UNITED NATIONS - After several days of closed-door haggling, the UN Security Council is hoping to adopt a statement on Monday condemning North Korea's botched rocket launch, council diplomats said.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said on Friday that the members of the 15-nation Security Council "deplored" North Korea's failed bid to launch a long-range rocket but that the council would continue talks on a formal condemnation of the actions of the hermit state.

Diplomats told Reuters on condition of anonymity that China, North Korea's closest ally, was pushing for a softer rebuke than the one favored by the United States, which holds this month's Security Council presidency.

"Unless China raises objections overnight, we'll adopt a presidential Statement on DPRK (North Korea) tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.," a Western diplomat told Reuters.

Unlike resolutions, council statements are not voted on but are adopted unanimously.

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