US warns of new sanctions if North Korea conducts nuclear test

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The United States said on May 31 that it would seek to tighten UN sanctions if North Korea conducts a nuclear weapons test after China and Russia vetoed last week’s UN Security Council vote to impose more sanctions on North Korea.

When asked whether the United States would seek another Security Council resolution if North Korea continued its alarming nuclear tests, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas Greenfield replied, “Of course we will.”

“First, we need to enforce sanctions, and we have the authority to enforce those sanctions. And I’m sure we’ll try again with the last draft resolution to impose more sanctions,” Greenfield said.

Although North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test during US President Joe Biden’s trip to Asia in May, U.S. intelligence said it may be preparing for its first nuclear test since 2017.

The U.S. and South Korea said North Korea had tested three missiles, including an intercontinental ballistic missile, on May 25, prompting the U.S. to push for a U.N. Security Council vote on May 26 to tighten sanctions against North Korea.

The US said the test violated a 2017 UN resolution that warned of consequences for further weapons tests.

However, Russia and China, which have strained relations with the West over the war in Ukraine, vetoed a draft resolution proposed by the United States, saying the sanctions would heighten tensions.

On May 26, the United States imposed new sanctions on North Korea, including two Russian banks, after China and Russia vetoed a vote to impose sanctions on North Korea at the United Nations Security Council on May 26.

North Korea has been subject to a gradual increase in UN sanctions since 2006.