US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley accused Russia of “cheating” on UN sanctions on North Korea and said Washington has “evidence of consistent and wide-ranging Russian violations”, Reuters reports.
Haley told the UN Security Council that Russia was helping North Korea illegally obtain fuel through transfers at sea, had refused to expel a North Korean who the council blacklisted last year and had pushed for changes to an independent UN report on sanctions violations to cover up breaches by Russians.
Haley said Washington has tracked some 148 cases this year of oil tankers delivering fuel to North Korea obtained through ship-to-ship transfers at sea in breach of a UN cap. She did not say how many transfers may have received Russian help.
“Russia must cease its violations of North Korea sanctions. It must end its concerted effort to cover up evidence of sanctions violations,” she said. “Its violations are not one-offs. They are systematic.”
Russia and China have suggested the Security Council discuss easing sanctions after US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met in June and Kim pledged to work toward denuclearization.
Haley said that while “difficult, sensitive talks” between the United States and North Korea are ongoing, it was the wrong time to start easing sanctions on Pyongyang.
UN political affairs chief Rosemary DiCarlo told the council that while there had been some recent positive developments, “there continue to be signs [North Korea] is maintaining and developing its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs”.
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