Moscow (AsiaNews) In a joint statement released this morning US President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed that North Korea must accept UN Security Council resolution and return without prior conditions to the six-nation nuclear talks. Both leaders expressed their concern about recent North Korean missile tests but were confident that Pyongyang will accept the conditions imposed by the United Nations, which on Saturday after ten day of discussions adopted a common position towards the regime led by "dear leader" Kim Jong-il.
In its unanimous vote the Security Council demands that North Korea suspend all missile activities and return to the stalled talks. It also imposes sanctions on Pyongyang that affect only import and export of missile technology.
The resolution also "requires all member states . . . to exercise vigilance and prevent missile and missile related items, materials, goods and technology being transferred to (North Korea's) missile or WMD (weapons of mass destruction) programs".
France and the United Kingdom tabled the final draft of the resolution. It contained changes compared to the Japanese draft which had called for the intervention of peace keeping forces and an economic embargo that would have finished off the already weak North Korean economy.
North Korean ambassador to the UN Pak Gil Yon said his country "totally rejects" the resolution and that the tests were ordinary military operations. In his view, the Security Council was trying to isolate his country in order to weaken it and force it to submit to new colonialists. In order to avoid this, North Korea will "continue the launches to bolster its self-defence".
In its response, South Korea threatened to stop humanitarian aid to the North, which is the only source of support for a good proportion of North Korea's population.