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Russian UN envoy backs 'strong' response to N.Korea nuclear test


MOSCOW, June 2 (RIA Novosti) - The international community should give a "strong" response to North Korea's nuclear test, Russia's UN envoy said in an interview with a Russian government daily on Tuesday.

At an emergency meeting last week the UN Security Council denounced Pyongyang's nuclear test on May 25 as a gross violation of Resolution 1718 and the international non-proliferation regime. The need was voiced unanimously to draft a new resolution on the North, already under a number of UN sanctions over its first nuclear test, carried out in 2006.

"Taking into account the inacceptable nature of North Korea's 'nuclear demarche,' we believe that such a decision should be strong, yet should not lead to the complete international isolation of North Korea, which would not contribute to the long-term consolidation of stability on the Korean Peninsula and in the entire region," Vitaly Churkin said in an interview with Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

Churkin called for the introduction of target restrictions against North Korea, "adequate to the threat to the nuclear non-proliferation regime."

"The resolution should be aimed at the resumption as soon as possible of the six-nation talks on resolving the nuclear problem on the Korean peninsula," the Russian envoy said.

The six-nation talks, involving North and South Korea, Russia, Japan, China and the United States, were launched in 2003 after Pyongyang withdrew from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).

Possible new sanctions may include a ban on importing and exporting all arms and not just heavy weapons, additional asset freezes and travel bans for North Korean officials, and placing more firms on a UN blacklist, according to UN sources.

The reclusive communist state threatened it would respond if the UN Security Council issued a new resolution and sanctions following an underground nuclear test and the launch of at least six short-range missiles last week.

"If the UN Security Council continues provocations, we will inevitably respond with further self-defense measures," the North Korean Foreign Ministry said on Friday in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.

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