2

We condemn in the strongest possible terms the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) export and Russia’s procurement of DPRK ballistic missiles, as well as Russia’s use of these missiles against Ukraine on December 30, 2023, and January 2, 2024. The transfer of these weapons increases the suffering of the Ukrainian people, supports Russia’s war of aggression, and undermines the global non-proliferation regime. Russia’s use of DPRK ballistic missiles in Ukraine also provides valuable technical and military insights to the DPRK. We are deeply concerned about the security implications that this cooperation has in Europe, on the Korean Peninsula, across the Indo-Pacific region, and around the world.

https://www.state.gov/joint-statement-on-dprk-russia-ballistic-missile-transfers/

Now, that Russia broke some UN sanctions against North Korea, I was wondering if there's an incentive to respect some UN sanctions against North Korea, or because there would be basically no consequences to Russia given the already harsh sanctions against it for invading Ukraine. I know China doesn't want to evade some UN sanctions against North Korea, so I am wondering if there some kind of pressure from China, and whether China condemned Russia for breaking some of those UN sanctions against North Korea.

3 Answers 3

8

I'll answer your second question first as that's easy:

I am wondering if there some kind of pressure from China, and whether China condemned Russia for breaking some of those UN sanctions against North Korea.

No, so far China hasn't issued any statement condemning Russia. That is probably because the US is the only country to have made this allegation. And China is unlikely to accept this allegation unless it is shown the evidence behind it. The United States is unlikely to share such evidence with China as it may reveal US Intel sources. And it would have concern that China may share such data with Russia. (Note, however, even Ukraine's Air Force can't confirm yet that Russia has used North Korean missiles in Ukraine).

As for the question whether Russia has "an incentive to respect some UN sanctions against North Korea, or because there would be basically no consequences to Russia given the already harsh sanctions against it for invading Ukraine", the answer is, "Yes, Russia has incentive to respect UN sanctions".

Russia is a strong proponent of the idea of a "multipolar" world, as opposed to the current US centric "unipolar" one we live in. Part of this idea is a strong UN which dictates world affairs. Obviously, it isn't an entirely selfless idea - Russia is one of the permanent member of the UNSC and as such has a veto there. If the UN is the only forum where world affairs are decided, Russia obviously gains a great influence on it, and the western alliance also wouldn't be able to ignore it or bypass it in the UN (which isn't the case today as we see non-UN organisations like EU setting up an "international court" like ICC or we have the IMF or even BRICS trying to influence economic policies worldwide and so on).

So, unless Russia is facing an existential crisis, it may "bend" North Korean sanctions as much as possible, when it wants to , but it is unlikely to "break" it. As breaking them would cause it to lose respect from other countries that support its "multipolar UN based world order" vision. And worst case it could possibly even invite a UN censure against it that would be embarrassing.

(And, if anyone is tempted to ask me if Russia isn't currently facing an existential crisis due to the Ukraine war, the answer is no it isn't, yet).

1
  • 5
    It's perhaps worth at least noting that pressure from China may not come in the form of public statements. Xi Jinping can (and there's good reason to believe does) pressure Vladimir Putin by speaking to him privately. Although it seems unlikely to me that this issue is important enough to China for him to do so.
    – James_pic
    Jan 12 at 10:24
4

Simply put there is no incentive. Russia is already being sanctioned as it no one else is willing to sell them the weapons that they need. In this case it seems one of their limited options is buying from North Korea and not buying from them won't increase the options they have.

0

As of January 2024, Russia continues to be a member of the United Nations (UN) so I do not see how they "would not have incentive" to respect the decisions of this organization, if they want to stay the member.

UN is important organization with 193 members - almost all of the world's sovereign states. While leaving the UN can be easily explained in Russian propaganda terms, it may still not in they best interests. So far, Indonesia was the first and the only nation that attempted to withdraw its membership from the United Nations.

1
  • 1
    As they are a permeant member of the security council and have veto power I don't think there is any risk of them being removed from the UN based on these actions.
    – Joe W
    Jan 12 at 16:08

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .