Russia and China Defend North Korea Vetoes at General Assembly

Russia and China defended their vetoes of a strongly backed United States resolution that would impose severe sanctions on North Korea

Russia and China accused the U.S. of fueling tensions on the Korean Peninsula during a landmark meeting held to explain their final decisions to veto new international sanctions over renewed ballistic missile launches of North Korea. Zhang Jun, China’s ambassador to the UN, told the General Assembly on Wednesday that the peninsula tensions developed primarily because of the flip flop of the American policies.

Zhang pushed the U.S. to take action and requested to lift the sanctions. Further, he added that there are several things that the United States can do, such as ending joint military drills with South Korea and easing sanctions on North Korea in certain areas. Anna Evstigneeva, Russian deputy ambassador to the United Nations, also pleaded to lift sanctions. She said that the West should stop accusing North Korea and that Pyongyang needs more humanitarian aid.

UN Security Council Sanctions on North Korea

As a result of the recent resolution adopted by the global body on April 26, the 193-member UN General Assembly held its first session Wednesday, where permanent members of the Security Council required to explain their use of the veto. Since the United Nations Security Council started punishing Pyongyang in 2006, Russia’s and China’s vetoes on North Korea caused the Council to publicly split for the first time.

Several United Nations Security Council resolutions sought to rein in North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. They cut off funding after its first nuclear test explosion in 2006, and the sanctions tightened over the years in a total of ten resolutions. Jeffrey DeLaurentis, the United States deputy ambassador, said the number of launches has been record-breaking as North Korea “makes final preparations for a likely nuclear test.” He noted that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s actions were “unprovoked.”

North Korean United Nations Ambassador Kim Song slammed all United Nations sanctions and the proposed American resolution as unlawful. It said they violate the Charter of the United Nations and N Korea’s right to self-defense to prepare for a likely security crisis in the region, especially on the Korean peninsula.

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