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Russia vetoes UNSC draft resolution on DPRK

By Xinhua
Published : 29 Mar 2024 10:21 PM

Russia on Thursday vetoed a United Nations (UN) Security Council draft resolution extending the mandate of the Panel of Experts assisting the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Sanctions Committee.

The U.S.-drafted resolution won the support of 13 of the 15 members of the Security Council. Russia voted against it. China abstained.

The draft resolution would have extended the mandate of the Panel of Experts until April 30, 2025.

Russia's permanent representative to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, said before the vote that the Panel of Experts has no added value.

"The panel's work has been reduced to playing along with Western approaches, replicating biased information, analyzing newspaper headlines and low-quality photos," he said. "In doing so, the panel effectively testified to its inability to develop sober assessments of the state of DPRK's sanctions regime. The panel fixated on insignificant trivialities disproportionate to the problems of the Korean Peninsula."

It is obvious that over the past years, the sanctions have not helped to achieve the goals set by the international community and have not led to the normalization of the situation around the peninsula. This situation does not encourage the parties to dialogue. At the same time, the sanctions are a heavy burden for the DPRK population.

The case of the DPRK is a unique one. It is the only country under indefinite sanctions of the Security Council. Basic mechanisms for adjusting the restrictions do not work, and there are no procedures that would allow the delisting of certain individuals. All the other sanctions regimes against countries have ultimate realistic goals and are subject to regular review, he said.

Russia, therefore, proposed during consultations on the draft resolution to hold an open and honest review of the sanctions against the DPRK, with a view to transferring the restrictions onto an annual basis. This would galvanize an engaged discussion of the accumulated problems, and adapt the Security Council's restrictive measures to rapidly changing conditions. This scenario could also give Pyongyang incentives to dialogue, said the Russian ambassador.

"However, the United States and its allies did not want to heed us and did not include our ideas in the draft resolution put to a vote today. In these circumstances, we see no added value in the work of the ... Panel of Experts and cannot support the American draft resolution."

In an explanation of vote after the vote, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, Geng Shuang, said the settlement of the Korean Peninsula issue cannot be divorced from political mutual trust and a favorable climate.

Blindly increasing sanctions and highlighting pressure will not help resolve issues. It will only be counterproductive. Indulging in military alliances and obsession with military confrontation will only further exacerbate antagonism and tensions, making the goal of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and maintaining its peace and stability even more elusive, he said.

"China once again calls on all parties to adopt a rational and pragmatic approach, stay committed to political settlement, resume contacts, build mutual trust, restart dialogue as soon as possible, and do more for peace and stability on the peninsula. The international community, including the Security Council, should also create a favorable environment to this end," he said.

China has always maintained that sanctions are not an end in itself, but a means. Sanctions against the DPRK should serve the denuclearization of the peninsula, the launch of dialogue and negotiations among the parties, and the final political settlement to the peninsula issue, said Geng.

China highly appreciates and supports the Russian proposal to set a time limit for the DPRK sanctions and conduct periodic reviews. China believes that this proposal, if adopted, will be a great improvement to the sanctions regime and would give impetus to break the current deadlock in the situation. Regrettably, the Russia proposal has not been taken on board, said Geng.

When the mandate of the Panel of Experts is yet to expire and when parties still have time for consultations, the draft resolution has been forced to a vote. China had to abstain, he said.