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Japan plans to consult with members of the United Nations Security Council over the North Korean nuclear weapons standoff following a nuclear watchdog’s decision to refer the issue to the top U.N. panel, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said Thursday.

Japan and South Korea are not Security Council members and are therefore concerned they may be left out of the loop when the issue is discussed.

“There is that problem,” Fukuda acknowledged during a news conference. “We’ll have to talk to Security Council members so they will not make a decision without listening to Japan and South Korea.”

Japan is seeking a new dialogue framework involving the Security Council’s five permanent members plus Japan and South Korea. “There is talk of a ‘P5-plus-two,’ and (the five members) should consider this,” Fukuda said.

The International Atomic Energy Agency’s 35-nation governing board decided Wednesday to bring North Korea’s nuclear violations before the Security Council, with the support of 33 countries, including Japan.

The Security Council has the power to take punitive measures against North Korea, including economic sanctions, but Fukuda voiced opposition to taking such action immediately.

“I wonder if imposing sanctions would lead to a peaceful solution,” he said. “We will have to see how North Korea responds to our calls. We expect to solve the issue through dialogue.”

At the same time, Fukuda demanded that Pyongyang “take seriously” the IAEA’s resolution, and “immediately take action to dismantle its nuclear weapons program in a verifiable manner.”

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