Published on: 05/27/2022 – 00:59 Beijing and Moscow on Thursday vetoed an American resolution imposing new sanctions on Pyongyang following its ballistic missile fire. A division of the UN Security Council that could benefit North Korea. Talks with Pyongyang have stalled since a failed summit in 2019 between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and then-US President Donald Trump. China and Russia on Thursday May 26 vetoed in the UN Security Council a United States resolution imposing new sanctions on North Korea in order to sanction its ballistic missile launches, vividly displaying the division of the body at the risk of allowing Pyongyang to benefit from it. Washington lamented its insistence on holding a vote knowing that China and Russia would use their vetoes. For the Americans, “it was worse to do nothing”, “worse than the scenario of two countries blocking the resolution”, explains an ambassador on condition of anonymity. Division at the UN Security Council Ballistic missile launches, including intercontinental ones, are “a threat to peace and security for the entire international community”, the American ambassador to the United States stressed before the vote. UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield. Her Chinese counterpart, Zhang Jun, felt that the American approach “drove the Council away from dialogue and conciliation”. Before the vote, he affirmed Beijing’s “total” disagreement with “any attempt to make (…) Asia a battlefield or to create clashes or tensions there”. Zhang Jun called on the United States to “work to promote a political solution”, stressing that new sanctions would have humanitarian consequences in North Korea, which recently admitted Covid cases in the country.Russian Ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, accused the United States of ignoring Pyongyang’s calls to end its “hostile activities” and engage in dialogue. “It seems that our American and Western colleagues are suffering from the equivalent of writer’s block. They seem to have no response to crisis situations other than the introduction of new sanctions,” he said. New nuclear test, new provocation The American draft resolution also planned to prohibit North Korean exports of mineral fuels, watches and clocks, and any sale or transfer to Pyongyang of tobacco. The text also aimed to increase the fight against Pyongyang’s cyber-activities. After the rejection of this project and a clear display of the division of the UN Security Council on the North Korean file, this body risks struggle to maintain pressure to enforce sanctions last decided in 2017, diplomats fear. At the time, responding to nuclear and ballistic missile tests, the Council showed its unity by adopting three times economic sanctions against North Korea in the fields of oil, coal, iron, fishing or textiles. If North Korea has developed its ballistic armament and has several atomic bombs, it is not yet succeeded, according to diplomats, in combining the two technologies in order to have a missile with a nuclear head. It fired new missiles this week, including probably its largest intercontinental ballistic missile, shortly after a visit to Asia by US President Joe Biden. Washington and Seoul have also warned that Pyongyang could soon conduct a seventh nuclear test, which would be its first in five years. Talks with Pyongyang have stalled since a failed summit in 2019 between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and then-US President Donald Trump. The North Korean regime has ignored all the offers of dialogue made by Washington, which has said that since last year it has been open to dialogue. With AFP
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