On Wednesday (May 11), the U.S. criticized China and Russia for rejecting the implementation of additional U.N. pressure against North Korea, warning that the Security Council cannot stay silent and needs to take action as Pyongyang prepares for its seventh nuclear test.

The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, referred to two council members who claimed that the council’s prudence would urge North Korea “to stop escalating and instead come to the negotiating table.”

During a US-called council meeting, Thomas spoke about North Korea’s recent ballistic missile launches, “Clearly, silence and restraint have not worked. It is time to stop providing tacit permission and start taking action.”

Since 2006, North Korea has been under U.N. sanctions for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The U.S. wants the 15-member Security Council to vote on a US-drafted resolution to penalize Pyongyang even more in May.

Pyongyang’s sanctions were last reinforced by the UNSC in 2017. According to independent U.N. sanctions monitors, North Korea has dodged some U.N. restrictions.

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