Mandate of UN panel monitoring N.Korea sanctions to expire following Russia veto

The mandate of a United Nations panel to monitor the implementation of sanctions against North Korea will expire on Tuesday, following Russia's veto of its continuation.

Last month, Russia vetoed a resolution at the UN Security Council that would have extended the panel's mandate.

Launched in 2009, the panel has looked into how Pyongyang has evaded sanctions and continued its nuclear and missile development programs. The group has issued reports twice every year.

The latest document said 40 percent of North Korea's weapons of mass destruction programs are funded by "illicit cybermeans," citing a report by a UN member state.

It also said the panel is looking into North Korea's alleged arms supply to Russia. Such transfers would violate UN Security Council resolutions.

The US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield has indicated that the US would work with Japan, South Korea and others to create a new mechanism for checking evasions of sanctions.

Takeuchi Maiko, a former member of the panel, told NHK that she believes Russia vetoed the resolution in order to make it easier for the country to evade sanctions to import ammunition from North Korea and do other things.

She indicated that her view is that North Korea has become a country necessary for Russia, as Pyongyang provides ballistic missiles and ammunition to the country amid Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

Takeuchi said Russia may also have wanted to create an obligation of gratitude from Pyongyang, so that it will continue supplying missiles and munitions.

She also talked about the possible impact of the expiration of the panel's mandate.

She said Pyongyang could take advantage of the situation to send laborers to other countries and export minerals.