The U.S. envoy to the United Nations accused Russia of “actively working to undermine” international sanctions against North Korea as pressure rises on the Trump administration three months after the president met Kim Jong Un in Singapore.
“Why after voting for sanctions 11 different times is Russia backing away from them? We know the answer. Its because Russia has been cheating. And now they’ve been caught,” Ambassador Nikki Haley said Monday in an emergency session of the Security Council she called late last week.
The U.S. says its effort to keep pressure on North Korea’s economy through sanctions approved by the Security Council is being undermined by Russia and China, who the Americans accuse of helping Kim’s regime skirt the restrictions. The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that the original draft of a confidential new UN report found Pyongyang has been able to circumvent restrictions, rendering “the latest U.N. sanctions ineffective.”
Haley said in a statement last week that Russia successfully pressured the supposedly independent panel to water down the report.
“Russia can’t be allowed to edit and obstruct independent UN reports on North Korea sanctions just because they don’t like what they say,” Haley said in a statement last week. “The full implementation of UN Security Council resolutions remains mandatory for all Member States – including Russia.”
The Trump administration has expressed concern that efforts to maintain maximum pressure on North Korea to give up its nuclear capabilities are faltering as talks over the denuclearization of North Korea stall. South Korea’s president Moon Jae-in will try to inject new life into the diplomatic talks when he meets Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang on Tuesday for a summit that will mark the first time a South Korean leader visits its northern neighbor in more than a decade.
The U.S. has led efforts at the U.N. to apply severe sanctions on North Korea, aimed at forcing the regime to give up its nuclear arms program. Talks have not advanced significantly since the historic meeting in June between Trump and Kim.
A White House statement issued last month and tweeted by President Donald Trump said “China is providing North Korea with considerable aid, including money, fuel, fertilizer and various other commodities. This is not helpful!”
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