Imposing sanctions against North Korea is “futile,” the Kremlin said, on Wednesday, insisting that political and diplomatic efforts are the best way to diffuse the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
“Russia has never supported the sanctions dialogue. We believe this is a futile approach,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in comments carried by state news agency TASS.
Russia and China, which border North Korea, have relatively close diplomatic ties to the insular nation.
However, both have strongly criticised North Korea’s atomic weapons programme.
Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have escalated in recent weeks, with the US, a strong ally of South Korea, vowing to respond to North Korean nuclear threats with military force.
The UN Security Council has issued a wide range of sanctions against North Korea, including entities and individuals in the reclusive country, for pursuing nuclear and ballistic missile programmes in defiance of UN resolutions.
The US, Japan and South Korea have also issued sanctions on North Korea, but they are not binding on other countries.
The UN has blacklisted 39 North Korean individuals and 42 entities, which are subject to a travel ban and asset freeze.
UN member states are obliged to enforce the sanctions, which are far-reaching and comprehensive. However, many include gray areas and exceptions which are subject to interpretation.
North Korea is under a total UN arms embargo, sale of all arms and related materiel is banned, among others.
The embargo has been in place since 2006 and was expanded in 2009 to include small arms and light weapons.
North Korea is also prohibited from selling helicopters under UN sanctions.