Russia's Veto On North Korea Sanctions Panel Spells 'Grim Future' For Enforcement, Say Former Members

The future of sanctions against North Korea looks bleak, as Russia has vetoed the renewal of the United Nations (U.N.) panel responsible for monitoring these sanctions. This move has raised concerns among former panel members about the effectiveness of the sanctions regime.

What Happened: Russia’s decision to veto the annual renewal of the U.N. panel of experts, which has been overseeing sanctions against North Korea for 15 years, has raised concerns about the future of these sanctions, Reuters reported on Friday.

China, North Korea’s primary military ally, and its largest trading partner, abstained from the vote. This veto is seen as a diplomatic win for Pyongyang and highlights the deepening ties between North Korea and Russia.

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"Russia's vote, along with its blatant violation of sanctions by buying conventional arms from North Korea, years long history of ignoring their obligations, and at least tacit support from China suggest that the future is grim for the DPRK sanctions regime," said  Aaron Arnold, a sanctions expert at Britain’s Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) and who was a part of the vetoed panel.

Why It Matters: Russia’s veto comes amid reports of direct oil shipments to North Korea, a move that defies existing U.N. sanctions. This has raised concerns about the effectiveness of the sanctions regime.

The veto comes at a time of escalating tensions in the region. North Korea has been intensifying its war preparations, launching a series of cruise missiles and receiving significant compensation from Russia for sending its latest missiles. This has raised concerns about the effectiveness of the sanctions regime.

The veto also comes amid reports of massive military drills by the United States and South Korea in response to escalating threats from North Korea. The veto could further escalate tensions in the region.

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Illustration by TPYXA_ILLUSTRATION on Shutterstock

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