The United States on Monday accused Russia of "cheating" on UN sanctions against North Korea with a planned railway project, oil transfers and ongoing business dealings with Pyongyang. US Ambassador Nikki Haley told a Security Council meeting that the United States has evidence of "consistent and wide-ranging Russian violations" of the UN sanctions imposed on North Korea. "Step by step, sanction by sanction, and time and time again, Russia is working across the board to undermine the sanctions regime," Haley said. Led by the United States, the council last year adopted three sets of wide-ranging sanctions aimed at cutting off revenue to North Korea's ballistic missile and nuclear programs. Haley said Russia had been "cheating" despite supporting UN sanctions resolutions. Russia wants to develop railway links to North Korea to export coal from its Far East region and ultimately reach South Korea to access a global port, Haley said. "The problem is, it isn't time yet to relieve pressure … [Read more...] about US accuses Russia of ‘cheating’ on North Korea sanctions
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© AP Photo / Mary AltafferRussia Waives Objections to UN Report on North KoreaHaley is quoted in the release as saying she is disappointed that the Panel would give in to Russian pressure. "This is a dangerous precedent and a stain on the important work of the Panel," Haley said. "We've seen the original report and we know the truth — the Panel should do the right thing and release it." The release said the UN Panel of Experts reports are supposed to be independent in order to provide the Security Council with important details and impartial analysis on the status of sanctions against North Korea. Russian interference "damages the sanctity" of the independent panel process at the United Nations, the release added. READ MORE: North Korea Reportedly Concealing Further Nuclearization from US Intelligence … [Read more...] about Haley Claims Russia Interfered with UN Report on North Korea
UN sanctions experts are asking global commodity trading firms and oil companies to spell out what measures they are taking to prevent illegal oil shipments from reaching North Korea, the panel's coordinator said Tuesday. The UN Security Council in December adopted a new round of sanctions that severely restricted oil supplies vital for North Korea's ballistic missile and nuclear programs. "We are requesting information on what measures are being put in place by these companies to reduce the risk that products might be inadvertently, wittingly or unwittingly transferred to North Korea," said Hugh Griffiths, the coordinator of the UN panel of experts on North Korea. Griffiths told AFP that illegal oil shipments were continuing to reach North Korea, despite a series of measures ordered by the Security Council to block supplies. In March, the UN sanctions committee blacklisted 27 ships, 21 companies and a businessman for helping North Korea circumvent sanctions and smuggle in oil and … [Read more...] about UN asks oil traders to shore up sanctions on North Korea
WASHINGTON – Weeks before his planned North Korea summit, President Donald Trump is staring down a dealmaker’s worst nightmare: overpromising and under-delivering. As the Singapore meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un draws near, the president and his allies are growing increasingly anxious about how he can score a win on the world stage. While Trump has not suggested he wants to back out, he has struggled to define his objectives for the historic sit-down and last week he drew fresh criticism from his foreign foil. “I think that Trump imagined he would go into this meeting and be able to have a historic breakthrough with a deal, but it’s clear he’s starting to realize it won’t be as easy as he imagined,” said Jean Lee, director of the North Korea program at the Woodrow Wilson Center and a former Associated Press bureau chief in Pyongyang. Trump, who has pitched himself as the ultimate negotiator, has focused on ambitious deals as … [Read more...] about Can the ‘dealmaker’ president deliver on North Korea?
As he pursues a nuclear deal with Kim Jong Un, human rights advocates hope Trump won’t forget to focus on Kim’s domestic abuses. Before he agreed to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, U.S. President Donald Trump called him a vicious human rights abuser — “a madman who doesn’t mind starving or killing his people.” He has described a “horror of life” that is “so complete that citizens … would rather be slaves than live in North Korea.” To his State of the Union address in January, Trump invited a North Korean defector — an amputee who’d fled the country on a set of crutches that he defiantly raised for the cameras as Trump hailed his escape from the “depraved” regime. Now, as Trump prepares for an unprecedented meeting with Kim to discuss eliminating Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program, he has dropped that tough rhetoric and shown no sign that the human rights of North … [Read more...] about Trump mutes his attacks on North Korea’s ‘depraved’ policies