Britain's Hague seeks China backing for North Korea pressure

PARIS Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:30am EST

PARIS (Reuters) - Britain's foreign minister said on Tuesday there was scope for new United Nations Security Council resolutions on North Korea after it conducted a third nuclear test, but said their impact depended on China's support.

"Those (options) are to be discussed. There is additional pressure and sanctions that can be put in place, but of course they have the most effect if they have the support of China," William Hague told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference on Libya in Paris.

"China agreed that there would be significant action so we will look to them to discuss that."

Hague said all members of the U.N. Security Council had agreed on previous resolutions that called for "significant action" if North Korea continued with its nuclear and ballistic program.

"Now is time to demonstrate that if it continues in this way it will face continued isolation and pressure from all members of the Security Council.

"We will call for such action to be taken," he said.

Hague affirmed the nuclear test on Tuesday was a deliberate breach of existing resolutions.

"It's against the interest of international peace and security. It demonstrates that the government of North Korea is still intent on spending money on nuclear and ballistic missile programs rather than on the basic needs of the people of North Korea that are often in short supply," he said.

(Reporting By John Irish; editing by Mark John)

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