclear weapons test since Pakistan's underground explosion in 1998. The claim has renewed fears of a regional arms race and that North Korea might aid terrorists with nuclear materials or technology. (Full story)

Rice mission

As the council members met in New York, word came that North Korea may consider resuming six-nation talks aimed at resolving the nuclear dispute.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Alexeyev and North Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Gye-gwan "discussed opportunities to resume the six-nation process and the settlement of the problem of a full denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula by peaceful and diplomatic means," Russia's Foreign Ministry said on its Web site.

The Bush administration has insisted any negotiations with Pyongyang be conducted within the framework of six-party talks among North Korea, the United States, Russia, China, South Korea and Japan. The latest draft of the Security Council resolution calls on North Korea to return to those talks without precondition.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is to visit Asia next week to shore up alliances and discuss the North Korean crisis.

Rice is scheduled to be in Tokyo, Japan; Seoul, South Korea; and Beijing from Tuesday through October 22, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Friday.

"She's going to be talking about how to go about actually implementing" the expected U.N. resolution, McCormack said.

CNN's Hugh Riminton, Richard Roth, Barbara Starr and Susie Xu contributed to this report.



  • Bans trade with North Korea involved with weapons of mass destruction or high-end military equipment

  • Prevents travel by North Korean government officials known to be involved in WMD efforts

  • Includes ban on "luxury goods"

  • Targets financing of weapons programs through "criminal activity like money laundering, counterfeiting and narcotics"

  • "Imposes binding requirement on all member states to take action against those activities and freeze assets of entities and individuals of North Korea"

  • Provides for an inspection regime that would "ensure compliance with its provisions building on the existing work of the Proliferation Security Initiative"

  • Requires North Korea not to conduct nuclear tests or launch ballistic missiles

  • Demands that North Korea abandon all weapons of mass destruction programs

Source: John Bolton, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations



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