UN Security Council powers agree to condemn North Korea launch

Key Security Council nations reached agreement Saturday on a statement that would condemn North Korea's rocket launch and toughen UN sanctions against the reclusive communist nation. The five permanent veto-wielding members - the US, China, Russia, Britain and France - and Japan met and reached the agreement after Tokyo backed down from a demand that the Security Council adopt a resolution, which is the strongest response that the UN's most powerful body can give. Later they distributed the text of the proposed presidential statement to the nine other council members who must now consult their capitals. Libya's deputy UN ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi said he expects the council to meet again on Monday to take action. A presidential statement is considered a weaker reaction by the council and while the United States insists it is legally binding, others do not.