Russia and China vetoed, this Thursday (26), at the UN Security Council, a resolution proposed by the United States to strengthen international sanctions against North Korea, in response to its latest missile tests.
The text received the support of 13 of the 13 members of the Security Council, but it did not go ahead, since Moscow and Beijing have veto power and can block the measure.
The US initiative sought to reinforce the punishments that weigh on the Pyongyang government , which has carried out so far this year 17 rounds of missile tests, contrary to the Security Council’s own resolutions that prohibit them.
The US announced for two months they have tried to tighten sanctions and have since tried unsuccessfully to convince China and Russia to do so, arguing that the United Nations needs to clearly respond to North Korean provocations.
“North Korea interpreted the silence of this Council as a green light to act with impunity and increase tension on the peninsula,” said US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield ahead of the vote.
However, Chinese delegations and Russia once again insisted that sanctions were not the appropriate response and blamed the US for the current situation.
Russia and China have been saying for months that what needs to be done is to ease sanctions. to recognize the gestures of approximation that North Korea has made in recent years, in which it even negotiated with the US government when it was led by President Donald Trump.
North Korea abandoned it during a time its weapons tests, but resumed them due to lack of progress in the dialogue with the United States. Russia and China blame the US for this blockade, saying they have not made concessions and have not reciprocated the gestures of Kim Jong Un’s regime.
Chinese ambassador to the UN Zhang Jun said today that imposing more sanctions will not only not solve the problem, but will further complicate the situation in the country, as it will punish the population at a time complicated by the covid outbreak-19.
Russian counterpart Vasily Nebenzya said the US government’s “hard line” “completely destroyed the positive progress” made in previous years. “Increasing pressure with sanctions on Pyongyang is not only pointless, it is extremely dangerous from a humanitarian point of view,” Nebenzya said.
Although they have always held different positions on North Korea, the North’s powers Security Council managed for years to agree to respond to Kim’s nuclear and missile program and avoid cross vetoes.
After imposing the first sanctions in 2006, after Korea of the North to carry out its first atomic test, the Security Council progressively tightened the punishments until 2017, when it approved the most recent package, which included strong limitations on access to oil derivatives and vetoes on exports from various sectors.
The resolution proposed this week by the US sought to add new restrictions to pressure the North Korean government and, according to Washington, at the same time facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to the population.
Although the rest of the countries supported the initiative Several member states tried until the last moment to postpone the vote to avoid such a clear break in the Council, according to diplomatic sources.