On Thursday, Russia and China vetoed the UN Security Council resolution, which would strengthen sanctions against North Korea. This vote was considered disappointing and dangerous. It is likely to encourage Pyongyang to develop nuclear-capable ballistic missile systems.
This action was taken after over twelve North Korean missile trials this year and violated UN resolutions. US officials claimed that it requires one more response.
The resolution must receive nine “yes” votes to be approved by the UN Security Council. The United States, Russia, China, and France cannot veto the resolution. 13 other members approved this resolution.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield (US Ambassador to UN) slammed Russia and China’s vetoes. She said that North Korea’s threat is still grave. Since 2006, China and Russia had not blocked the nine previous sanctions votes.
“For the first time in 15 years, UN Security Council members have used a Veto to stop the council from fulfilling its responsibility to hold the DPRK and North Korea accountable for their unlawful proliferation,” stated the US envoy in a joint statement.
“The vetoes today are harmful. Today, these members have taken a stance that undermines the Security Council’s previous actions and threatens our collective security.” Thomas-Greenfield said this during a session at UN Headquarters. He added, “These council members have decided that a proliferator will not face the consequences of his actions, and they have shown the worthlessness in their word by explicitly nodding approval to the DPRK.”
North Korea had tested missiles at least 16 times this year, the latest on Wednesday when it fired three missiles. This year, one of the North Korean missile tests was thought to have been an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting the US mainland.
China’s Ambassador to the UN stated that new sanctions against North Korea will not stop its weapons program but may increase its testing.
Ambassador Zhang Jun stated that new sanctions could put more pressure on North Korea’s humanitarian situation as it struggles with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The strengthening sanctions pressure on Pyongyang” was a statement by Vasily Alekseevich Nebenzya, Russian diplomat to the United Nations. He said it in translated comments after the vote.
Nebenzya added that “Past 15 years of sanctions pressure on North Korea had not worked.”
The Russian envoy stated that many restrictive resolutions against Pyongyang were adopted in 2006. However, history has shown that the paradigm of sanctions could not guarantee security or solve missile and nuclear proliferation issues.
Both Russia and China had asked Washington to make a presidential statement before the vote instead of introducing a draft Security Council resolution.
Thomas-Greenfield, however, the US ambassador, stated that Russia and China were not open to discussing new sanctions against Pyongyang.
“We circulated a draft resolution for nine weeks. “Despite our commitment to inclusion and flexibility during consultations, the countries that veto this resolution have not been able to agree to the text for nine weeks,” she stated.
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