Accuses Russia of 'cheating' on North Korea sanctions

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley chairs a meeting of the U.N. Security Council on maintenance of international peace and security at U.N. headquarters in New York on Sept. 10 2018

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley chairs a meeting of the U.N. Security Council on maintenance of international peace and security at U.N. headquarters in New York on Sept. 10 2018

The acrimonious meeting of the Security Council was called by US Ambassador Nikki Haley, who accused Russia of pressuring independent United Nations experts to alter a report on implementation of sanctions against North Korea that she said contained "evidence of multiple Russian sanctions violations".

"Russia must cease its violations of North Korea sanctions".

The Treasury said Wednesday that China-based Dalian Sun Moon Star, a logistics company, as well as its Singapore-based affiliate SINSMS, used falsified shipping documents to ship alcohol, tobacco and cigarette-related items into North Korea in violation of US and United Nations sanctions.

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She said that includes ship-to-ship transfers of banned items, mainly oil but increasingly coal and other goods.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley expressed disappointment in the panel monitoring sanctions against North Korea "for caving to Russian pressure and making changes to what should have been an independent report".

The United States on Monday accused Russian Federation of "cheating" on UN sanctions against North Korea with plans for a railway project, oil transfers and ongoing business dealings with Pyongyang.

Haley said that while "difficult, sensitive talks" between Washington and Pyongyang are ongoing, it was the wrong time to start easing sanctions. She said that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is still unable to gain access to the country and inspect nuclear-related facilities. He also pointed out that the report had determined that a specific ship-to-ship transfer of fuel by a Russian ship, cited by Haley, was not a violation.

United Nations diplomats familiar with discussions said Russian Federation was angered that the panel used a lot of USA intelligence in the initial report that Moscow claimed was incorrect.

The report states on the sale of North Korean weapons to Syria, Libya, Yemen.

Nebenzya claimed that the United States is trying to "impose on the worldwide community their own vision of the situation", and said that the panel of experts had become "increasingly politicized", defending the revisions to the report.

At the emergency UNSC meeting, Haley followed up her comments by claiming that Moscow was breaking the UN's restrictions on North Korea.

The US has said sanctions won't be lifted until that goal is met.

Nebenzya went on to say that there is still a "prospect" of the two Koreas signing a peace treaty to formally "end the state of war on the Korean Peninsula".

Seoul expects a "significant breakthrough" from the inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang, Cho said, but added that sanctions must be implemented in a "mutually complementary manner".

After the initial experts' report was released, Russian Federation and China blocked the United Nations from imposing sanctions on Russia-based entities and vessels sanctioned a week earlier by the U.S. Treasury Department. China's U.N. Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu said tighter sanctions would result in a "dead end" and that "resorting to force will bring nothing but disastrous consequences".

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