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Envoy says US is determined to monitor North Korean nukes, through the UN or otherwise

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The United States and its allies are discussing options “both inside and outside the U.N. system” to create a new mechanism for monitoring North Korea over its nuclear weapons program, the American ambassador to the United Nations said Wednesday.

Russia last month vetoed a U.N. resolution in a move that effectively abolished monitoring by U.N. experts of Security Council sanctions against North Korea, which prompted Western accusations that Moscow was acting to shield its arms purchases from North Korea to fuel its war in Ukraine.

“I look forward to engaging with both the Republic of Korea and Japan, but like-minded (countries) as well, on trying to develop options both inside the U.N. as well as outside the U.N. The point here is that we cannot allow the work that the panel of experts were doing to lapse,” U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told a news conference in Seoul, using the formal name for South Korea.

Thomas-Greenfield didn’t provide specific details about U.S. discussions with allies and other partners, including whether an alternative monitoring regime would more likely be established through the U.N. General Assembly or with an independent entity outside of the U.N.

Thomas-Greenfield met with South Korean Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul on Monday and they discussed unspecified “next steps to ensure a continuation of independent and accurate reporting” of North Korea’s illicit weapons development activities, according to her office.

Thomas-Greenfield said it was clear that Russia and China, which abstained from voting on the U.N. resolution vetoed by Moscow, will continue to try to block international efforts to maintain monitoring of U.N. sanctions against North Korea. She