Russia blocks UN monitoring of N.Korea

Russian delegates at the United Nations have vetoed efforts to monitor sanctions on North Korea. The move comes as Moscow and Pyongyang grow ever closer.

The UN Security Council has imposed a series of sanctions on the North for prohibited nuclear and missile development. It established a panel of experts to monitor those penalties and report on any violations and renewed that mandate every year for 14 years.

However, Russia on Thursday used its veto to bring an end to the monitoring. Russian envoy Vassily Nebenzia said the panel's work is being reduced to playing into the hands of the West, reprinting "biased information" and analyzing newspaper headlines and poor-quality photos.

China abstained from the vote, while the remaining 13 council members wanted the monitoring to continue.

Deputy US Ambassador to the UN Robert Wood said, "Moscow has undermined the prospect of a peaceful diplomatic resolution of one of the world's most dangerous nuclear proliferation issues."

Japanese envoy Yamazaki Kazuyuki called the result "deeply profoundly regrettable." He pointed out that the Russians are defending the North Koreans while turning to them to buy weapons.