North Korea also has threatened to scrap the cease-fire that ended the 1950-53 Korean War. It has a formidable array of artillery near enough to the Demilitarized Zone to strike South Korean and American forces with little warning.
The top U.S. envoy on North Korea, Glyn Davies, cautioned Pyongyang not to miscalculate, saying the U.S. will take necessary steps to defend itself and its allies, including South Korea, where it bases more than 28,000 U.S. forces.
‘‘We take all North Korean threats seriously enough to ensure that we have the correct defense posture to deal with any contingencies that might arise,’’ Davies told reporters.
Rice said ‘‘the entire world stands united in our commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and in our demand that North Korea comply with its international obligations.’’
China’s U.N. Ambassador Li Baodong said the resolution reflects the determination of the international community to prevent nuclear proliferation, but he stressed that its adoption ‘‘is not enough.’’
‘‘The top priority now is to defuse the tensions, bring down heat ... bring the situation back on the track of diplomacy, on negotiations,’’ Li said.
The resolution stresses the Security Council’s commitment ‘‘to a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution’’ to North Korea’s nuclear program and urges a resumption of the long-stalled six-party talks involving both Koreas, the U.S., China, Russia and Japan.
South Korea’s U.N. Ambassador Kim Sook said North Korea’s threats and inflammatory statements will be dealt with ‘‘resolutely.’’
‘‘North Korea must wake up from its delusion of becoming a ... nuclear weapons state and make the right choice,’’ he said. ‘‘It can either take the right path toward a bright future and prosperity, or it can take a bad road toward further and deeper isolation and eventual self-destruction.’’
Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin also warned that ‘‘new threats or trying to build up the military muscle in the region ... might be taking us away from the need to resume six-party talks,’’ which he added must be an international priority of all countries.
In addition to the sanctions, the resolution bans further ballistic missile launches, nuclear tests ‘‘or any other provocation,’’ and demands that North Korea return to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. It condemns all of North Korea’s ongoing nuclear activities, including its uranium enrichment.
It strengthens inspections of suspicious cargo heading to and from the country, calls on states to step up ‘‘vigilance’’ of possible illegal activity by North Korean diplomats.
To get around financial sanctions, North Koreans have been carrying around large suitcases filled with cash to move illicit funds. The resolution expresses concern that these bulk cash transfers may be used to evade sanctions. It clarifies that the freeze on financial transactions and services that could violate sanctions applies to all cash transfers as well as the cash couriers.
The resolution identifies three individuals, one corporation and one organization that will be added to the U.N. sanctions list. The targets include top officials at a company that is the country’s primary arms dealer and main exporter of ballistic missile-related equipment, and a national organization responsible for research and development of missiles and probably nuclear weapons.
Kim reported from Seoul, South Korea. Peter J. Spielmann at the United Nations, Robert Burns in Washington and Foster Klug and Sam Kim in Seoul contributed to this report.