By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley brought the heat when she slammed Putin yesterday over allowing thousands of North Korean laborers into Russia. It’s a direct violation of sanctions against Pyongyang. Her blistering criticism came just one day after the Wall Street Journal reported that Moscow granted thousands of new work permits to North Korean laborers.
“Credible reports of Russia violating U.N. Security Council resolutions on North Korean laborers working abroad are deeply troubling,” Haley stated. “These reports are especially concerning as they come just one month after Russia refused to acknowledge North Korea’s violations of the U.N. oil cap and blocked a United States request to enforce sanctions and put a stop to it.”
Haley’s rebuke came just hours after the Treasury Department sanctioned a Russian bank for violating sanctions against North Korea. They had knowingly authorized a large payment on behalf of a North Korean living in Moscow who was sanctioned by the U.S. last year. Just the day before Haley called Russia on the carpet, U.S. intelligence officials told reporters at the White House that the threat of Russian interference in the 2018 midterm election was real. American intel agencies are addressing the threat comprehensively, the officials said. In fact, several heads of our biggest intel agencies held a press conference to ring the alarm bells over the threat.
The sanctions against North Korea were aimed at getting them to relinquish their nuclear weapons program. Unfortunately, North Korea is still producing missiles and nuclear material despite the sanctions according to intelligence reports. Those sanctions will remain in place until there is full, provable denuclearization by the North Koreans, per President Trump. “Until we see the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea there can be no easing of sanctions,” Haley said. “Talk is cheap – Russia cannot support sanctions with their words in the Security Council only to violate them with their actions.”