SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea's neighbors began weighing penalties against the country for its long-range missile test over the weekend, with South Korea saying it may start to develop bigger missiles and Japan considering an extension of economic sanctions.
North Korea on Sunday conducted its third test of a long-range missile, defying a test ban imposed by the U.N. Security Council and critics around the world.
Members of the 15-member Security Council failed for a second day to forge a consensus on how to respond.
Click to view photos | Satellite image of the launch area
Japan's ambassador to the U.N., Yukio Takasu, said that while there was agreement that the council was facing a "very serious" situation, there was discord on the "appropriate format" in which the council should respond.
Mr. Takasu spoke to reporters after a meeting among ambassadors from the five permanent members of the council: Britain, China, France, Russia and the U.S., plus Japan. The permanent members must agree on a course of action before bringing it to the council at large. The U.S. and Japan are pressing for a resolution that would condemn North Korea's action and, at minimum, seek to enforce existing U.N. military and financial sanctions on Pyongyang.
Russia and China oppose a resolution, diplomats say, and don't agree that the launch violated a U.N. ban on the North's ballistic-missile activity.
"The key thing is to make sure that we do not confine ourselves to an emotional, knee-jerk reaction," said Vitaly Churkin, Russia's ambassador to the U.N., "because what we do need is a common strategy and not losing sight of the goal, and this is the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula."
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