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North Korea: Russia imposes end of UN sanctions monitoring system for North Korea

2024-03-28 18:10:20

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Russia blocked on Thursday the renewal at the UN of the mandate of experts monitoring the application of sanctions against North Korea, a veto denounced by the majority of members of the Security Council worried about the development of Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

Since 2006, North Korea has been subject to Security Council sanctions linked in particular to its nuclear program, sanctions reinforced several times in 2016 and 2017.

Since 2019, Russia and China have tried in vain to convince the Council to ease these sanctions which have no end date.

In this context, Russia vetoed on Thursday a resolution intended to extend for one year the committee of experts responsible for monitoring these sanctions, whose reports are a reference in the matter.

“The committee continues to focus its work on irrelevant issues that do not measure up to the problems facing the peninsula,” commented Russian Ambassador Vassili Nebenzia.

Thus, “Russia asked the Council to adopt a decision to conduct an open and honest assessment of the sanctions,” he explained. “If there was an agreement for an annual renewal of sanctions, the mandate of the committee of experts would make sense,” he insisted, denouncing the refusal of the United States and its allies to have accepted this modification.

In its last report dated at the beginning of March, the committee of experts once again underlined that North Korea continued to “flout the Security Council sanctions”, in particular by developing its nuclear program, by launching ballistic missiles, by violating maritime sanctions and limits on oil imports.

He also indicated that he had started to investigate “information coming from member states on the supply by North Korea of ​​conventional weapons and munitions” to other states in violation of sanctions, in particular to Russia for his war in Ukraine.

“This veto is not a sign of concern for the North Korean population or for the effectiveness of sanctions. It is about Russia gaining the freedom to violate sanctions in search of weapons to use against the Ukraine,” denounced British Ambassador Barbara Woodward.

“In view of the repeated attempts (by North Korea) to undermine international peace and security, the work of the committee is more important than ever,” insisted just before the vote in a joint declaration ten members of the Council (United States). United States, France, United Kingdom, South Korea, Japan, Malta, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, Ecuador, Switzerland).

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