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On DPRK, After Chinese Benchmarks, "Russia Has Issues," Algeria Compared

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 22 -- When a draft resolution on North Korea was formally circulated to the 15 members of the UN Security Council mid-day on Monday after extensive bilateral negotiations between the US and China, many assumed the other 13 members would just go along, and quickly.

  While a quick turn-around and adoption is still possible, Inner City Press learned Monday night that "Russia has some issues" that it took up with the United States.

  Russian Permanent Representative Vitaly Churkin on his way into the Security Council at 10 am, as reported then by Inner City Press, said "at this point it's a draft resolution," on which the discussants are "a broader range of delegations that the US and China." He pointedly said he hadn't seen the draft.

  Of possible unilateral sanctions by the US and Japan, he said that did not concern him; the buzzword "counterproductive" was not used.

China's benchmarks included no new sanctions -- that the Council's response be "proportionate."

  In fact, some compare the deadly events in Algeria (and relatedly Mali) and wonder if a mere cookie-cutter press statement is proportionate.

  There are predictions of adoption of the DPRK resolution, after some "smoothing over," on the afternoon of January 22, before or after a now scheduled briefing and consultations on Mali. Watch this site.

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