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[KBS Exclusive] US Ambassador to UN Mulls N. Korea Sanctions Monitoring Body under UNGA

Written: 2024-04-18 11:29:43Updated: 2024-04-18 14:49:16

[KBS Exclusive] US Ambassador to UN Mulls N. Korea Sanctions Monitoring Body under UNGA

Photo : KBS

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations(UN) said that the establishment of a new organ within the UN General Assembly to monitor the enforcement of UN sanctions on North Korea is under consideration. 

In the wake of Russia’s veto of a resolution to extend the mandate of a panel tasked with monitoring violations of sanctions on North Korea, Linda Thomas-Greenfield discussed possible alternatives in an interview with KBS in Seoul on Wednesday.

The top U.S. envoy said that she and the UN secretary-general are looking into what can be done in the General Assembly, noting that the sanctions on North Korea remain effective. 

Thomas-Greenfield said that a veto right cannot be exercised in the General Assembly and resolutions can pass with the approval of two thirds of the members. In the UN Security Council, however, a minimum of 12 of 15 votes are needed for a resolution to be adopted and any of the five permanent members can strike down a resolution if they use their veto power.

The ambassador also mentioned other alternatives including one to create a monitoring organization outside the UN, adding the U.S. will deliberate on two to three options along with other countries. 

She said that the new organ will likely be led by South Korea, the U.S., Japan and Western countries, adding she does not expect participation from China and Russia. 

Russia last month exercised its veto right to prevent the renewal of the UN Panel of Experts, which has been monitoring violations of sanctions on North Korea for more than a decade.

Regarding “interim steps” toward North Korea’s denuclearization, mentioned previously by a U.S. official, the ambassador said that the U.S. is not considering them at all. She suggested that if Pyongyang secures sanctions relief, it will use the breathing room to enhance its weapons of mass destruction programs rather than help the people of North Korea.

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