* North Korea space agency will now be blacklisted
* Council warns North against new nuclear test
* China called for cautious resolution on North Korea
* Pyongyang continues work on nuclear test site
(Adds North Korean reaction, details)
By Louis Charbonneau
UNITED NATIONS, Jan 22 The U.N. Security Council
on Tuesday unanimously condemned North Korea's December rocket
launch and expanded existing U.N. sanctions, eliciting a vow
from Pyongyang to boost the North's military and nuclear
Even though the resolution approved by the 15-nation council
does not impose new sanctions on Pyongyang, diplomats said
Beijing's support for it was a significant diplomatic blow to
The resolution said the council "deplores the violations" by
North Korea of its previous resolutions, which banned Pyongyang
from conducting further ballistic missile and nuclear tests and
from importing materials and technology for these programs.
It also said the council "expresses its determination to
take significant action in the event of a further DPRK (North
Korean) launch or nuclear test."
North Korea reacted quickly, saying it would hold no more
talks on the de-nuclearization of the Korean peninsula and would
boost its military and nuclear capabilities.
"We will take measures to boost and strengthen our defensive
military power including nuclear deterrence," its Foreign
Ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency KCNA.
Six-party talks aimed at halting North Korea's nuclear
program have involved North Korea, the United States, China,
Japan, Russia and South Korea. They have been held
intermittently since 2003 but have stalled since 2008.
South Korea says the North is technically ready for a third
nuclear test, and satellite images show it is actively working
on its nuclear site.
The U.N. resolution added six North Korean entities,
including Pyongyang's space agency, the Korean Committee for
Space Technology, and the man heading it, Paek Chang-ho, to an
already existing U.N. blacklist.
CHINA WANTED 'CAUTIOUS RESOLUTION'
The firms and individuals will all face an international
asset freeze, while Paek and the others blacklisted by Tuesday's
resolution - the manager of the rocket launch center and two
North Korean banking officials - will face a global travel ban.
In addition to the space agency, the council blacklisted the
Bank of East Land, Korea Kumryong Trading Corp., Tosong
Technology Trading Corp., Korea Ryonha Machinery Joint Venture
Corp., and Leader (Hong Kong) International. The last, based in
Hong Kong, is the North's main arms dealer, the resolution said.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice welcomed
the resolution, describing it as introducing "new sanctions"
against North Korea. "This resolution demonstrates to North
Korea that there are unanimous and significant consequences for
its flagrant violation of its obligations under previous
resolutions," she said.
Other diplomats, however, said on condition of anonymity
that saying the measures in Tuesday's resolution were new
sanctions would be an exaggeration.
China said 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 escalate
Several diplomats said Beijing's decision to back the
resolution sent a strong message to Pyongyang.
"It might not be much, but the Chinese move is significant,"
a council diplomat told Reuters. "The prospect of a (new)
nuclear test might have been a game changer (for China)."
The United States had wanted to punish North Korea for the
rocket launch with a Security Council resolution that imposed
entirely new sanctions against Pyongyang, but Beijing rejected
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.
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.
North and South Korea are still technically at war because
their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a treaty.
(Additional reporting by Jumin Park and David Chance in Seoul;
Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Philip Barbara)