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US envoy to UN to visit Korean border, North Korean defectors


April 10, 2024

Credits @FFHR.CZ

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA — The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations will travel to the heavily armed Korean border and meet North Korean defectors in South Korea, her office said on Monday, amid faltering U.N. efforts to ensure sanctions enforcement against the North.

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield's trip, set for April 14-20, came after Russia rejected the annual renewal of the multinational panel of experts, which has over the past 15 years worked on the implementation of U.N. sanctions aimed at curbing North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

Washington, Seoul and Tokyo criticized Moscow's veto and China's abstention, which experts said would undermine the sanctions enforcement, with a South Korean envoy likening it to "destroying a CCTV to avoid being caught red-handed."

Thomas-Greenfield's trip, which will also include a stop in Japan, was meant to advance bilateral and trilateral cooperation on the sanctions and beyond, U.S. mission to the U.N. spokesperson Nate Evans said.

Both South Korea and Japan are currently members of the Security Council.

"In both countries, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield will discuss next steps to ensure a continuation of independent and accurate reporting of the DPRK's ongoing weapons proliferation and sanctions evasion activities," Evans said in a statement, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

In South Korea, Thomas-Greenfield will travel to the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone between the two Koreas, meet young North Korean defectors as well as students at Ewha Womans University, Evans said.

In Japan, she will also meet family members of Japanese citizens who were abducted in the early 2000s by North Korea, and visit Nagasaki, which was hit by U.S. nuclear bombing in 1945.



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