Beijing and Moscow publicly refused to sanction North Korea on Thursday, May 26, as proposed by a draft resolution proposed by Washington, finally formalizing the underlying fracture in the Security Council on the North Korean file. “The world faces the clear and present danger of North Korea”, said Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the American ambassador to the UN to justify her proposal for additional sanctions: ” The Council’s restraint and silence did not eliminate or even reduce the threat. On the contrary, it encouraged [Pyongyang]. »
This new salvo of sanctions proposed to target a group of hackers linked to the North Korean regime, and to ban oil and tobacco exports to Pyongyang – Kim Jong-un is said to be a heavy smoker.
By taking over the presidency of the Council on 1is May, the United States hinted that it was working on a draft resolution to block the proliferation of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal. Pyongyang fired three missiles on Wednesday, May 25, including a suspected intercontinental ballistic, according to the South Korean army staff. Shots taken as US President Joe Biden had just concluded a trip to South Korea and Japan, and rumors of an imminent nuclear test persisted – potentially the seventh, and the first in five years. It was enough for Washington to put the draft resolution to the vote at the UN.
“Additional sanctions against North Korea will not help and will only lead to an escalation in the confrontation”, reacted the Chinese ambassador, Zhang Jun. The situation on the peninsula has become what it is mainly because of the U-turn in American policies and the inability to maintain the results of previous dialogues. »
“Deafening silence” of the Council
Even if the United States obtained thirteen votes in favor of the new sanctions out of fifteen, their supporters did not all appreciate their method, nor their haste to put the resolution to the vote, risking these Chinese and Russian vetoes. “Our Chinese counterparts would have been more receptive if this resolution had been presented after a nuclear test, which represents a real limit for them”, says a European diplomat. The French ambassador, Nicolas de Rivière, considers that the use of the veto “was tantamount to protecting the North Korean regime and giving it a blank check to proliferate even further”.
“The North Korean ballistic and nuclear programs have been very slowed down thanks to the sanctions”, a European diplomat
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