China, Russia Oppose North Korea Sanctions

This is the first time a veto has been used in the UN since 2006.

This is the first time a veto has been used in the UN since 2006.

Over the past year, North Korea has publicly conducted a large number of ballistic missile tests. The tests are in violation of resolutions passed by the United Nations, as well as a concerning show of force from a potentially hostile nation. In an effort to punish these actions, the UN Security Council brought forth a motion, drafted by United States ambassadors, to strengthen existing sanctions on North Korea.

However, in the first instance since 2006, this motion was vetoed by UN ambassadors, specifically the ones from China and Russia. As China and Russia are permanent members of the UN, their vetoes are enough to stop the motion entirely. Both countries were in agreement that strengthening sanctions would not do anything to curb North Korea’s missile tests, and may in fact incite them into developing their weaponry further.

“The strengthening of the sanctions pressure on Pyongyang is not only useless but it’s extremely dangerous from the humanitarian consequences of such measures,” said Russian Ambassador Vasily Alekseevich Nebenzya.

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield expressed dissatisfaction with the vetoes, believing that they are preventing the UN from upholding a duty to keep North Korea in check. “The vetoes today are dangerous. Those members today have taken a stance that not only undermines the Security Council’s previous action to which they have committed but also undermines our collective security.”

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