Russia and China on Thursday vetoed a UN Security Council resolution to strengthen sanctions against North Korea in a vote that the US ambassador called dangerous, disappointing and likely fuel. Pyongyang’s program to develop nuclear-compatible missile systems.
The move comes after more than a dozen North Korean ballistic missile tests this year, all of which violated previous UN resolutions and which U.S. officials claimed necessitated a different international response.
A resolution requires nine “yes” votes and no vetoes from the permanent members of Russia, China, France, Britain or the United States to be adopted by the UN Security Council. The other 13 members of the Security Council voted in favor of the resolution.
– Source: CNN
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US UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield blew up the vetoes from Russia and China, which had not blocked any of the nine previous sanctions votes since 2006, saying the seriousness of the threat from North Korea’s weapons program has not changed.
“For the first time in 15 years, a member of the UN Security Council has used a veto to prevent the Council from fulfilling its responsibility to hold the DPRK (North Korea) responsible for its illegal proliferation,” the U.S. envoy said in a statement on behalf of the United States. , Japan and South Korea.
“The vetoes today are dangerous. These members have today taken a position which not only undermines the previous action of the Security Council, to which they have committed, but which also undermines our collective security. ”
In a speech at UN headquarters, Thomas-Greenfield added: “These councilors have decided to protect a proliferator from facing the consequences of its actions, and they have demonstrated the worthlessness of their words by giving an explicit approving nod to the DPRK. . ”
North Korea has tested missiles on at least 16 occasions this year no later than Wednesday, when it fired three missiles. At least one of North Korea’s tests this year was thought to be of an intercontinental ballistic missile that could hit the American mainland.
China’s UN ambassador claimed that new sanctions against North Korea would not stop the country’s weapons program and instead could increase its test level.
New sanctions could also put further pressure on the humanitarian situation in North Korea, which it is struggling with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemicsaid Ambassador Zhang Jun.
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Russia’s envoy also cited the Covid situation in North Korea as a reason for its veto.
“The intensification of sanctions pressure on Pyongyang is not only useless, but it is extremely dangerous because of the humanitarian consequences of such measures,” Russian UN Ambassador Vasily Alekseevich Nebenzya said in translated comments after the vote.
Nebenzya said the past 15 years of sanctions pressure on North Korea had not worked.
“As of 2006, many restrictive resolutions were adopted against Pyongyang, but as history has shown us, the sanctions paradigm has still not been able to guarantee security in the region or solve missile and nuclear non-proliferation problems,” the Russian said. envoy. said.
Prior to the vote, both China and Russia had urged Washington to issue a presidential declaration instead of introducing the draft Security Council resolution.
But Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador, said China and Russia were not even open to discussing new sanctions against Pyongyang.
“We have been circulating a draft of this resolution for nine weeks. During that time, the countries that have vetoed this resolution have refused to engage in the text, despite our commitment to inclusivity and flexibility during consultations,” she said. .