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U.N. to go slow on N. Korea issue

The U.N. Security Council is stressing a diplomacy-first approach to North Korea's nuclear program
The U.N. Security Council is stressing a diplomacy-first approach to North Korea's nuclear program

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UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- U.N. Security Council members have indicated there is not likely to be a rush to action on the issue of North Korea's nuclear program.

Diplomats met Wednesday afternoon after the issue was formally referred to the Security Council by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The Security Council decided to pass the matter to a panel of experts from the 15 council member countries.

No timetable was set for the next discussion of the issue in the council.

"The council should be very cautious because so many countries are working with North Korea and the United States already to find a solution," China's U.N. ambassador, Wang Yingfan, said Wednesday.

"If the council takes action that further complicates the situation, that will not help."

Asked about the possibility of sanctions, a U.S. diplomat said, "It's early on. We need a council approach that will encourage North Korea to come back to cooperation."

France echoed the need for diplomacy rather than quick pronouncements or discussion of sanctions.

"We are at the beginning of a process," French Ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sabliere said.

"We favor a progressive approach -- first consulting with the council and then with North Korea's neighbors."

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