South Korea intends to mount a new lobbying effort this month aimed at securing a U.N. Security Council response to North Korea's recent long-range rocket launch before February, the Yonhap News Agency reported.
"Our top priority is to wrap up the U.N. discussions by the end of this month because no council members would want to discuss the issue from next month when our country assumes the [rotating] presidency of the council," an anonymous South Korean envoy said.
North Korea's successful firing of a long-range rocket into space was an evident violation of Security Council restrictions against the nation's use of technology with ballistic missile applications. Securing passage of a strong response is in doubt given potential opposition from council veto holder and Pyongyang ally China.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland on Tuesday said the five permanent Security Council members -- China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States -- are attempting to work out an "appropriate" response to the space launch, according to Yonhap.
Separately, members of South Korean President elect Park Geun-hye's transition group are weighing whether to loosen the highly restrictive economic penalties the current Lee Myung-bak government has placed on the Stalinist state, Yonhap reported. The domestic sanctions do not permit any commerce between the two Koreas.