Russia and China urge UN to lift sanctions affecting North Korean civilians


PYONGYANG – Russia and China have presented a draft resolution to the UN Security Council calling for an end to sanctions against North Korea, as well as a return to the six-party peace talks.

The measure talks about exempting inter-Korean rail and road cooperation from UN sanctions, as well as lifting all blockages previously imposed by the UN Security Council directly related to civilian livelihoods.

The resolution also cites lifting sanctions on exports of statues, seafood and textiles. The initiative also calls for an end to embargoes against North Koreans working abroad. The document advocates the removal of some points from the embargo with the “objective of improving the livelihoods of the civilian population”.

In addition, it calls for the “continuity” of dialogue between the United States and North Korea at “all levels” with the intention of “building mutual trust and joint efforts” towards a “lasting and stable peace on the Korean Peninsula.”

North Korean nuclear program is cause for concern

It is not yet defined when the bill will be sent to the Security Council, which has 15 members. To pass, a resolution needs nine votes and no veto from the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Russia, or China.

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The position of Americans, French and British is that sanctions should be lifted when North Korea proves it has given up its nuclear program and missile tests. The Asian country has been embargoed since 2006.

The Russians and Chinese, for their part, think the Council should reward North Korea after leader Kim Jong-un promised in 2018 to work towards denuclearization.

As negotiations between the US and North Korea are stalled, part of the international community fears Pyongyang is restarting its nuclear program and testing long-range missiles, which had been suspended since 2017.

US President Donald Trump and Kim have met three times since June 2018, but recently there has been a escalation of accusations between the US and North Korea.

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