Friday, May 20, 2022

China, Russia delay US bid to ban North Koreans at UN

The sun shines behind the United Nations Secretariat building at the United Nations Headquarters on June 18, 2021 in New York City, New York, US. Reuters/Andrew Kelly/File photo

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UNITED NATIONS, Jan 20 (Reuters) – China and Russia on Thursday delayed a US bid to impose UN sanctions on five North Koreans, diplomats said, as did Pyongyang’s suggestion that it would seek nuclear weapons and long-distance may resume testing of missiles.

The move by China and Russia comes ahead of Thursday’s closed-door UN Security Council meeting in North Korea – the second in two weeks – after Pyongyang fired strategic guided missiles on Monday.

The seven members of the council – the United States, Albania, Brazil, France, Ireland, the United Arab Emirates, Britain and Japan, said in a joint statement at the United Nations.

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Monday’s test was North Korea’s fourth in 2022, with the previous two launches involving “hypersonic missiles” capable of high speed and maneuverability after liftoff, and of a pair of short-range missiles fired from train cars. Another test was done using .

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The United States unilaterally imposed sanctions on missile launches last week. It blacklisted six North Koreans, a Russian and a Russian firm, accusing it of buying goods for programs from Russia and China.

It then proposed that five of those individuals would also be subjected to a UN travel ban and asset freeze. The request had to be unanimously agreed to by the Security Council’s 15-member North Korea Sanctions Committee.

However, China and Russia on Thursday “moistened” the US proposal, which puts it in limbo. Diplomats said China told council allies it needed more time to study the sanctions proposal, while Russia said more evidence was needed to support the US request.

‘blank check’

North Korea said earlier on Thursday that it would strengthen its defense against the United States and consider resuming “all temporarily suspended activities”, self-imposed over tests of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles. A clear reference to the moratorium imposed.

When asked about Pyongyang’s announcement, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said, “The facts have proven time and again that resorting to indiscriminate sanctions and pressure will only escalate tensions rather than resolve the peninsula issue. does not serve the interests of the party.”

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Since 2006, North Korea has been subject to UN sanctions, which the Security Council has strengthened over the years in an effort to target funding for Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

“It is of the utmost importance that member states take the necessary steps to enforce sanctions within their jurisdictions, or risk providing the DPRK regime a blank investigation to pursue its weapons program,” said the group’s members, including the United States. The statement said. Abbreviation for North Korea.

US President Joe Biden’s administration has sought to have failed talks to persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons and missiles since Biden took office in January 2021.

North Korea continued to develop its nuclear and ballistic missile programs in the first half of 2021 in violation of UN sanctions and, despite the country’s deteriorating economic situation, UN sanctions reported in August.

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Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Jonathan Otis and Cynthia Osterman

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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