Washington, March 5: United Nations diplomats said on Tuesday that the US and China have reached a tentative agreement on imposing new sanctions on North Korea for its latest nuclear test. Pyongyang had threatened to violate the armistice that had concluded its three-year war with South Korea in the 1950s.
The UN Security Council was to hold closed-door meetings on North Korea on Tuesday and diplomats later said that they were looking forward to a voting on the proposed resolution by this weekend.
On February 12, the council had unanimously condemned Pyongyang's nuclear test as a violation of the existing UN sanctions on the latter's nuclear and missile programmes. Pyongyang even asserted that its third and the most-powerful test conducted in February was aimed at the US, which it termed as its arch-enemy.
Even as the west was thinking on ways to deter North Korea, the latter stepped up its rhetoric and threatened to scrap the 1953 armistice with Seoul if the latter had gone ahead with its plans to conduct annual military exercises with the US, its ally. The Korean People's Army warned of surgical strikes to unify the divided Korean Peninsula. Pyongyang had also issued similar, though less aggressive, threats before at a time coinciding with the joint US-South Korean naval courses.
The Xinhua news agency of China also said that the North Korean officials stopped the work of its delegate at Panmunjom near the border with South Korea where the two sides meet for negotiations.