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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Japan pushes for tougher UN sanctions against N.Korea

RIA Novosti

10:4528/05/2009 UN, May 28 (RIA Novosti) - A ban on flights, freezing foreign assets and tougher restrictions on arms sales to North Korea are among sanctions Japan wants the UN to impose against Pyongyang, a diplomat said.

Representatives of the U.S., Russia, Japan, China, Britain, France and South Korea met behind closed doors in New York to discuss tighter UN sanctions against the reclusive Communist state which carried out a nuclear test on Monday and test-fired a number of missiles this week.

A draft UN resolution condemned North Korea's actions, demanding a stop to further nuclear tests and access to North Korean nuclear facilities. The UN also wants Pyongyang to return to the six-nation talks.

A source at the UN said the authors of the draft resolution also pushed for the introduction of a mechanism to implement and control them. All UN member countries will be asked to report on measures taken by their governments to implement the sanctions within 30 days after the resolution has been adopted.

Russia, a veto-wielding Security Council member, which in the past has refused to back Western calls for tougher sanctions against the North, said a "strong resolution" was needed against Pyongyang this time.

"The Security Council must speak out firmly and outline measures to prevent a further erosion of the non-proliferation regime," Sergei Lavrov told a news conference in Moscow.

Pyongyang is already under a number of UN sanctions over its first nuclear test, carried out in 2006.

The Japanese proposals that could get the backing of Washington will be discussed at the second round of talks scheduled for Thursday.

Diplomats at the UN said on Wednesday they expected a new resolution to be adopted early next week.

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