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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia ready for strong UN resolution on N.Korea

RIA Novosti

09:2727/05/2009 UNITED NATIONS, May 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's ambassador to the United Nations has said his country is prepared to back a strong resolution against North Korea over its recent nuclear test.

Russia has in recent years joined China in opposing tough sanctions against the reclusive communist state, but has voiced alarm over Monday's underground nuclear test explosion, conducted near Russia's border.

After Tuesday's closed-door talks at the UN headquarters in New York, Vitaly Churkin told reporters: "We are prepared to support a strong resolution."

He said that "various opinions and various proposals" were put forward at the meeting, attended by diplomats from the five permanent Security Council members - Russia, the U.S., the U.K, France and China - as well as South Korea and Japan.

However, Churkin said it was too early to discuss specific measures.

"We first need to inform the capital, and then we plan to work on this as intensively as possible," he said.

Pyongyang is already under UN sanctions over its first nuclear test, carried out in 2006. A diplomatic source in the UN told RIA Novosti that "various options for a resolution on sanctions" were put forward during the UN consultations.

On Tuesday, North Korea reportedly fired two short-range missiles into the Pacific in apparent defiance against international pressure over its nuclear test explosion. The missiles bring the total number launches to six in the past three days.

South Korea's Yonhap agency attributed the report to an unnamed government official, who called the launch "saber-rattling."

The Security Council held an emergency session hours after Pyongyang announced its underground nuclear test blast, which Russia later said had a force similar to the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.

Churkin said after the session that the members "voiced their strong opposition to and condemnation of the nuclear test."

U.S. President Barack Obama, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso discussed the issue by telephone on Monday night.

The White House said in a statement that all three "agreed to work closely together to seek and support a strong United Nations Security Council resolution with concrete measures to curtail North Korea's nuclear and missile activities."

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