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U.N. vows strong, swift response

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United Nations: Members of the U.N. Security Council condemned North Korea's claim of a nuclear test Monday, demanding during an emergency meeting that the country return to six-party talks on its weapons programme, U.N. ambassadors said.

The United States will seek U.N. sanctions to curb North Korea's import and export of material that could be used to make and deliver weapons of mass destruction and its illicit financial activities, Ambassador John Bolton said.

North Korea's ambassador to the U.N. remained defiant, saying the Security Council should congratulate North Korea for its nuclear test instead of passing ``useless'' resolutions or statements.

Pak Gil Yon told reporters he was proud of the North Koreans who conducted the test, and said the Security Council ought to be, too. Asked if the North planned any more tests, Pak said: ``That will be enough. You don't think so?''

``It will be better for the Security Council of the United Nations to congratulate the DPRK scientists and researchers instead of doing such notorious, useless and rigorous resolutions or whatever,'' Pak said, referring to the North by its formal name, the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea.

Bolton and key U.S. allies, including Britain and France, said they would seek a resolution under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, which would seek sanctions and is militarily enforceable, going beyond the resolution adopted by the council in July after North Korea conducted seven missile tests.

Bolton told the Security Council meeting that Washington would view a North Korean attack on South Korea or Japan as an attack on the United States, U.N. diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the meeting was closed. The United States has defense agreements with both countries and thousands of U.S. troops are stationed in both countries.

The U.S. wants to make it tougher for North Korea to produce or export nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and the means to deliver them, and to impose financial sanctions for what the U.S. contends is Pyongyang's counterfeiting and money laundering, Bolton said.

``We've already said that were there to be a nuclear test it would be a threat to international peace and security,'' Britain's U.N. Ambassador Emyr Jones-Parry said. ``I think it follows that action under Chapter 7 is what is appropriate. We'll have to look at what sort of measures can be agreed by the coucil but certainly the United Kingdom would support proposals put down to that effect.''

Security Council experts planned to meet later in the day to discuss proposals submitted by the U.S. for a draft resolution on North Korea's nuclear test, the ambassadors said.

``No one defended it, no one even came close to defending it,'' Bolton said. ``I was very impressed by the unanimity of the council ... on the need for a strong and swift answer to what everyone agreed amounted to a threat to international peace and security.'' - AP

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