USA, EU criticises Russia for veto to end U.N. sanctions monitoring of North Korea

News Excerpt:

Russia is facing a mounting backlash after using its veto power to effectively end official U.N. monitoring of sanctions on North Korea amid a probe into alleged arms transfers between Moscow and Pyongyang.


  • Russia's UN Security Council veto blocked the renewal of the panel of experts tasked with investigating violations of sanctions tied to North Korea's banned nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.
  • South Korea has accused North Korea of sending thousands of containers of weapons to Russia for use in Ukraine, and Russia's move was "almost comparable to destroying a CCTV to avoid being caught red-handed".
  • Russia defended its veto, saying U.N. sanctions on North Korea were hindering dialogue and peace on the Korean peninsula and had not aided regional security.
  • North Korea has been under mounting sanctions since 2006, put in place by the U.N. Security Council in response to its nuclear program.
  • Since 2019, Russia and China have tried to persuade the Security Council to ease the sanctions, which have no expiration date.

Political solution:

  • China abstained rather than joining Russia in the veto. All other members had voted in favour of renewing the expert panel.
    • According to China, the current situation in the Korean Peninsula remains tense, and blindly imposing sanctions cannot solve the issue. A political solution is the only way.
  • China and Russia have, in recent years, ramped up economic cooperation and diplomatic contacts, and their strategic partnership has only grown closer since the invasion of Ukraine.
  • Russia had earlier said that without an annual review to assess and potentially modify the sanctions, the panel was unjustified.
    • The panel has continued to focus on trivial matters that are not commensurate with the problems facing the peninsula.

North Korea’s continued tests:

  • UN Security Council sanctions were levelled on North Korea in 2016 and 2017, but the development of its nuclear and weapons programmes has continued unabated.
  • Recently, North Korea tested a solid-fuel engine for a "new-type intermediate-range hypersonic missile".
    • Recent cruise missile launches have prompted speculation that North Korea is testing those weapons before shipping them to Moscow for use in Ukraine.
  • In its latest report, the sanctions panel reported that North Korea "continued to flout" sanctions, including by launching ballistic missiles and breaching oil import limits.
    • It added that it is investigating reports of arms shipments from North Korea to Russia for use in Ukraine.

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