Rice Says N.Korea Defeated By U.N.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice talks during a news conference with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice talks during a news conference with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, unseen at the Foreign ministry after their meeting in Cairo, Egypt Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2006.
AP Photo/Nasser Nasser

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that a U.N. Security Council resolution which imposes sanctions against North Korea has the rouge state isolated even from its closest ally, China.

The U.N. Security Council unanimously voted Saturday to approve tough sanctions against North Korea for its supposed nuclear test. The sanctions bar North Korea from importing and exporting everything from luxury goods to weapons — especially nuclear weapons — but the problem to find a way to enforce the resolution.

"It will be enforced because member states have an obligation to enforce it," Rice told Face The Nation host Bob Schieffer. "I think there are some matters that will need to be worked out… But this is a really resounding defeat for North Korea. And it's a resounding victory, really, for the international community and its efforts to deal with proliferation matters."

One of the biggest differences between China and the U.S. is over whether or not countries must inspect cargo leaving and arriving North Korea. The final resolution was softened from language in previous drafts which authorized the searches.

Yesterday, the Chinese ambassador said he could not see China enforcing any restrictions that "would create conflict that could have serious implications for the region," raising questions about China's commitment to the resolution.

"Well, I don't think anybody wants to create conflict, but China is a party now to an international resolution – a Security Council resolution – that demands very clear cooperation of member states to make certain that dangerous goods are not getting in and out of North Korea," Rice said. "China has come a very long way in being willing to sign on to a resolution that makes China now responsible to make certain that North Korea's not trading."

In regards to interdiction, Rice said "We don't want to get ahead of ourselves," but said that it is "an important tool that the international community can use."

Sen. John Warner, Republican chairman of the Armed Services Committee, congratulated the White House for its work. "I think the president, Bush and his team of Rice and Bolton did a wonderful job here."