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CNN BREAKING NEWS

IAEA Resolution Finds North Korea in Breach of U.N.

Aired February 12, 2003 - 10:26   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: We are going to interrupt CIA director George Tenet, who you see before the Senate Armed Services hearing, to let you know about breaking news that we have here. We are going to Vienna, where we have Halitsa Vassileva standing by at the governing board of the U.N. nuclear watchdog. They have just now pass a resolution declaring North Korea in breach of U.N. safeguards, and sent that issue to the U.N. Security Council.
So we're going get more on that now from Halitsa Vassileva.

Halitsa, what can you tell us.

HALITSA VASSILEVA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Heidi, as you just mentioned, they have passed this resolution, finding North Korea in further breach of its commitments under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. The vote came down as follows: 31 voted for, there were none votes against it. There were two abstentions, Russia and Cuba. One was absent, and one not allowed to vote. So basically, no one against it, but two abstentions.

Russia had expressed concerns about this resolution and about reporting North Korea to the Security Council, thinking that it could backfire, that it could push the North Koreans into further defiance and make it less and less likely a diplomatic solution could be possible.

So at this point, Russia deciding not vote against the resolution, but abstaining. And now what that means is that the IAEA will report the North Korean breach to the U.N. Security Council. The Security Council has several options that it can use. It can use a diplomatic option. It can opt for imposing sanctions on North Korea. Or it could also call for the use of military force.

At this point, analysts do not expect the U.N. Security Council to go as far as sanctions or military force. They expect it to go and try again diplomatic options, possibly offering North Korea if it complies, offering it some economic help. That is something being discussed right now behind the scenes.

But at this point, this vote has been passed, the resolution has been passed, and North Korea's breach is going to be the U.N. Security Council. North Korea earlier today indicated that it considers this to be a bilateral matter between itself and the United States, and that a diplomatic solution could only come if the United States sat down with North Korea face-to-face to resolve the issue. It has asked the United Kingdom to use its leverage with the Bush administration to convince it to hold those bilateral talks. So this is where things stand right now.

Back to you, Heidi.

COLLINS: All right, Halitsa Vassileva in Vienna, we are going to head back to you if anything should develop out of there. We'll be checking in for now.

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