(Bloomberg) -- The US ambassador to the United Nations said Russia’s arms trade with North Korea breaches international sanctions and Washington will seek ways to watch for violations after Moscow vetoed a measure to keep alive a monitoring panel.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield said during a visit to Seoul on Wednesday the US will work with partners such as South Korea and Japan, where she heads next, to develop options both inside and outside the UN to maintain the work of a Security Council Panel of Experts — a sanctions watchdog on North Korea. 

“We cannot allow the work that the Panel of Experts were doing to lapse,” she said at a news conference. Thomas-Greenfield has been holding talks during her visit with senior officials on alternatives and ways to extend the role of a Panel of Experts that has monitored North Korea’s nuclear-weapons development for 15 years after a veto by Russia last month that could bring the group to a halt. 

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

Thomas-Greenfield didn’t offer specifics of what mechanisms she may be perusing but she did accuse Moscow and Pyongyang of violating global sanctions. 

“Russia has already been breaking the sanctions regime,” she said. “They are purchasing weapons against Security Council resolutions.” She added the US was concerned about Iran supplying weapons to Russia.

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.

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

While North Korea and Russia deny any arms transfers, imagery from commercial satellites has shown cargo vessels over the past several months shuttling between North Korea’s Najin port near the Russian border to places such as the Russian port of Dunay, a former Soviet submarine port about 180 kilometers (110 miles) away. The White House said it has tracked some of those shipments as they traveled by rail across Russia to be stored in depots near Ukraine.

The US envoy expects any move at the United Nations to come up against resistance from Russia and China — two of the biggest backers of North Korea that have veto power at the Security Council. 

“The veto of the Panel of Experts does not veto the sanctions regime,” she said. “That regime stays in place.”

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