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U.N. Readies N. Korea Sanctions; Vote Saturday

A Japanese Coast Guard boat stands watch as North Korean ship loads a cargo of used bicycles and refrigerators at the Maizuru port in Japan.
A Japanese Coast Guard boat stands watch as North Korean ship loads a cargo of used bicycles and refrigerators at the Maizuru port in Japan.

The U.N. Security Council has agreed on the text of a resolution meant to punish North Korea for its reported test of a nuclear weapon this week. A vote on the sanctions resolution is set for Saturday. Both the United States and Russia indicated that more tinkering would have to be done Friday before the resolution goes to the 15-nation council.

Key members agreed Friday to call for strict economic sanctions on North Korea's nuclear and military programs. The plan is also designed to protect North Korea's people from economic hardship.

The resolution rules out the use of military action, a concession the United States was forced to make to Russia and China in exchange for their support.

While prohibiting the transfer to North Korea of all luxury goods, the measure specifically exempts trade and financial support for food, medicine, and many other ordinary economic activities that affect North Korea's general population.

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