Washington could see its wish for a swift vote on UN sanctions against North Korea delayed after China and Russia said they wanted more time. Interpretation of Chapter Seven of the UN Charter – under which the draft is formulated – is the main sticking point as it could allow the use of force. China remains opposed to military action.
“I think there are common objectives unifying all council members: that we should send a strong, clear message,” said China’s UN ambassador Wang Guangya. “But there are some differences as in which way the language would be effective, especially in terms of providing more room for diplomatic efforts,” he added.
Japan is expected to approve fresh sanctions against North Korea on Friday. Pyongyang has responded by saying it will take “strong countermeasures” against Beijing. China and South Korea, the only two countries with any potential influence over North Korea, meet on Friday to try to find a response to Pyongyang’s nuclear defiance.