Washington’s Chief diplomat has told United Nations Security Council envoys that there needs to be concrete actions by North Korea before any easing of sanctions can be discussed.
The U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, spent the day in New York meeting with various stakeholders to update them on U.S. efforts to get Pyongyang to denuclearize. Speaking to the press corps after his meetings Pompeo expressed his government’s desire that the Democratic People’s Republic Korea would be a friend and not a pariah at the UN.
#DPRK is illegally smuggling petroleum products into the country at a level that far exceeds quotas established by UN. Illegal ship-to-ship transfers are the most prominent means by which this is happening. Every UN member state must step up enforcement. pic.twitter.com/8KRotTFg0l
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) July 21, 2018
In a series of meetings, President Donald Trump’s top envoy met with key stakeholders as they work to maintain international pressure on the North Korean regime.
First with the South Korean Foreign Minister then the Security Council and later a bilateral the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres.
But questions remain about what Washington expects from Pyongyang.
Pompeo: “It’s really pretty straight-forward and it’s not my description of what needs to take place, Chairman Kim made a promise, Chairman Kim told not only President Trump but President Moon that he was prepared to denuclearize. The scope and scale of that is agreed to, the North Koreans understand what that means, there’s no mistake of what the scope of denuclearization looks like so what do we need to see? We need to see Chairman Kim do what he promised the world he would do. It’s not very fancy but it’s the truth.”
Russia and China this week blocked efforts by the United States to push the Security Council to tighten sanctions even further on the DPRK over what Washington says is clear evidence of illicit ship to ship transfers of refined petroleum products destined for North Korea, in violation of limits set by UN sanctions.
Russia’s UN Mission put the U.S. request on hold to halt all refined petroleum products to North Korea, as a penalty for the violation, arguing it was seeking additional information on every single case of illegality.
— Michelle Nichols (@michellenichols) July 20, 2018
The U.S. envoy to the UN accused some countries of trying to go around the rules. United States Ambassador Nikky Haley:
“So yesterday the U.S. put a halt to all additional refined petroleum shipments to North Korea, China and Russia blocked it. Now for China and Russia to block it, what are they telling us – are they telling us that they want to continue supplying this oil, they claim they need more information. We don’t need any more information, the sanctions committee has what it needs, we all know what’s going forward, we put pressure today on China and Russia to abide and be good, help us through this situation and to help us to continue with denuclearization, and so I think this was a day of very frank talk.”
President Trump met with Chairman Kim Jong UN in a historic summit in Singapore last month but progress on Pyongyang’s denuclearization has hit several bumps in the road since then.