U.S. fears tampering on N. Korea sanctions

Aaron Brown
September 20, 2018

Nikki Haley that Russia is pressuring United Nations experts to alter an independent report implicating Russian actors in violations of North Korea sanctions.

An August U.N. report revealed Pyongyang has not stopped its nuclear and missile programs and is still violating sanctions by transferring coal at sea.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley told Monday's urgent meeting of the Security Council that the violations are "systematic".

Russian Federation and China have suggested the Security Council discuss easing sanctions after U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met in June and Kim pledged to work toward denuclearization.

And despite the US pushing global partners to maintain pressure on North Korea to denuclearize, full support from critical allies, Russian Federation and China, has waned.

The announced new actions Wednesday directed at Chinese and Russian companies that the department said have facilitated illicit shipments on behalf of North Korea.

A report compiled by an independent panel reviewing whether United Nations sanctions on Pyongyang had been implemented was submitted to the Security Council's sanctions committee in August.

"Step by step, sanction by sanction, and time and time again, Russian Federation is working across the board to undermine the sanctions regime", Haley said. "And now they've been caught", she said.

Representatives from other countries called for the steady implementation of the sanctions and the release of the report, without referring to Russian Federation.

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Moscow's representative at the United Nations also said that it had not redacted a specific section on a Russian company breaking sanctions, but had instead made that part of the report confidential, meaning it will only be available to governments and not the general public.

The US has said sanctions won't be lifted until that goal is met.

Meanwhile, North Korea's neighbors are actively trying to engage the reclusive state in trade and commerce.

The Wall Street Journal on Sunday reported seeing the United Nations report on sanctions violations Haley mentioned.

Seoul expects a "significant breakthrough" from the inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang, Cho said, but added that sanctions must be implemented in a "mutually complementary manner".

Noting the progress that has been made toward building trust and reducing military tensions, including the halt to nuclear and missile tests by the North, she said that "a foundation has been established to make tangible progress on the core issues" through the inter-Korean and North-U.S. summits.

Nebenzya went on to say that there is still a "prospect" of the two Koreas signing a peace treaty to formally "end the state of war on the Korean Peninsula".

China's ambassador Ma Zhaoxu likewise declared sanctions a "dead end" and warned, "Resorting to force will bring nothing but disastrous consequences".

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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