US Envoy to UN Says Allies Devising New Methods to Monitor North Korea

On Wednesday, the US ambassador to the UN said that the US and its allies are now exploring possibilities “both inside and outside the U.N. system” to establish a new framework for overseeing North Korea’s nuclear weapons development.

South Korean Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul met with Linda Thomas-Greenfield, The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, on Monday. Their meeting was reportedly about the next steps to ensure a continuation of independent and accurate reporting about North Korea’s illegal weapons development efforts. Her office did not disclose the details of this meeting.

According to Thomas-Greenfield, Russia, and China, who did not cast a vote on the United Nations resolution that Moscow vetoed, will undoubtedly continue in their attempts to obstruct global initiatives to monitor the sanctions the UN has imposed on North Korea.

Thomas-Greenfield was vague on the nature of the United States’ conversations with its partners and allies, failing to say, for example, whether the United Nations General Assembly or an external body would be more likely to develop an alternative monitoring system.

She said that Russia was breaking the sanctions by allegedly buying weapons from North Korea and that China was shielding the North from punishment.

Western nations have accused Russia of trying to cover up its weaponry purchases from North Korea to support its conflict in Ukraine. Last month, Russia vetoed a U.N. resolution that would have essentially removed the ability for U.N. experts to oversee the implementation of sanctions against North Korea.

The United States has been leading attempts to increase sanctions on North Korea for its increased ballistic missile tests since 2022, but Moscow and Beijing have blocked these measures. This highlights the gulf between the permanent members of the Security Council, which has become broader since Russia invaded Ukraine.

Last month, the Security Council reaffirmed the authority of its expert panel for another fourteen years to probe sanctions breaches. The council created the committee to keep an eye on the sanctions.

Russia’s U.N. ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, said before last month’s vote that sanctions are no longer effective in halting the nuclear weapons proliferation in North Korea and that Western countries are attempting to “strangle” the country.