UN council to meet amid soaring Korean tensions

19th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

The UN Security Council will meet Sunday at 1600 GMT on the soaring tensions on the Korean peninsula, a US envoy to the world body said Saturday.

Early Saturday, Russia, a permanent council member, requested an emergency meeting which, according to US sources, might have been held as soon Saturday afternoon.

But some major powers wanted to consult before the 15 council members meet, UN diplomatic sources said.

Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin voiced disappointment that his request was turned down, calling the decision was "a departure from the practice existing in the Council."

Churkin said he hoped the situation in the Korean peninsula would not worsen in the time it will take for the security council to meet.

North Korea earlier Saturday predicted "disaster" if South Korea goes ahead with a live-fire artillery exercise on a border island bombarded by the communist state last month.

The North has threatened an even deadlier attack on the South if the one-day drill scheduled for between December 18 and 21 is staged on Yeonpyeong island near the disputed Yellow Sea border.

The North said the upcoming exercise "would make it impossible to prevent the situation on the Korean peninsula from exploding and escape its ensuing disaster."

Unpredictable Pyongyang disputes the Yellow Sea border drawn by United Nations forces after the 1950-53 war. It claims the waters around Yeonpyeong and other South Korean frontline islands as its own maritime territory.

Russia and China have urged the South to cancel its plan.

© 2010 AFP

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