Diplomat: Expanded North Korea sanctions proposed

Key world powers have proposed a range of expanded UN sanctions against North Korea in response to its recent nuclear test as well as measures to give teeth to existing bans and ship searches against the reclusive Asian nation, a UN diplomat said Wednesday. The five permanent veto-wielding council members - the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France - and the two countries most closely affected by the nuclear test, Japan and South Korea, discussed possible UN sanctions and other measures for a new Security Council resolution on Tuesday. The United States and Japan were compiling the suggestions so they could be sent to the seven governments, possibly late Wednesday. Ambassadors from the seven countries are likely to meet again as early as Thursday afternoon, the diplomat said. The proposals for expanded sanctions range from a broader arms embargo to an asset freeze on individuals and additional companies, and restrictions on the country's financial and banking operations.