China, Russia veto UNGA Resolution against North Korea

New York: China and Russia defended their vetoes of a strongly backed U.S. resolution that would have imposed tough new sanctions on North Korea, speaking at a first of its kind General Assembly meeting Wednesday.

The debate was held under new rules requiring the General Assembly to examine any veto wielded in the Security Council by one of its five permanent members.

Close allies China and Russia reiterated their opposition to more sanctions, blaming the United States for rising tensions on the Korean peninsula and insisting that what’s needed now is a dialogue between North Korea and the Biden administration.

Nearly 70 countries signed up to speak at the open meeting which General Assembly President Abdalla Shahid hailed as making the U.N. more efficient and accountable. “It is with good reason that it has been coined as `revolutionary’ by several world leaders I have recently met,” he said.

Denmark’s U.N. Ambassador Martin Bille Hermann told the 193-member world body as he started his address on behalf of the Nordic countries: “History is being made today.” The Security Council is entrusted with ensuring international peace and security, he said, and the use of a veto to prevent the council from discharging its duties “is a matter of great concern.”

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