South Korea’s Yoon tells UN that Russia helping North Korea would be ‘direct provocation’

Any activities assisting North Korea’s weapons programmes are banned under UN Security Council resolutions, and Putin has said Russia, one of the five permanent members of the Security Council, would “never violate anything”.

A South Korean presidential aide rejected this, saying South Korea had been “watching military transactions take place for several months prior to the summit” between Kim and Putin.

On Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia wants to expand ties with North Korea in all possible areas.

On Tuesday, South Korea’s vice foreign minister, Chang Ho-jin, summoned Russia’s ambassador to urge Moscow to abandon any potential arms deals with North Korea, warning of “clear consequences”.

The South Korean presidential aide said discussions were underway with the United States and other countries to impose more sanctions on Russia and North Korea.

“The Security Council is divided … and it is impossible to draw a unified position on Russia there, so for now there could be cohesive action within the solidarity of freedom, cantering around allies and friends,” the official said. 

On Thursday, the foreign ministry of South Korea said that the country imposed fresh sanctions on 10 individuals and two entities in relation to North Korea’s nuclear program and weapons trade with three countries, including Russia.

North Korea’s defence minister and the chief of staff of its military are among the individuals facing new sanctions, the ministry said in a statement.

The sanctions are in response to North Korea’s illegal activities that threaten the global community, and peace and stability on the Korean peninsula, the ministry said.

The sanctions targeting four individuals and two entities related to North Korea’s weapons trade with three countries, including Russia, involve a Slovakian company, Versor S.R.O., and its chief executive, Ashot Mkrtychev of Slovakia, it said.

The ministry did not provide details of the weapons trade.

The sanctions against the North’s defence minister and the chief of staff of the military are in response to the North’s nuclear and missile developments, the ministry said.

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