The U.S. envoy to the United Nations criticized Russia for allegedly continuing to issue work permits for North Koreans in violation of international sanctions.
Ambassador Nikki Haley said “credible reports” about the work visas are the latest example of Moscow appearing to ease up on a sanctions regime approved by the UN Security Council last year in an effort to halt North Korea’s nuclear and missile program.
The Wall Street Journal reported this week that at least 700 new work permits have been issued this year, and that some of the companies hiring the workers are joint ventures with North Korean entities.
“Talk is cheap — Russia cannot support sanctions with their words in the Security Council only to violate them with their actions,” Haley said in a statement on Friday. “Until we see the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea there can be no easing of sanctions.”
Haley’s comments follow a decision earlier in the day by the U.S. Treasury Department to sanction a small Russian bank along with an individual and two other entities for facilitating North Korean financial transactions.