Congressional report notes need to examine N.K. sanctions implementation

A U.S. congressional report has noted the need for Congress to look into the implementation of anti-North Korea sanctions, saying the North's violation of the sanctions challenges Washington's policy to persuade the recalcitrant regime to renounce its nuclear arms. On Monday, the Congressional Research Service, a public policy research institute of the United States Congress, issued a report on relations between Pyongyang and Moscow, warning that their military cooperation could potentially boost Russia's invasion of Ukraine and increase the North's military capabilities. "Congress may consider whether to review administration policies, examine implementation of unilateral and multilateral sanctions, and review the breadth and pace of North Korea-Russia cooperation as well as its impact on U.S. and allied forces," the report read. The report touched on the expanded partnership between the North and Russia, which was highlighted by Pyongyang's transfers of weapons to Russia for use in Ukraine. South Korea, the United States and others have decried the transfers as a violation of multiple U.N. Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. "North Korea's contravention of these sanctions, with Russia's assistance, challenges long-held U.S. policy, shaped and supported by several acts of Congress, aimed at persuading North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons in exchange for a potential loosening of sanctions," the report said. "Strengthened North Korea-Russia bilateral ties potentially embolden North Korea to expand illicit activities and engage in provocations, and may improve DPRK military capabilities," it added, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The report also dealt with Russia's veto of a UNSC resolution to extend the mandate of a U.N. expert panel monitoring the enforcement of anti-Pyongyang sanctions. The panel's mandate expired on April 30. "Forcing the dissolution of the panel may be part of Russia's move to more openly engage in banned trade and other a ctivities with North Korea," it said. "This change in Russian policy toward North Korea may indicate a larger departure from Moscow's historical alignment with the United States on nonproliferation policy, and may be helping North Korea achieve its military and foreign policy goals." Source: Yonhap News Agency