China, Russia veto U.S. bid at UN to punish North Korea

UN: China and Russia on Thursday vetoed a US-led bid at the United Nations to toughen sanctions on North Korea over its missile launches, laying bare divisions that Western envoys fear would be exploited by Pyongyang.

The Security Council resolution put forward by the United States would have reduced the amount of oil North Korea could legally import as punishment for a test Wednesday of an intercontinental ballistic missile.

The resolution enjoyed the support of the 13 other members of the Security Council, although some US allies quietly wondered whether Washington should have gone ahead with the vote knowing the unflinching opposition from Beijing and Moscow.

China, the closest ally of North Korea, and Russia, whose relations with the West have sunk over its invasion of Ukraine, said they would have preferred a non-binding statement rather than a fresh resolution with teeth against Pyongyang.

The United States “should not place one-sided emphasis on the implementation of sanctions alone. It should also work to promote a political solution,” said China’s Ambassador to the United Nations Zhang Jun.

Russia’s Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, accused the United States of ignoring North Korea’s appeals to stop “hostile activity.”

President Joe Biden’s administration has repeatedly said it is willing to speak with North Korea without preconditions.

It has found little interest in working-level talks from North Korea, whose leader Kim Jong Un held three high-profile meetings with Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump.

In 2017, before Trump’s outreach to Kim, the UN Security Council voted unanimously three times to tighten pressure on North Korea, with China and Russia also exasperated by nuclear and ICBM launches.


by Daily News Sri Lanka

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