UN vote on North Korea sanctions delayed
A UN Security Council vote on the toughest sanctions on North Korea in two decades has been postponed at Russia's request.
The US and North Korea's traditional ally China spent seven weeks negotiating the new sanctions in response to Pyongyang's latest nuclear test and rocket launch. Both are in defiance of previous council resolutions.
The measures include mandatory inspections of cargo leaving and entering North Korea by sea or air, and the vote will now take place on Wednesday.
Russia, which received the new draft on Thursday along with other council members, had asked for time to study the lengthy text, and suggested changes.
The US late on Monday asked the council to schedule a vote on Tuesday afternoon, but after Russia invoked a procedural 24-hour review of the resolution, it was delayed until Wednesday.
Angola's UN Ambassador Ismael Gaspar Martins, the current council president, said hopefully the resolution will be adopted "by consensus".
The US, its Western allies and Japan pressed for new sanctions that went beyond the North's nuclear and missile programmes.
But China, Pyongyang's neighbour, was reluctant to impose measures that could threaten the stability of North Korea and cause its economy to collapse.
The final draft would eliminate loopholes in previous sanctions resolutions and impose new ones. But it stresses the new measures are not intended to have "adverse humanitarian consequences" for civilians, the majority of whom face economic hardships and food shortages.