On Wednesday, the United States charged China and Russia with supporting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by shielding Pyongyang from efforts to tighten sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council due to its development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
According to Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the United States ambassador to the UN, North Korea has had complete protection from two members of this council.
So, in essence, Kim Jong Un has been made possible by two permanent members of the Security Council.
After testing a ballistic missile on Tuesday that flew over Japan for the first time in five years and triggering a warning for citizens there to seek shelter, the 15-member council on North Korea convened on Wednesday.
China and Russia opposed a public council meeting because they believed it would not help to defuse the crisis.
Geng Shuang, China’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations, said that the Security Council should take a proactive approach “instead of depending simply on harsh language or pressure.”
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“Instead of fostering escalation, discussions and debates need to advance a detente. Instead of escalating disagreements and fostering division, they need to encourage the return of conversation “added he.
For the first time since Pyongyang began to suffer sanctions in 2006, China and Russia openly divided the U.N. Security Council between May when they blocked a U.S.-led effort to put further sanctions on North Korea.
According to Anna Evstigneeva, Russia’s deputy U.N. ambassador, “introducing additional sanctions against DPRK is a dead end” and “brings zero consequence.”
She said, “We are confident that the U.N. and Security Council processes ought to be utilized to facilitate the inter-Korean dialogue and multilateral discussions instead of being a barrier to them.
The Security Council has for years prohibited North Korea from conducting nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches and has gradually tightened sanctions on Pyongyang to cut off funds for such initiatives.
Recent years have seen veto powers China and Russia propose that the United Nations relax its sanctions on North Korea for humanitarian reasons and to coax Pyongyang back to the deadlocked international negotiations meant to persuade Kim to denuclearize.
As North Korea is officially known, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is being punished for its poor behavior, and Thomas-Greenfield said there was an apparent attempt by China and Russia.
Joint military drills between the United States and South Korea were held responsible by China and Russia for inciting North Korea. However, thomas-Greenfield disagreed with the comments, claiming that “these two pursuits are not equivalent.”