China has described Japanese efforts to pass a U.N. resolution that would impose sanctions on North Korea for conducting missile tests an "overreaction," recommending the draft be revised. "If adopted, it will intensify contradictions and increase tension," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said.
Japan delayed a vote on its resolution in order to give China's mission to Pyongyang time to negotiate. Still, the Japanese Ambassador to the United Nations added: "This does not mean that we will be prepared to wait for any lengthy period of time."
He said the draft resolution had already had an impact. "I think we have already sent the sort of message that we wanted to give. Of course, it needs to be formalized."
China's president has urged North Korea to refrain from increasing tensions over its nuclear program and to return to disarmament talks as diplomats worked to forestall U.N. sanctions against the regime.
In Washington, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told reporters that supporters of the resolution "believe very strongly that North Korea has to have a message from the international community that their current course is destructive and will isolate them, but we do think that the Chinese mission to North Korea has some promise and we would like to let that play out."