Russia and China Undermine U.N. Reporting on North Korea Sanction Dodging, Analysis Finds

Russian president Vladimir Putin and Chinese president Xi Jinping / Getty Images
October 30, 2020

Russia and China work to undermine United Nations reporting on North Korea's sanction dodging, a new think tank analysis finds.

Andrea Stricker, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, outlines Moscow and Beijing's efforts to help Pyongyang evade sanctions on its arms programs.

"Russia and China not only are the most prolific violators of international sanctions against North Korea; they also hinder UN reporting of that fact," Stricker writes, using their seats on the Security Council to "obstruct the work" of the U.N.'s "North Korea investigatory group."

Both countries have also blocked publication of expert reports on North Korea's missile buildup and fought against the charge to implement a full suite of sanctions against the North Korean regime, the analysis finds.

China has illegally cooperated with North Korea both inside and outside the U.N. in recent months. A September report showed that North Korea actively turns a blind eye to illegal Chinese fishing in its waters, netting Beijing millions of dollars in revenue. A recent Free Beacon report highlighted several areas in which Beijing has used U.N.-affiliated organizations as a bully pulpit to push its own agenda on trade, human rights, and global health.

While President Trump has withdrawn the United States from several of those organizations, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has made rejoining them a major feature of his campaign platform. Biden also says he will bring a fresh perspective to dealing with the North Korean regime.

Experts, however, view Biden's North Korea agenda with some skepticism and note that the Trump administration has waged effective unilateral sanctions on the Communist regime.

As North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has admitted, those tough sanctions, along with the coronavirus pandemic, have wracked the country's economy.