US determined to monitor NKorean nukes, through UN or otherwise: envoy

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US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield speaks during a press conference at the American Diplomacy House in Seoul on April 17. (AP)

SEOUL, South Korea, April 17, (AP): The United States and its allies are discussing options “both inside and outside the UN system” to create a new mechanism for monitoring North Korea over its nuclear weapons program, the American ambassador to the United Nations said Wednesday.
Russia last month vetoed a UN resolution in a move that effectively abolished monitoring by UN experts of Security Council sanctions against North Korea, which prompted Western accusations that Moscow was acting to shield its arms purchases from North Korea to fuel its war in Ukraine.
“I look forward to engaging with both the Republic of Korea and Japan, but like-minded (countries) as well, on trying to develop options both inside the UN as well as outside the UN. The point here is that we cannot allow the work that the panel of experts were doing to lapse,” US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told a news conference in Seoul, using the formal name for South Korea.
Thomas-Greenfield didn’t provide specific details about US discussions with allies and other partners, including whether an alternative monitoring regime would more likely be established through the UN General Assembly or with an independent entity outside of the UN.
Thomas-Greenfield met with South Korean Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul on Monday and they discussed unspecified “next steps to ensure a continuation of independent and accurate reporting” of North Korea’s illicit weapons development activities, according to her office.
Thomas-Greenfield said it was clear that Russia and China, which abstained from voting on the U.N. resolution vetoed by Moscow, will continue to try to block international efforts to maintain monitoring of UN sanctions against North Korea. She criticized Russia for violating those sanctions with its alleged arms purchases from North Korea, and China for protecting the North from being held accountable.
Moscow and Beijing have thwarted US-led efforts to tighten UN sanctions on North Korea over its ramped-up ballistic missile testing since 2022, underscoring a divide between permanent Security Council members that deepened over Russia’s war on Ukraine.

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