US calls for urgent UN meeting on North Korea sanctions after accusing Russia of interfering with report
The U.S. on Friday called for an urgent meeting of the U.N. Security Council on the implementation of sanctions on North Korea, a day after Ambassador Nikki Haley accused Russia of meddling in an independent report on the sanctions.
“Given recent efforts by some Member States to undermine and obstruct North Korea sanctions implementation, the United States has called an urgent United Nations Security Council meeting for Monday at 10 a.m. to discuss the implementation and enforcement of U.N. sanctions on North Korea,” a statement from the U.S. Mission read.
The statement did not name countries, but it came a day after Haley accused Russia of interfering in a report from the U.N.’s independent Panel of Experts on the impl
“Russia can’t be allowed to edit and obstruct independent U.N. reports on North Korea sanctions just because they don’t like what they say. Period,” Haley said in a statement.
She also expressed her disappointment in the panel for “caving to Russian pressure,” calling it a “dangerous precedent.”
“We’ve seen the original report and we know the truth – the Panel should do the right thing and release it,” she said.
The Security Council, led by the U.S., ramped up sanctions on North Korea last year amid the rogue nation’s nuclear tests, imposing sanctions on exports from oil to seafood. The U.S. says that resolutions had cut off all North Korean exports, which make up 90 percent of its trade.
The sanctions are seen as being partly responsible for a thaw in relations between North and South Korea, and a meeting in June between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Haley’s call for the Security Council meeting on Monday was met with some bipartisan support in Congress. Sens. Cory Gardner, R-Colo, and Ed Markey, D-Mass., as chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy, backed Haley’s stance.
“Russia is acting in bad faith, and we join Ambassador Haley’s call for transparency and accountability on sanctions enforcement at the United Nations against North Korea,” the lawmakers said in a statement. "We urge the Panel not to cave to Russian pressure and to release the original version of the report. Countries not applying pressure are enabling North Korea's advancing nuclear weapons program.
They also called for the administration to increase its diplomatic efforts to compel all parties to comply with U.N. sanctions.
“Without this pressure, North Korea will not denuclearize," Gardner and Markey said.