US diplomats have called on the UN Security Council to impose tougher sanctions on North Korea for its missile launches. But on Thursday the Chinese and Russians blocked their efforts.
Security analysts had warned that the North Koreans could carry out a nuclear or missile test during US President Joe Biden’s visit to South Korea and Japan.
Authorities fired three missiles at the Sea of Japan on Wednesday, including one believed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile. The launches came just after Biden left Tokyo.
U.S. delegates drafted a resolution to cut off crude oil and petroleum supplies to North Korea, and they wanted to freeze the assets of North Korean pirates. UN officials believe the country is raising money through cyberattacks to fund its weapons programs.
The Russian ambassador described the use of sanctions as “primitive”. The Chinese ambassador criticized the Americans for not addressing the issues through dialogue.
Envoys from Japan and South Korea said the vetoes left them with “deep regret”.
US and Japanese officials said they were strengthening their capabilities “to deter and counter regional threats”. After the launch, their fighter jets flew together over the Sea of Japan.
US and South Korean militaries conducted missile tests.