Japan, U.S., South Korea back U.N. Iraq resolution

Kyodo

The leaders of Japan, the United States and South Korea agreed Saturday to support U.N. Security Council efforts to adopt a resolution requiring Iraq to dismantle its weapons of mass destruction.

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, U.S. President George W. Bush and South Korean President Kim Dae Jung reached the agreement in a meeting at this Mexican beach resort, Japanese government officials said.

The three leaders made no reference to any specific resolution, a Japanese official briefing reporters on the meeting said.

The U.S. has urged other U.N. members to support its version of the Iraqi resolution, which would press Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to dismantle Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction or face possible military action.

But France and Russia — among the five permanent U.N. Security Council members with veto power — have presented alternative draft resolutions.

The U.S. draft, prepared with Britain, allows the use of force against Iraq if the country violates its obligation to destroy its weapons of mass destruction.

The French and Russian drafts do not call for military action.