US calls out Russia, China opposition to UN action on North Korea

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https://www.nationthailand.com/international/40015487


The United States called out China and Russia on Wednesday for opposing further United Nations sanctions against North Korea, warning that the Security Council “cannot stay silent any longer” as Pyongyang prepares for a seventh nuclear test.

US calls out Russia, China opposition to UN action on North Korea

US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield referred to “two council members” who she said argued that restraint by the council would encourage North Korea “to stop escalating and instead come to the negotiating table”.

“Silence and restraint have not worked,” Thomas-Greenfield told a council meeting convened by the United States on North Korea’s latest ballistic missile launches. “It is time to stop providing tacit permission and to start taking action.”

North Korea has been subject to UN sanctions since 2006 over its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. Washington would like the 15-member Security Council to vote this month on a US-drafted resolution to further sanction Pyongyang.

“We cannot wait until [North Korea] conducts additional provocative, illegal and dangerous acts – like a nuclear test,” Thomas-Greenfield said.

According to Washington’s assessment, North Korea could be ready to carry out such a test as early as this month.

However, veto powers China and Russia are opposed to further sanctions and have long been pushing for the council to ease measures on the North on humanitarian grounds. But the United States says now is not the time.

China’s UN Ambassador Zhang Jun said on Wednesday that the resolution was “not an appropriate way to address the current situation”.

“Regrettably, the US has turned a blind eye to reasonable proposals from China and other relevant council members, and remains enamoured superstitiously of the magical power of sanctions,” Zhang told the council.

Russia’s deputy UN Ambassador Anna Evstigneeva said the resolution drafted by Moscow and Beijing to ease North Korean sanctions “remains on the table” and “could encourage parties to step up negotiation efforts”.

The council last tightened sanctions on Pyongyang in 2017. But North Korea has successfully worked to evade some, according to independent UN monitors.

Published : May 12, 2022

By : Reuters

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