UNITED NATIONS – China and Russia introduced a resolution Wednesday deploring North Korea's missile tests but dropping language from a rival proposal that could have led to military action against Pyongyang.
The draft, obtained by The Associated Press, "strongly deplores" North Korea's missile tests last week and urges Pyongyang to re-establish a moratorium on such launches.
The resolution also calls on all members "not to procure missiles or missile-related items" or technology from the North.
China's U.N. Ambassador Wang Guangya said he had been instructed to veto a much stronger Japanese resolution, which is supported by the United States, Britain, France and four other countries.
Wang previously said Beijing objected to three key elements in the Japanese draft: the determination that the missile tests threatened international peace and security; authorizing action under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter which can be enforced militarily; and mandatory sanctions aimed at curbing North Korea's missile and nuclear programs.
The Chinese-Russian draft resolution drops those three elements, which Japan and the United States consider crucial.
Japan's U.N. Ambassador Kenzo Oshima and U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said they were still prepared to put their resolution to a vote — even with the prospect of a Chinese veto.
Oshima called the Chinese-Russian draft "a move in the right direction" but said "a quick glance shows that there are very serious gaps on very important issues."
"I think it will be very difficult for us to accept that as it is," Oshima said.
Bolton also cited "deficiencies," citing the Chinese-Russian draft's elimination of the reference to the tests as a threat to international peace and its use of the weaker word "calls" rather than "decides" in the Japanese text.
Nonetheless, he said, "we view this as a significant step and think it's important."