UNITED NATION –
China and Russia vetoed a U.S.-sponsored United Nations resolution on Thursday that would impose tough new sanctions on North Korea for its repeated missile launches. Transcontinental ballistics could be used to deliver nuclear weapons.
The vote at the 15-member Security Council was 13-2 and marked the first serious split among the five permanent members with veto power in the UN’s most powerful body on sanctions resolutions. North Korea.
A unified Security Council imposed sanctions after North Korea’s first nuclear test detonation in 2006 and tightened them over the years as it sought to rein in its nuclear and missile programs. ballistic missiles as well as cutting off funding.
U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield called for unity ahead of Thursday’s vote, calling North Korea’s six ICBM tests this year “a threat to the entire international community.”
She noted that in the final sanctions resolution adopted by the council in December 2017, members pledged to further limit petroleum exports to North Korea should the country conduct a ballistic missile launch. has an intercontinental range.
North Korea has suspended ICBM tests for five years, but she called on the council to take action against its “dangerous and threatening” ICBM launches over the past five months, including one on Wednesday. .
UN Ambassador Zhang Jun of China reiterated Beijing’s opposition to new sanctions against North Korea ahead of Thursday’s vote.
Instead, he called on the United States to take “practical and meaningful actions” to resume dialogue with the country and find a political solution to the situation on the Korean Peninsula, where the 1950 war broke out. 1953 between North and South Korea ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.
Given the tensions on the peninsula, Zhang said, it’s important to stay calm, avoid any provocations and “really give hope” to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – the country’s official name. – by lifting some sanctions instead of imposing new ones.
“We don’t think additional sanctions will be helpful in responding to the current situation,” he told reporters on Thursday. “It can only make the situation worse. So that’s something we really want to avoid.”
Alluding to the US’s “pivot to Asia” that reflects China’s rise as an economic and military power and as America’s most important competitor, Zhang said, “We don’t want to see any anyone using the North Korea situation or the Korean Peninsula situation as a card for their strategic or geopolitical agenda.”
“We absolutely oppose any attempt to turn Northeast Asia into a battlefield or cause confrontations or tensions there. So as a neighbor of the DPRK and a neighbor of the North, we are absolutely opposed to any attempt to turn Northeast Asia into a battlefield or cause confrontations or tensions there. Korean island, we have a responsibility to maintain peace and security and promote denuclearization there. That has always been our goal,” he said.
Wednesday’s announcement of the vote and the US release of the 14-page draft resolution came hours after South Korea reported that North Korea had test-fired a suspected ICBM and two shorter-range missiles. .
It also follows the conclusion of US President Joe Biden’s Asia tour on Tuesday reinforcing the US pivot including stops in South Korea and Japan, where he reaffirmed the US commitment to safeguarding the US. defend both allies against the North Korean nuclear threat.
Wednesday’s launches were North Korea’s 17th missile launch this year. Experts say North Korea wants to go ahead with its push to expand its arsenal and put more pressure on rivals to win sanctions relief and other concessions.
The resolution voted on Thursday would reduce crude oil exports to North Korea from 4 million bpd to 3 million bpd, and exports of refined petroleum products from 500,000 bpd to 375,000 bpd. It would also ban the North from exporting mineral fuels, mineral oils and mineral waxes.
In addition, the draft resolution would ban the sale or transfer of all tobacco products to North Korea, tighten maritime sanctions, and ban North Korea from exporting wristwatches and parts thereof. .
The resolution would also impose a global asset freeze on Lazarus Corporation, created by North Korea. It said Lazarus engaged in “cyber espionage, data theft, currency terrorism and destructive malware activities” against government, military, financial, manufacturing, publishing , media and entertainment organizations as well as transportation and critical infrastructure companies.
The measure would also freeze the global assets of South Korea Namgang Trading Corporation, which sends North Korean workers abroad to generate income for the government. It will do the same for Haegumgang Trading Group, which it said worked with a Mozambican company under a $6 million contract that includes surface-to-air missiles, air defense radars and air defense systems mobile.
The proposed resolution would also add an individual to the sanctions blacklist, Kim Su Il, who is believed to be a representative of the Vietnam-based Bomb and Ammunition Industry Bureau responsible for overseeing the development. North Korean ballistic missile.