AFPUNITED NATIONS (AFP-Jiji) — The United States has formally requested a U.N. Security Council vote on Monday on tough new sanctions against North Korea, despite resistance from China and Russia, as Pyongyang’s state media calls for a nuclear arms buildup.
Washington has presented a draft U.N. resolution calling for an oil embargo on North Korea, an assets freeze on Kim Jong Un, a ban on textiles and an end to payments of North Korean guest workers.
Diplomatic sources said Russia and China opposed the measures as a whole, except for the ban on textiles, during a meeting Friday of experts from the 15 Security Council members.
“This evening, the United States informed the U.N. Security Council that it intends to call a meeting to vote on a draft resolution to establish additional sanctions on North Korea on Monday, September 11,” a statement from the U.S. mission to the United Nations read.
The statement declined to say what text would be voted on — the original draft Washington first presented Wednesday, an amended text or another version.
In North Korea, which was marking the anniversary of the nation’s founding Saturday, local media issued fresh calls for a nuclear arms buildup, in defiance of the mounting international sanctions.
One month after a ban on coal, iron and shellfish imports from North Korea, diplomatic sources said council members are seeking new measures to punish Pyongyang for its sixth and largest nuclear test on Sept. 3.
The diplomats expressed optimism for the U.S.-backed measure, despite Russia and China’s reticence.
“I don’t really see a veto at this point, and I think we will reach agreement,” because all members have shown a “willingness to negotiate,” an expert on the matter said on condition of anonymity.
A ban on oil and oil products is the “toughest point,” a source familiar with the discussions said.
“The Russians and the Chinese are categorically opposed.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said it is too early to talk about a vote at the Security Council on new North Korea sanctions, insisting any pressure should be balanced against restarting talks.