Seoul sees North Korea action at U.N.

Jan. 2, 2013 at 11:00 AM
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SEOUL, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- Negotiations at the U.N. Security Council over a response to North Korea's rocket launch in December may start next week, a South Korean official said.

North Korea in December deployed a satellite into orbit with a rocket that is believed to be able to reach the U.S. West Coast. An April launch attempt failed, though it followed pledges by Pyongyang to ban military and nuclear tests.

A South Korean government official was quoted by the country's Yonhap news agency as saying on condition of anonymity that Security Council debates on the launch should start soon.

"Security Council negotiations are likely to start early next week, although no date for the talks has been set," the official said.

South Korea this week took its seat alongside Australia for a two-year stint at the U.N. Security Council, increasing Seoul's leverage in North Korean debates. Seoul, reports Yonhap, accuses China of blocking efforts at the United Nations for tighter sanctions on Pyongyang.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un offered a conciliatory tone in a New Year's Day address, a first since 1994. South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan, though avoiding the Tuesday address, called on Pyongyang to "make wise and right decisions" for the new year.

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