China has circulated a UN Security Council statement that calls on nations not to transfer missile-related materials to North Korea after its barrage of missile launches last week.
The policy statement contains nearly all the elements of a Japan-drafted resolution but carries less weight and is not legally-binding.
The Japanese resolution "decides" that U.N. Member states should prevent missile-related items from being transferred to North Korea whereas China's draft statement "calls upon" barring such materials from Pyongyang.
Britain's UN Ambassador, Emyr Jones Parry, rejected the draft statement, saying "it did not really do the job" while US Ambassador John Bolton called China's effort "manifestly insufficient."
China, which opposes sanctions, earlier indicated it might support a modified resolution. UN Ambassador Wang Guangya told reporters, "If they wish to have a resolution, they should have a modified one, not this one."
But apparently Beijing was still insisting on a statement.
The UN Security Council postponed a vote yesterday after Tokyo asked for a delay to give a high-level Chinese delegation, now in North Korea, time to negotiate.
North Korea launched at least six missiles early last Wednesday and fired off a seventh some 12 hours later. The missiles included a long-range Taepodong-2, which some experts had said could reach Alaska. US officials said it flew for less than a minute and fell into the sea west of Japan.