US Pushes for Strong Sanctions Against North Korea

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New York (CBS) - Demands are growing louder that the UN takes action after North Korea's reported nuclear test.

Security Council members have condemned the incident and now the US is seeking severe sanctions.

Protestors on the streets of Seoul and leaders around the world are lining up to condemn North Korea's announcement of a nuclear weapon test.

"Once again North Korea has defied the will of the international community, and the international community will respond," President Bush said in an address early Monday.

The response is centered at the United Nations where the U.S. is proposing new tougher sanctions against the communist nation.

The Security Council is considering penalties that would make it tougher for North Korea to import or export materials used for nuclear weapons. The US is also proposing financial sanctions to punish North Korea for alleged counterfeiting and money-laundering.

"I was strongly encouraged by the mood and the swiftness that we went through this issue," says John Bolton, US Ambassador to the United Nations.

The issue has come up before at the UN, limited sanctions were imposed on North Korea in July for testing ballistic missiles and just last week the communist nation was warned not to test nuclear weapons.

While state run TV calls the test a historic event that will contribute to defending the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

South Korea immediately took action, putting its troops on high alert.

Some fear a nuclear armed North Korea would dramatically alter the balance of power in the Asia-Pacific region. It's a balance few believe the US will ever allow to tip in favor of North Korea.