Vetoes Block US Bid to Add Sanctions for North Korea

China, Russia oppose resolution, the first major UN Security Council split over the issue
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 26, 2022 6:45 PM CDT
Vetoes Block US Bid to Add Sanctions for North Korea
A photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, speaks in front of what his government said was an intercontinental ballistic missile displayed at an exhibition in Pyongyang last October.   (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)

(Newser) – A US effort to impose new sanctions on North Korea over its series of intercontinental ballistic missile launches was blocked Thursday in the United Nations. China and Russia vetoed the resolution, making the Security Council vote 13-2. It was the first major split among the five nations with vetoes on sanctions for North Korea, the Washington Post reports. US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield reminded the other nations before the vote that they'd agreed to add sanctions in December 2017 if North Korea launched any ballistic missiles with the ability to reach intercontinental ranges.

The six tests by North Korea so far this year are "a threat to the entire international community," Thomas-Greenfield said. China's ambassador said it's a bad time for provocative action, given the tension on the Korean Peninsula. Zhang Jun urged the US to instead take "meaningful, practical actions" toward dialogue with North Korea, per the AP. Adding sanctions, he said, "can only get the situation even worse." Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said the US and its Western allies "seem to have no response to crisis situations other than introducing new sanctions," per the AFP. President Biden has expressed an openness to meeting with North Korean President Kim Jong Un. (Read more North Korea sanctions stories.)

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