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S Korea struggles to meet UN obligation to sanction North

South Korea's spy chief offered to resign, as the country struggled to find the best way to punish North Korea for its nuclear test.

india Updated: Oct 27, 2006 19:55 IST

South Korea's spy chief offered to resign on Friday, as the country struggled to find the best way to punish North Korea for its nuclear test without overly aggravating the reclusive state.

Kim Seung-kyu, head of the National Intelligence Service, was the third minister-level official to offer to quit since North Korea's first-ever nuclear weapons test this month.

On Tuesday, Unification Minister Lee Jong-seok, in charge of reconciliation with the North, also offered his resignation, saying he wanted to take responsibility for the October 9 test.

The country's defence minister also offered to quit on Monday.

Local media have widely reported that President Roh Moo-hyun planned to accept all the resignations and reshuffle his Cabinet early next month. Roh hasn't publicly announced his plans.

Roh will need to find a new foreign minister when Ban Ki-moon steps down to become the next secretary-general of the United Nations.

The speculation about a major reshuffle came as Seoul struggled to strike a balance between its obligations under a UN Security Council resolution passed after the North's nuclear test and concerns that aggravating the reclusive state could destabilise the region.

Seoul has vowed to support the UN sanctions resolution, but also said it wants to do so in a way that does not disrupt stability.