China and Russia blocked harsher UN sanctions against North Korea on Thursday, rejecting the United States’ attempt to penalize Pyongyang for launching an intercontinental ballistic missile.
The resolution had unanimous backing from the Security Council’s other 13 members, while several US allies privately questioned why Washington pushed forward with the vote despite Beijing and Moscow’s vehement opposition.
China, North Korea’s closest ally, and Russia, whose ties with the West have deteriorated as a result of its invasion of Ukraine, both stated that a non-binding statement would be preferable than a new resolution with fangs against Pyongyang.
The United States of America “should not be used to replace a one-sided focus on punishment implementation alone. It should also endeavor to advance a political settlement “Zhang Jun, China’s ambassador to the United Nations, expressed his views.
He cautioned that sanctions against North Korea, which just declared an epidemic of Covid in one of the world’s most restricted societies, will have humanitarian ramifications.
Additional penalties, he warned, “would not only not assist solve the situation, but will have additional bad consequences and escalate the conflict.”
Vassily Nebenzia, Russia’s envoy, accused the US of rejecting North Korea’s pleas to halt “hostile conduct” and engage in diplomacy.
“Our American and other Western colleagues appear to be experiencing the equivalent of writer’s block. They appear to have no other answer to crises except to impose fresh sanctions “he stated
The administration of Vice President Joe Biden has stated repeatedly that it is eager to talk to North Korea without restrictions.
North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, attended three high-profile meetings with Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, but showed little interest in working-level negotiations.
While suggesting negotiations, the US stated that North Korea had flagrantly disobeyed a 2017 Security Council resolution that threatened harsher sanctions if Pyongyang launched a long-range missile.
The resolution proposed by the United States would have cut North Korea’s annual oil imports for civilian purposes from four million to three million barrels (525,000 to 393,750 tons).
It would also reduce refined petroleum imports from 500,000 to 375,000 barrels.