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Russia’s veto on UN sanctions monitoring will further embolden North Korea


With a UN Security Council increasingly stymied by great power politics, the US and its regional allies must lead efforts to constrain an increasingly dangerous North Korea.

On 28 March, Russia vetoed a United Nations (UN) Security Council resolution to extend the mandate of the panel of experts (PoE) responsible for monitoring North Korea’s violations of UN sanctions. This development underscores the weakening ability of the UN to constrain ‘rogue’ states, the strengthening alignment between Russia and North Korea, and poses significant challenges for addressing the ‘North Korea problem’.

The PoE was established following North Korea’s second nuclear test in May 2009 and its mandate has been extended annually. But this time, Russia’s veto of the resolution has ended the panel’s mandate, which will expire on 30 April. Russia’s veto also demonstrates how it seeks to exonerate itself from any scrutiny of its own sanctions-violating actions, including illicit trade with North Korea.

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