* U.S. wants Security Council to condemn North Korea rocket
* Draft result of deal between U.S., China
(Adds details about resolution)
By Louis Charbonneau
UNITED NATIONS, Jan 21 The United States has
circulated a draft resolution to the U.N. Security Council that
would condemn North Korea for its December rocket launch and
calls for tightening existing U.N. sanctions, diplomats said on
The draft was the result of a deal between the United States
and China, the envoys said on condition of anonymity. Even
though the draft does not call for any new sanctions against
Pyongyang, diplomats said China's support for the resolution
represented a significant diplomatic blow to Pyongyang.
"We hope to have a vote midweek," one diplomat told Reuters
on condition of anonymity.
China said earlier on Monday that the Security Council
needed to pass a cautious resolution on North Korea, adding
that this was the best way to ensure regional tensions did not
Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin voiced Moscow's
backing for the draft text last week.
"I expect we will support it," Russia's state-run RIA
Novosti news agency quoted Churkin as saying. "I don't expect
that the U.N. Security Council members will have any serious
problems (with the resolution)."
"Our position is that the North Korean rocket launch is a
violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution, so the council
should react," Churkin said.
The draft, which was sent to the 15 council members, calls
for sanctioning a number of additional North Korean entities,
including Pyongyang's space agency, diplomats said on condition
North and South Korea are still technically at war because
their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a treaty.
The United States had wanted to punish North Korea for the
rocket launch with a U.N. Security Council resolution that
imposed new sanctions against Pyongyang, but Beijing rejected
Beijing had wanted the council to merely issue a statement
calling for its North Korea sanctions committee to expand the
existing U.N. blacklists, diplomats said.
COUNCIL CONDEMNS THE MOVE
The U.S.-Chinese deal, they said, was that Washington would
forgo the idea of immediate new sanctions, while Beijing would
accept the idea of a resolution instead of a statement. This
makes the rebuke more forceful.
After North Korea's April 2012 rocket launch, the council
passed a "presidential statement" that condemned the move and
urged the Security Council sanctions committee to tighten the
existing U.N. sanctions regime.
The committee then blacklisted additional North Korean firms
and broadened a list of items Pyongyang was banned from
China is the North's only major diplomatic ally, although it
agreed to U.N. sanctions against Pyongyang after North Korea's
2006 and 2009 nuclear tests.
North Korea is already banned under Security Council
resolutions from developing nuclear and missile technology. But
it has been working steadily on its nuclear test site, possibly
in preparation for a third nuclear test, satellite images show.
December's successful long-range rocket launch, the first to
put a satellite in orbit, was a coup for North Korea's young
leader, Kim Jong-un.
(Reporting By Louis Charbonneau; Editing by Peter Cooney and