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Russia Cautions On North Korea Resolution

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il with Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2000 (ITAR-TASS) PRAGUE, October 14, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov today said that possible UN sanctions against North Korea should not contain a threat of using force.

Ivanov was speaking after talks in Moscow with a senior Chinese envoy, Tang Jiaxuan.

Ivanov denounced the nuclear test North Korea claimed to have conducted, but warned that any international sanctions must be aimed at encouraging Pyongyang to return to stalled six-party talks.

Diplomats indicate that the Security Council will hold a vote on a resolution on North Korea late on October 14.

However But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said more "discussion and clarification" is needed on the draft resolution.

Reports say the resolution under discussion would not include any threat of military action against North Korea, but would impose a range of sanctions aimed at blocking North Korea from taking further steps to develop weapons of mass destruction.

U.S. President George Bush used his weekly radio address on October 14 to say that a strong UN Security Council on North Korea should contain "real consequences" if Pyongyang refuses to renounce its nuclear development program.

Meanwhile the U.S. has announced that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will travel to China, South Korea and Japan next week for talks on measures to pressure North Korea to drop its nuclear efforts.

North Korea's claim to have successfully conducted an underground nuclear weapons test has yet to be confirmed by any Western state.

However, the United States has found evidence of radioactivity in air samples that could be linked to North Korea's suspected nuclear test on October 9.

The reports quote officials as saying the evidence is still only preliminary.

The findings are the strongest evidence yet that North Korea detonated a nuclear device, but reports say the result of the U.S. test alone did not confirm a successful nuclear test. Results of earlier tests showed no evidence of radioactive materials that come from a successful nuclear detonation. One U.S. official quoted by the Associated Press said the results could indicate a "nuclear fizzle", rather than a complete test.