The South Korean government's month-long diplomatic efforts at the United Nations to garner international support in condemning North Korea for carrying out a torpedo attack on the South's warship Cheonan in March seem to have hit a standstill.
Seoul's diplomatic sources say this week is a critical time frame to obtain an appropriate set of punitive measures from the UN Security Council, as a loss of momentum may hinder reaching a consensus.
South Korean officials are continuing their attempts to urge the 15 Security Council member nations to agree to stern counteraction against Pyeongyang for posing a threat to peace and stability within the international community.
The two veto-wielding permanent members, China and Russia, however, remain lukewarm on their stance regarding North Korea's orchestration of the naval disaster.
While Beijing has expressed worries over a possible upheaval in the communist country in response to the UNSC's strong denunciation, Moscow is expected to take another two to three weeks before announcing its conclusion on the multinational team's investigative findings in May.
Other factors which will likely delay the Council's decision are that member states have not yet begun formally examining the case in the wake of a transfer of the Council's leadership to Nigeria this month.
Meanwhile, Washington has once again stood by Seoul dismissing Pyeongyang's UN request for a new inter-Korean investigation, saying the South Korea-led probe delivered results that are clear and compelling.
Back in Seoul, foreign ministry officials are said to have set the month's end as a deadline for either a new resolution or a president's statement from the international body.
Choi You-sun, Arirang News.