May 24, 2024
North Korea on Friday slammed the ongoing Asia visit by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who spoke to reporters in Seoul on Wednesday, as an "aid-begging trip" meant. Photo by Thomas Maresca/UPI

North Korea on Friday slammed the ongoing Asia visit by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who spoke to reporters in Seoul on Wednesday, as an “aid-begging trip” meant. Photo by Thomas Maresca/UPI

SEOUL, April 19 (UPI) — North Korea on Friday slammed a visit to Asia by the top U.S. envoy to the United Nations as an “aid-begging trip” meant to prop up an “illegal” sanctions regime against the isolated state.

Kim Son Gyong, the North’s Vice Foreign Minister, made the remarks about U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who spent four days in South Korea this week before arriving in Japan on Thursday.

In a statement carried by state-run Korean Central News Agency, Kim called the visit “no more than an aid-begging trip … to enliven the weakened illegal sanctions and pressure on the DPRK with the help of inferior allies.”

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is the official name of North Korea.

“It is the last-ditch effort to continue to beat the drum of pressure by sewing up a ripped sanctions drum,” Kim said.

During her visit, Thomas-Greenfield said that the United States and its allies in Seoul and Tokyo were discussing new approaches to monitoring international sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

The trip came after Russia vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution last month to extend the mandate of the Panel of Experts, which has been in place since 2009 to keep tabs on North Korea’s sanctions compliance.

“I look forward to engaging with both the Republic of Korea and Japan, and like-minded [countries] as well, on trying to develop options both inside the U.N. as well as outside of the U.N.,” Thomas-Greenfield said Wednesday at a press conference in Seoul.

“The point here is that we cannot allow the work that the Panel of Experts were doing to collapse,” she said. “We have to continue to keep eyes on and report on the illegal activities of the DPRK and efforts to break the sanctions that have been put in place.”

Pyongyang and Moscow have strengthened ties since a September visit by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to Russia.

South Korean defense officials said recently that the North has shipped around 7,000 containers of munitions to Russia for its war against Ukraine. Moscow, meanwhile, is widely believed to be sharing advanced weapons technology and delivering shipments of oil to help Pyongyang evade sanctions.

In Friday’s statement, Kim claimed Greenfield-Thomas’s Asia trip demonstrated that the United States was overlooking the more urgent conflict in the Middle East.

“At present, the Middle East situation, including Palestine’s admission to a UN membership is brought up for discussion at the UNSC as the most pressing issue,” Kim said.

“Nevertheless, the U.S. representative to the UN obstinately embarked on her trip to Asia, turning her face away from all the facts,” Kim said. “This clearly shows that the U.S. has taken no account of peace and security guarantee in the Middle East including Palestine, but it is at a loss for the miserable fate of the tattered sanctions mechanism against the DPRK.”

On Thursday, the United States blocked a U.N. Security Council resolution to recognize Palestine as a full member state of the United Nations, arguing that admission would not achieve statehood for the Palestinian people.

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