China and Russia veto new UN sanctions on North Korea for the first time since 2006

The move comes after more than a dozen North Korean ballistic missile tests this year, all of which violate previous UN resolutions and which US officials have said require another international response.

The resolution needs nine “yes” votes and no veto by the permanent members of Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom or the United States to be adopted by the UN Security Council. The other 13 Security Council members voted to adopt the resolution.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas Greenfield criticized the veto from Russia and China, which failed to block any of the previous nine votes for sanctions made since 2006, saying the severity of the threat from North Korea’s weapons program has not changed.

“For the first time in 15 years, a member of the Security Council used its veto to prevent the council from fulfilling its responsibility to hold the DPRK (North Korea) accountable for its illegal proliferation,” the US envoy said in a statement released Thursday. On behalf of the United States, Japan and South Korea.

“Today’s veto is dangerous. These members today have taken a stand that not only undermines the previous Security Council actions they have committed to, but also undermines our collective security.”

Speaking at a session at UN Headquarters, Thomas Greenfield added: “These members of the Council decided to protect the proliferation publisher from facing the consequences of his actions and demonstrated the futility of their speech by giving an explicit nod of approval to the DPRK.”

North Korea has tested missiles on at least 16 occasions this year, most recently on Wednesday, when it launched three. At least one of North Korea’s tests this year is believed to have been an ICBM that could hit the mainland United States.

China’s ambassador to the United Nations argued that new sanctions on North Korea would not halt its weapons program and might instead increase the level of testing.

Ambassador Chang Jun said the new sanctions could put more pressure on the humanitarian situation in North Korea while it struggles with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Russian envoy also cited the COVID situation in North Korea as a reason for its veto.

“Increasing the pressure of sanctions on Pyongyang is not only useless, but also extremely dangerous in terms of the humanitarian consequences of such actions,” Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vasily Alekseevich Nebenzia said in translated comments after the vote.

Nebenzia said sanctions pressure on North Korea for 15 years has not worked.

Russian Ambassador Vasily Alekseevich Nebenzia speaks at the United Nations on Thursday.

“Beginning in 2006, many restrictive decisions have been adopted against Pyongyang, but as history has shown us, the sanctions model is still unable to ensure security in the region or solve the issues of missile and nuclear non-proliferation,” the Russian envoy said. He said.

Before the vote, both China and Russia urged Washington to issue a presidential statement rather than introduce a draft Security Council resolution.

But US Ambassador Thomas Greenfield said that China and Russia are not even open to discussing new sanctions against Pyongyang.

“We circulated a draft of this resolution nine weeks ago. At that time, the countries that vetoed this resolution refused to participate in the text, despite our commitment to inclusiveness and flexibility during the consultations,” she said.

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