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S. Korea mulls stronger sanctions if DPRK conducts nuke test: report


16:35, January 31, 2013

SEOUL, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- South Korea is considering drawing up stronger sanctions against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) if it conducts another nuclear test, local media reported Thursday.

The government is considering consultations with the United States, China and Japan over sanctions stronger than the ones imposed under the UN resolution 2087, adopted earlier this month after Pyongyang's controversial satellite launch, according to Yonhap News Agency.

The newly expanded sanctions under the unanimously adopted resolution limits travel of certain DPRK agents and curb their alleged efforts to acquire materials that could contribute to the purported weapons programs.

The report came after President Lee Myung-bak convened a security meeting Thursday morning and discussed a projected nuclear test by Pyongyang and the Dec. 12 launch that critics say was a disguised missile test.

During the security meeting, Lee ordered "strong military readiness" in response to "escalation in military tensions on the Korean peninsula," according to the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae.

"The government urges North Korea (DPRK) to stop its provocative behavior and comply with international obligations," presidential spokesman Park Jeong-ha said after the meeting. "If the North misjudges the situation and attempt another provocation, it will cause very grave consequences."

The DPRK, which has defended its right to launch a satellite for peaceful and scientific purposes, recently vowed to proceed with the "high-level nuclear test" and continue long-range rocket launches to protest sanctions.

"We do not hide that the various satellites and long-range rockets we will continue to launch, as well as the high-level nuclear test we will proceed with, are aimed at our arch-enemy the United States," the DPRK's National Defense Commission said in a recent statement carried by the state-run KCNA news agency.

Pyongyang's foreign ministry also declared an end to the stalled six-party disarmament-for-aid talks and rescinded its commitment to the 2005 pledge of denuclearization on the Korean peninsula.

The DPRK conducted its first and second nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009, weeks after UN condemnations and sanctions over long- range rocket launches.

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