49 countries, EU seek new mechanism to monitor North Korea sanctions

Forty-nine countries and the European Union have issued a joint statement calling for a new mechanism for monitoring sanctions on North Korea.

A UN Security Council panel of experts tasked with this mission was disbanded on April 30 after Russia vetoed a resolution to extend its mandate. The panel provided reports and analyses on how North Korea has been evading sanctions and continuing its nuclear and missile development programs.

US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield read out the joint statement at UN headquarters in New York on Wednesday.

She said Russia's use of the veto "deprived UN Member States of vital information and guidance to implement the measures adopted by the Council."

She also demanded that North Korea abandon its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs.

The ambassador said, "Given the imperative for all Member States to comply with relevant Security Council resolutions, and considering the expiration of the Panel, we must now consider how to continue access to this kind of objective, independent analysis."

She added, "We look forward to working with all Member States to make that possible."