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China, Russia veto U.S. push for more U.N. sanctions on North Korea -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – A man walks by a TV that broadcasts a news story about North Korea’s three rocket launches, one of which is thought to be an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), in Seoul South Korea, on May 25, 2022. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

By Michelle Nichols

UNITED NATIONS – On Thursday, the U.S. pushed to impose further United Nations sanctions upon North Korea in response to its ballistic missile launches. China and Russia vetoed the U.N. Security Council’s attempt at imposing more sanctions. It was the U.N. Security Council that split publicly for the first time since 2006 when it began punishing Pyongyang.

All 13 members of council voted for the U.S.-drafted resolution, which proposed to ban oil and tobacco exports from North Korea. Kim Jong Un is known as a chain smoker. It would blacklist Lazarus, a hacking group that the United States believes is connected to North Korea.

This vote was taken just days after North Korea had fired three ballistic missiles. One of these missiles is believed to have been the largest in North Korea’s arsenal. The latest ballistic missile launch this year was one of many that were banned by the Security Council.

U.S. officials cited the lack of action by the council regarding North Korea. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Ambassador to United Nations said this month that it was time for the United States to give tacit permission to begin taking actions.

Since 1996, the Security Council unanimously and steadily increased sanctions against Pyongyang to stop funding of its nuclear weapons programs and ballistic missile programmes. The Security Council tightened its sanctions on Pyongyang last year.

China and Russia have been pressing for humanitarian sanctions to be eased since then. They have held off on some actions in North Korea’s sanctions panel of the Security Council. However, they voted on Thursday to pass the resolution. This was their first publicly brokered vote.

We don’t believe additional sanctions are necessary to address the current crisis. “It can only make things worse”, China’s U.N. Before the vote, Ambassador Zhang Jun spoke to reporters on Thursday.

Russia’s U.N. Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said Wednesday to Reuters that he didn’t believe U.N. actions would “very conducive,” for engagement with North Korea.

China is also urging America to act to encourage Pyongyang back to talks, which have been stopped since 2019 after three failed summits between Kim Jong Un and the then-U.S. president Donald Trump.

Zhang pointed out that Washington lifted some unintended sanctions and “the United States as a direct part should” take concrete actions to resume dialogue with DPRK.

Despite having put off testing for the last few years, Pyongyang has resumed ballistic missile launch operations over the past months. South Korea and the United States have both warned North Korea that it is planning a seventh nuclear attack.