(Bloomberg) -- Pushing through a United Nations General Assembly vote to continue expert monitoring of North Korea’s nuclear arms development would require a “tremendous” effort and it’s unclear where funds would be found to have think tanks take up the role, the US Ambassador to the UN said. 

The US is discussing with other members of the UN Security Council alternative ways to maintain the work done by its Panel of Experts, whose mandate expires this month after Russia vetoed an extension, Linda Thomas-Greenfield told reporters in Tokyo on Friday.

Reports by the panel inform decisions on international sanctions established by the Security Council in a series of resolutions aimed at barring North Korea from developing into a nuclear-armed state. North Korea has repeatedly defied the resolutions and continues to develop nuclear warheads and missiles to carry them.

Having the assembly approve a resolution to maintain the Panel of Experts would be one way forward, while the US is also pressing the secretary general to call for reports on the situation, Thomas-Greenfield said. External researchers are an option, although funding would need to be found, she added. 

Read: Russia Blocks UN Expert Panel on North Korea Nuclear Program

“Putting something on the agenda of the General Assembly is going to require a tremendous amount of effort,” Thomas-Greenfield said, with substantial work also needed to obtain the necessary two-thirds majority for such a resolution.  

Thomas-Greenfield added that she was unsure whether the process could be completed before the current panel’s mandate expires. Options outside the UN, including through the Group of Seven, remain on the table, she added, as does a combination of various methods to obtain information. The US intends to work with countries including South Korea, Japan and the UK on the issue, she said.  

Thomas-Greenfield expressed disappointment at Russia’s veto of the panel, which has been operating for 15 years, as well as China’s abstention from the vote. 

Cold War partners Russia and North Korea have forged a new partnership since the Kremlin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, built upon Pyongyang holding some of the world’s largest stocks of munitions that are interoperable with weapons Moscow has deployed to the battlefield.

Read more: North Korea Appears to Be Accelerating Military Aid to Russia

The US, South Korea, Japan and others have accused North Korea of providing massive amounts of arms that includes ballistic missiles, artillery shells and other military equipment to sustain President Vladimir Putin’s assault on Ukraine. Moscow and Pyongyang have denied the accusations.

“Russia does not want reporting of its activities that have broken sanctions with the DPRK,” Thomas-Greenfield said, using an abbreviation of the formal name for North Korea. “They have a relationship of mutual support, where they are getting arms from the DPRK, they are providing the DPRK with oil as well as with access to technology that is being used to help them continue to produce weapons of mass destruction.”

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