The United States on Wednesday (May 11) called on China and Russia to oppose further United Nations action on North Korea and warned that the Security Council “can no longer remain silent” as Pyongyang prepares for a seventh nuclear test.
US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield pointed to “two council members” who she said argued the council’s reticence would encourage North Korea “to stop escalating and instead move to the negotiating table.” come”.
“Silence and restraint clearly haven’t worked,” Thomas-Greenfield said at a US-convened council meeting on North Korea’s recent missile launches. “It’s time to stop the tacit permission and take action.”
North Korea has been subject to UN sanctions since 2006 over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The United States wants the 15-member Security Council to vote on a US-drafted resolution further sanctioning Pyongyang in May.
“We cannot wait for (North Korea) to carry out more provocative, illegal and dangerous acts – like a nuclear test,” Thomas-Greenfield said. Washington has estimated that North Korea could be ready to conduct such a test as early as this month.
However, veto powers China and Russia oppose further UN sanctions and have long urged the Council to relax such measures against North Korea on humanitarian grounds. The United States says now is not the time.
China’s ambassador to the UN, Zhang Jun, said Wednesday the US-drafted resolution was “not an appropriate way to address the current situation.”
“Regrettably, the US has turned a blind eye to reasonable proposals from China and other relevant council members and remains superstitiously fascinated by the magical power of sanctions,” Zhang told the council.
Russia’s Deputy Ambassador to the UN Anna Evstigneeva said the resolution drafted by Russia and China to ease North Korea’s sanctions “remains on the table” and “could encourage the parties to step up negotiating efforts”.
The Council last tightened sanctions against Pyongyang in 2017. According to independent UN sanctions monitors, however, North Korea has worked successfully to circumvent some UN sanctions.
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