Sunday, July 21, 2024

Russia Veto Ends UN Monitoring Of North Korea Sanctions

Russia has blocked the renewal of a panel of UN experts monitoring international sanctions on North Korea, weeks after the body said it was investigating reports of arms transfers between Moscow and Pyongyang.

Heavy criticism followed the move, including by South Korea’s foreign ministry, which said Russia had made an irresponsible decision despite its status as a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

The United States called the veto by Moscow a self-interested effort to bury the panel’s reporting on its own collusion” with North Korea.

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said, Russia’s actions today have cynically undermined international peace and security, all to advance the corrupt bargain that Moscow has struck with the DPRK,

He was referring to the North by its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Elsewhere, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba took to social media to call the veto “a guilty plea,” amid allegations that Pyongyang is aiding Moscow in its war against Kyiv.

Moscow’s veto at the Security Council does not remove the sanctions on North Korea, but spells the end for the group monitoring their implementation and myriad alleged violations.

The panel’s mandate expires at the end of April.

North Korea has been under mounting sanctions since 2006, put in place by the UN Security Council in response to its nuclear program.

Since 2019, Russia and China have tried to persuade the Security Council to ease the sanctions, which had no expiration date.

The council has long been divided on the issue, with China’s deputy ambassador Geng Shuang arguing Thursday that the sanctions “have exacerbated tensions and confrontation with a serious negative impact on the humanitarian situation.”

China abstained rather than joining Russia in the veto. All other members had voted in favor of renewing the expert panel.

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