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U.S. Urges N. Korea to Focus on Needs of Its People, Not Missiles

North Korea’s humanitarian situation “continues to worsen,” according to an excerpt of a confidential U.N. report
U.S. urges N.Korea to focus on needs of its people, not missiles
A North Korea flag flutters next to concertina wire at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia March 9, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo/File Photo

The United States called on North Korea on Monday to defund its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and prioritize the needs of its own people, as Russia and China blamed sanctions for worsening the humanitarian situation in the hermit Asian state.

Russia put sanctions under the spotlight at the U.N. Security Council as part of its presidency of the 15-member body during February. However, Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia could not chair the meeting because he tested positive for COVID-19, diplomats said.

"We call on DPRK to demonstrate a commitment to the wellbeing of its own people by respecting human rights, defunding its unlawful WMD (weapons of mass destruction) and ballistic missiles program, and prioritizing the needs of its own people – the vulnerable North Koreans," said the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

North Korea's formal name is the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. It has been under U.N. sanctions since 2006 over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

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