Russia blocks the renewal of the UN committee monitoring sanctions against North Korea United Nations News

Sanctions imposed since 2006 will remain in effect, but the mandate of the expert committee will end on April 30.

Russia used its veto power against the UN resolution to renew the formation of a UN panel of experts to monitor North Korea's compliance with international sanctions.

The Russian move follows accusations from the United States, South Korea and other countries that Pyongyang is supplying Moscow with weapons for use in its war in Ukraine.

The panel, which has been monitoring compliance with UN sanctions imposed on North Korea's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs for nearly 20 years, said in its latest update this month that it was investigating reports of arms transfers.

“This is almost like destroying a surveillance camera to avoid being caught red-handed,” South Korea's UN ambassador, Jungkook Hwang, said of Russia's veto.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, on social media after the veto, described the move as an “admission of guilt.”

China abstained from voting on Thursday, while the remaining 13 member states of the UN Security Council voted in favor of the resolution.

“Russia's actions today cynically undermined international peace and security, all in order to advance the corrupt deal Moscow struck with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said, referring to the North by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The Committee submits its reports twice a year to the Security Council and recommends measures to improve the implementation of sanctions that were first imposed in 2006 and gradually strengthened. Her term ends at the end of April.

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The veto “further demonstrates the ineffectiveness of the UN Security Council in dealing with North Korea, and starkly demonstrates the unwillingness of some permanent members to fulfill their obligations,” said Leif-Eric Isley, a professor of international studies at Ewha Women's University in Seoul.

During negotiations on the draft text, Russia and China pushed unsuccessfully for it to include a condition requiring the sanctions regime to be renewed annually. In recent years, he has called on both countries to ease sanctions.

Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzia, told the council before the vote that Western countries are trying to “suffocate” North Korea and that sanctions have begun to lose their “relevance” and have become “detached from reality” in preventing the spread of nuclear weapons in the country. .

He accused the expert committee of “increasingly becoming a plaything in the hands of Western approaches, reprinting biased information and analyzing newspaper headlines and poor-quality photos.” Therefore, he said, it “fundamentally admits its inability to reach sober assessments of the state of the sanctions regime.”

The committee's latest report was published earlier this month and said North Korea “continued to violate” sanctions, including launching ballistic missiles and violating oil import limits. In addition to the alleged arms shipments to Russia, the committee said it was also investigating dozens of suspected cyberattacks by North Korea that netted $3 billion from its weapons programs.

Deputy US Ambassador to the UN, Robert Wood, described the committee's work as necessary and accused Russia of trying to silence its “objective, independent investigations” because it “began last year to report flagrant Russian violations of UN Security Council resolutions.”

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He warned that a Russian veto would encourage North Korea to continue endangering global security through the development of “long-range ballistic missiles and efforts to evade sanctions.”

Moscow has rejected allegations that it is buying weapons from Pyongyang, which has continued to develop new weapons despite sanctions, and has conducted several tests in recent months, including last week when it tested a solid-fuel engine for a “new medium-range type.” A hypersonic missile.”

Ahead of the vote, the United States and South Korea launched a task force aimed at preventing North Korea from buying oil illegally. Under UN sanctions, Pyongyang is limited to importing four million barrels of crude oil and 500,000 barrels of refined products annually.

Britain's UN Ambassador Barbara Woodward said: “The committee, through its work to expose non-compliance with sanctions, has been a nuisance to Russia.” “But let me be clear to Russia: the sanctions regime remains in place, and the UK remains committed to holding North Korea to account for its compliance.”

In August, Russia used its veto to terminate the mandate of a group of UN experts in Mali, who accused Moscow-linked Wagner mercenaries of involvement in widespread violations.

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