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S. Korea, U.S. seek new U.N. resolution against N. Korea
NEW YORK, Dec. 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and the United States agreed Wednesday to push for a new U.N. resolution against North Korea for its latest rocket launch, heralding another tug-of-war with China and Russia.

   "A shared perception between South Korea and the U.S. is that there is no other method than adopting a resolution, as North Korea carried out a provocation toward the international community jut eight months after its April launch," a U.N. diplomat said on the condition of anonymity.

   Earlier in the day, the U.N. Security Council opened an emergency meeting to discuss ways to cope with the North's apparently successful firing of a long-range rocket on Tuesday (U.S. time).

   The 15-nation council is in a more serious mood than it was in April, when a North Korean launch failed, according to the diplomat.

   In April, the council adopted a nonbinding presidential statement condemning the North's move.

   In a brief statement after the first-day session, the council made clear Tuesday's launch violated the existing U.N. resolutions, which ban Pyongyang from conducting any launch using ballistic missile technology.

   "Members of the Security Council will continue consultation on an appropriate response, given the urgency of the matter," read the statement.

   As with previous cases, China and Russia, which have veto power, are expected to stand in the way of efforts by the U.S. and its allies to take strong actions against Pyongyang.

   Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in Beijing the U.N. council's response should be "prudent and moderate and conducive to maintaining stability and avoiding escalation of the situation."

   Beijing is apparently reluctant to accept tough sanctions on Pyongyang that may trigger instability in its communist neighbor.

  Discussions on North Korea in the U.N. may also be affected by a drawn-out power game among the world's powers.

   China is seen as having supported Russia on the Syria issue, a source said. It raises the possibility that Russia will back China on North Korea.

   If the Security Council agrees to seek a new U.N. resolution, it would set the stage for fierce debates on detailed wording, a process likely to take more than a week.

   "I believe the Security Council will take appropriate action in a swift and robust manner," said Kim Sook, South Korea's top envoy in the U.N.