China and Russia have vetoed a US attempt to impose new UN sanctions on North Korea over its renewed ballistic missile launches, publicly splitting the organization's Security Council for the first time since the body began imposing sanctions on Pyongyang in 2006, Reuters reported.
The other 13 members of the UN Security Council voted unanimously in favor of a draft resolution proposed by the United States proposing a ban on tobacco and oil exports to North Korea, led by Kim Jong Un, a heavy smoker. The resolution also called for the blacklist of the hacker group Lazarus, which the United States says is linked to North Korea.
The vote came just a day after Pyongyang fired three missiles, including one believed to be its largest Hwasong-17 intercontinental missile. These missile tests followed US President Joe Biden's visit to Asia.
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield called for unity ahead of the vote, calling North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile tests this year a "threat to the entire international community," according to the Associated Press. She said earlier this month that "it is time to stop showing tacit consent and take action" against North Korea.
For the past 16 years, the UN Security Council has consistently and unanimously stepped up sanctions to stop funding for Pyongyang's ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs. The last UN sanctions against North Korea were extended in 2017, according to Reuters.
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