The Hindu (Mumbai)

Following UN veto, Russia says big powers need to stop ‘strangling’ North Korea

Nine held in Tajikistan for Russia concert hall attack MOSCOW


Nine persons have been detained by Tajikistan over suspected contact with the perpetrato­rs of last week’s attack by gunmen on a suburban Moscow concert hall that killed 144 people, Russian state news agency RIA Novosti said on Friday.

Those detained are also suspected of having connection­s with the Islamic State group.

Russia’s Investigat­ive Committee said on Thursday it had detained another suspect in relation to the raid on Crocus City Hall, on suspicion of being involved in financing the attack. It did not give further details of the suspect.

Russia said on Friday that major powers needed a new approach to North Korea, accusing the U.S. and its allies of ratcheting up military tensions in Asia and seeking to “strangle” the reclusive state.

Russia vetoed the annual renewal of a panel of experts monitoring enforcemen­t of longstandi­ng United Nations sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes.

Moscow’s move, which strikes a blow at the enforcemen­t of a myriad of UN sanctions imposed after

Pyongyang carried out its first nuclear test in 2006, underscore­s the dividend that Kim Jong-un has earned by moving closer to President Vladimir Putin amid the war in Ukraine.

‘Old templates’

“It is obvious to us that the UN Security Council can no longer use old templates in relation to the problems of the Korean Peninsula,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoma­n

Maria Zakharova said.

Ms. Zakharova said the U.S. was stoking military tensions, that internatio­nal restrictio­ns had not improved the security situation and that there were severe humanitari­an consequenc­es for the population of North Korea, formally known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

The U.S. State Department said on Thursday that Russia’s veto had “cynically undermined internatio­nal peace and security” and accused Moscow of seeking to bury reporting by the panel of experts on its own “collusion” with North Korea to get weapons.

Russia had vetoed the annual renewal of sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear programmes

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