UN Security Council split spells end of an era for US-led sanctions on North Korea

SEOUL (REUTERS) – A decision by China and Russia to veto new United Nations sanctions on North Korea pushed by the United States shattered any veneer of global cooperation, straining efforts to pressure Pyongyang as it prepares to conduct a new nuclear test.

The two countries on Thursday (May 26) vetoed a US-led push to impose more UN sanctions on North Korea over its renewed ballistic missile launches, publicly splitting the UN Security Council for the first time since it started punishing Pyongyang in 2006.

US officials slammed it as a “sharp departure from the Council’s track record of collective action on this issue.”

“Today’s vote means North Korea will feel more free to take further escalatory actions,” Mr Jeffrey Prescott, deputy to the US Ambassador to the UN, said on Twitter. “But we can’t resign ourselves to this fate – that would be far too dangerous.”

Russia’s UN ambassador called the resolution “a path to a dead end,” while China’s envoy said it would only lead to more”negative effects and escalation of confrontation.”

Analysts and some diplomats said Washington may have miscalculated in its rush to impose consequences for North Korea’s missile tests.

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