China and Russia are clearly not interested in working with the United States to manage North Korea’s nuclear and missile arsenal, Washington’s nuclear envoy said on Friday, after Beijing and Moscow vetoed a U.S. proposal for new sanctions.
In Seoul for meetings with South Korean and Japanese counterparts, U.S. Special Representative Sung Kim said it was in the interest of China and Russia to cooperate with Washington, which is still seeking to engage with them to pressure Pyongyang.
China and Russia are clearly not interested in working with the United States to manage North Korea's nuclear and missile arsenal, Washington's nuclear envoy said on Friday, after Beijing and Moscow vetoed a U.S. proposal for new sanctions. https://t.co/bi8x9swcmr
— David Alexander (@davidalexander5) June 3, 2022
North Korea escapes further sanctions
China and Russia on Thursday vetoed a US-led bid at the United Nations to toughen sanctions on North Korea over its missile launches, laying bare divisions that Western envoys fear would be exploited by Pyongyang.
The Security Council resolution put forward by the United States would have reduced the amount of oil North Korea could legally import as punishment for a test Wednesday of an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Read more: North Korea role in East Asian Region
The resolution enjoyed the support of the 13 other members of the Security Council, although some US allies quietly wondered whether Washington should have gone ahead with the vote knowing the unflinching opposition from Beijing and Moscow.
China, the closest ally of North Korea, and Russia, whose relations with the West have sunk over its invasion of Ukraine, said they would have preferred a non-binding statement rather than a fresh resolution with teeth against Pyongyang.
A united Security Council imposed sanctions after North Korea’s first nuclear test explosion in 2006 and tightened them over the years in a total of 10 resolutions seeking – so far unsuccessfully – to rein in its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes and cut off funding. This year alone, the country has carried out a total of 23 missile launches, three of them in the space of less than an hour on Wednesday morning.
US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield described the vote as a “disappointing day” for the council.
Reuters with additional input by GVS News Desk