15 July 2006
Security Council
SC/8778

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

5490th Meeting (PM)


SECURITY COUNCIL CONDEMNS DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF KOREA’S MISSILE LAUNCHES,


UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTING RESOLUTION 1695 (2006)


Demands Suspension of All Related Ballistic Missile Activity;

Urges Country to Return Immediately to Six-Party Talks Without Precondition


The United Nations Security Council today condemned the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s recent test-firing of a series of missiles, and demanded that the North-East Asian country suspend all ballistic missile related activity and reinstate its moratorium on missile launches.


Acting “under its special responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security”, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 1695 (2006), by the terms of which it also required all Member States to prevent the transfer of missile and missile-related items, materials, goods and technology to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s missile or weapons of mass destruction programmes, as well as procurement of such items and technology from that country.  It also addressed the transfer of financial resources in relation to those programmes.


The resolution affirmed that such launches jeopardize peace, stability and security in the region and beyond, particularly in light of the country’s claim that it has developed nuclear weapons.  The Council underlined that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea needed to show restraint and refrain from any action that might aggravate tension, and continue to work on the resolution of non-proliferation concerns, through political and diplomatic efforts.  In that connection, it strongly urged the country to return immediately to the six-party talks without precondition, to work towards expeditious implementation of the September 2005 joint statement and return to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards.


Immediately following the adoption, Japan’s Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs said the consensus resolution marked an important step forward in promoting peace and security on the Korean peninsula and North-East Asia.  With the adoption of the text, the Council had acted swiftly and robustly in response to the condemnable act of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in launching the barrage of ballistic missiles on 5 July.  Through the resolution, the Council had, in unity, sent a strong and unmistakable message to the country, and had agreed on a set of binding measures, with which both the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Member States were obliged to comply, in order to deal with the situation created by that country.


The representative of the United States noted that it was the first resolution on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea since 1993, reflecting the gravity of the situation, and the unity and determination of the Council.  He expressed hope that that country would make the strategic decision that the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction programmes and threatening acts made it less, not more, secure.


China’s representative said that, under the present circumstances, he urged all the parties concerned to practice restraint.  He was opposed to any acts that would lead to further tension, and hoped that the resolution adopted today would help all the parties concerned to act calmly and continue the diplomatic endeavours for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and the normalization of relations between the countries concerned.  Maintaining peace and stability on the Korean peninsula was in the common interests of the international community and the North-East Asian countries, and was the fundamental starting point for China in handling Korean peninsula affairs.


The representative of the Russian Federation stressed that the Council’s actions must be not only firm, but also carefully calibrated and weighed.  The main task was for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to return to a moratorium regime on ballistic missile testing and to resume participation in the six-party talks.  Driven by those considerations, the Russian Federation had continued to actively harmonize the Council’s reaction.


The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea condemned the attempt “of some countries to misuse the Security Council for the despicable political aim to isolate and put pressure” on his country, and vowed to continue the launches to bolster his country’s self-defence.


Expressing appreciation for the Council’s unanimous adoption of the resolution, the representative of the Republic of Korea said his Government had been following North Korea’s activities, warning the Government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea not to conduct any missile launches.  In that regard, he urged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to refrain from any further provocative acts, return to the six-party talks and comply with international efforts for non-proliferation.


Statements were also made by the representatives of the United Kingdom, Argentina, the United Republic of Tanzania and France.


The meeting started at 3.45 p.m. and was adjourned at 4.35 p.m.


Resolution


The full text of resolution 1695 (2006) reads as follows:


The Security Council,


Reaffirming its resolutions 825 (1993) of 11 May 1993 and 1540 (2004) of 28 April 2004,


Bearing in mind the importance of maintaining peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and in north-east Asia at large,


Reaffirming that proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, as well as their means of delivery, constitutes a threat to international peace and security,


Expressing grave concern at the launch of ballistic missiles by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), given the potential of such systems to be used as a means to deliver nuclear, chemical or biological payloads,


Registering profound concern at the DPRK’s breaking of its pledge to maintain its moratorium on missile launching,


Expressing further concern that the DPRK endangered civil aviation and shipping through its failure to provide adequate advance notice,


Expressing its grave concern about DPRK’s indication of possible additional launches of ballistic missiles in the near future,


Expressing also its desire for a peaceful and diplomatic solution to the situation and welcoming efforts by Council members as well as other Member States to facilitate a peaceful and comprehensive solution through dialogue,


Recalling that the DPRK launched an object propelled by a missile without prior notification to the countries in the region, which fell into the waters in the vicinity of Japan on 31 August 1998,


Deploring the DPRK’s announcement of withdrawal from the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (the Treaty) and its stated pursuit of nuclear weapons in spite of its Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards obligations,


Stressing the importance of the implementation of the Joint Statement issued on 19 September 2005 by China, DPRK, Japan, Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation and the United States,


Affirming that such launches jeopardize peace, stability and security in the region and beyond, particularly in light of the DPRK’s claim that it has developed nuclear weapons,


Acting under its special responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security,


“1.   Condemns the multiple launches by the DPRK of ballistic missiles on 5 July 2006 local time;


“2.   Demands that the DPRK suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile programme, and in this context re-establish its pre-existing commitments to a moratorium on missile launching;


“3.   Requires all Member States, in accordance with their national legal authorities and legislation and consistent with international law, to exercise vigilance and prevent missile and missile-related items, materials, goods and technology being transferred to DPRK’s missile or WMD programmes;


“4.   Requires all Member States, in accordance with their national legal authorities and legislation and consistent with international law, to exercise vigilance and prevent the procurement of missiles or missile related-items, materials, goods and technology from the DPRK, and the transfer of any financial resources in relation to DPRK’s missile or WMD programmes;


“5.   Underlines, in particular to the DPRK, the need to show restraint and refrain from any action that might aggravate tension, and to continue to work on the resolution of non-proliferation concerns through political and diplomatic efforts;


“6.   Strongly urges the DPRK to return immediately to the Six-Party Talks without precondition, to work towards the expeditious implementation of 19 September 2005 Joint Statement, in particular to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes, and to return at an early date to the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards;


“7.   Supports the six-party talks, calls for their early resumption, and urges all the participants to intensify their efforts on the full implementation of the 19 September 2005 Joint Statement with a view to achieving the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner and to maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in north-east Asia;


“8.   Decides to remain seized of the matter.”


Statements


SHINTARO ITO, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, said the Council had just taken a significant decision on the question of peace and security on the Korean peninsula and North-East Asia.  Japan welcomed the unanimous adoption of the resolution.  With the adoption of the text, the Council had acted swiftly and robustly in response to the condemnable act of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in launching the barrage of ballistic missiles on 5 July.  Through the resolution, the Council had, in unity, sent, on behalf of the international community, a strong and unmistakable message to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and had agreed on a set of binding measures, with which both the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Member States were obliged to comply, in order to deal with the situation created by that country.


The launch of missiles and other related activities by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had been a matter of very serious concern for peace and security for Japan, he said.  While the missiles had posed a direct threat to Japan’s security, the nature of the threat had become more serious in light of the country’s claim that it had developed nuclear weapons.  The well-known behaviour of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as a proliferator of ballistic missile technology, among other behaviours, should not escape the world’s attention.  Japan’s original text, presented on 7 July, had been co-sponsored by eight Council members.  Subsequently, China and the Russian Federation had presented the text of a presidential statement.  While Japan had welcomed the move on the part of China and Russia, both of which were neighbouring countries and important members of the six-party talks, that text had been considered insufficient and weak, given the threat posed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s unacceptable acts.  After intensive consultations to breach differences, members had been able to reach agreement on a text that was strong in its message and binding under the United Nations Charter.


It was important that Council members had acted in unity, he said.  The resolution stated that the Council was acting under its special responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and demanded that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile programme.  It also demanded that it re-establish its pre-existing commitments to a moratorium on missile launching.  It also urged the country to return immediately to the six-party talks, without preconditions.  Japan urged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to comply with the Council’s demand, and sincerely respond to all other provisions of the text.  Japan also urged the country to cease all nuclear-related activities, with the aim of the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of its nuclear programme.  It was essential that Member States exercise vigilance in preventing the transfer of missiles, related materials and technology to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s missile and weapons-of-mass-destruction programmes.  The resolution also required Member States to exercise vigilance in preventing the procurement of missile-related materials and technology, as well as the transfer of any financial resources in relation to its missile or weapons-of-mass-destruction programmes.


He stated his Government’s intention to implement those measures that were necessary to achieve the objectives set out in the resolution, in accordance with domestic law and procedures.  Japan had already taken a number of unilateral measures against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, including strict export control measures on weapons of mass destruction and related goods.  Japan also expected that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea would respond quickly to the Council’s call to return to the six-party talks, work towards the implementation of the 19 September 2005 joint statement and return to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards.  The resolution was a milestone, and marked an important step forward in promoting peace and security on the Korean peninsula and North-East Asia.   All countries in the region must work together in following the spirit and letter of the important resolution. 


JOHN BOLTON ( United States) said that 11 days had passed since the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had brazenly defied the international community and fired seven ballistic missiles, including a Taepo-dong 2 intercontinental ballistic missile, into the waters surrounding its neighbours, notably Japan.  Despite intense diplomatic efforts by a number of countries prior to those launches, North Korea had chosen to disregard the collective will of its neighbours -- indeed, the world.  In so doing, it had violated several international commitments it had entered into, most recently the joint statement of the six-party talks from September 2005.  Since the words of the North Korean leadership and the agreements it signed had been consistently shown to hold little value over time, it was only appropriate for the international community and the Security Council to evaluate North Korea based on its actions.


It would be dangerous to look at this month’s missile launches in isolation from North Korea’s unrelenting pursuit of a nuclear-weapons capability, he continued.  When North Korea had launched a missile over Japan in 1998, the international community had not been aware of the fact that Pyongyang was pursuing a covert uranium enrichment programme, in violation of the 1994 Agreed Framework.  In the intervening eight years, North Korea had withdrawn from the NPT, kicked out inspectors of IAEA, and declared not just that it was pursuing nuclear weapons capability, but that it already possessed them.


He was glad the Council had taken clear, firm and unanimous action in passing the resolution today, he said.  The actions of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea represented a direct threat to international peace and security, and demanded a strong statement from the Council in the form of a strong resolution.  The past 11 days had witnessed a flurry of diplomatic activity in New York, a number of capitals around the world, and notably in Pyongyang itself, where a high-level delegation from China had made one last attempt to make the North Korean leadership see reason.  It was appropriate for the Council to show this flexibility on timing and allow diplomatic efforts a chance to succeed.  Those efforts were now exhausted, and the continued intransigence and defiance of the North Korean leadership demanded a strong response from the Council.  The resolution adopted today did just that. It also sent a much stronger signal than the weak and feckless response of the Council in 1998, which had only issued a press statement.


He said that, in condemning the multiple launches of ballistic missiles, the Council was affirming in the resolution that those launches threatened international peace and security.  It was not just the launches that posed a threat, but the propensity of North Korea to proliferate that technology.   North Korea was the world’s leading proliferator of ballistic missile technology, so it was entirely appropriate for the Council to reaffirm resolution 1540, which stated that “the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, as well as their means of delivery, constitutes a threat to international peace and security”.  The resolution also demanded action.  It sent an unequivocal, unambiguous and unanimous message to Pyongyang: suspend your ballistic missile programme, stop your procurement of materials related to weapons of mass destruction and implement your September 2005 commitment to verifiably dismantle your nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes.


The resolution also required Member States to do what they could to prevent the transfer of resources to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s missile programme, or the procurement of missile-related items from the country.  The United States expected that North Korea and all other States would immediately act in accordance with the requirements of the resolution.


He added that it was the first resolution on North Korea since 1993, reflecting the gravity of the situation and the unity and determination of the Council.  He hoped it would demonstrate to North Korea that the best way to improve the livelihood of its people and end its international isolation was to stop playing nuclear games and restore its missile moratorium, return to the six-party talks and implement the terms of the joint statement from the last round of those talks.  He looked forward to North Korea’s immediate and full compliance with the resolution.  He hoped North Korea would make the strategic decision that the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction programmes and threatening acts made it less, not more, secure.  The Council needed to be prepared, though, that North Korea might choose a different path.  That was why it was important that, if the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea did not comply with the requirements of the resolution, the United States and other Member States had an opportunity, at any point, to return to the Council for further action.


WANG GUANGYA ( China) welcomed the resolution adopted by the Council, saying that, on 5 July, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had launched a number of missiles without adequate advance notification.  That had prompted extensive concern throughout the international community.


Many countries had expressed their grave concern at that negative development, he continued.  They were afraid it would have a negative impact on peace and security in North-East Asia, and especially on the Korean peninsula.  As a close neighbour of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, China was gravely concerned at the new complicated factors on the peninsula.  China had always been committed to maintaining peace and stability on the Korean peninsula, and insisted on resolving the relevant issues through peaceful dialogue and negotiations.  It opposed any acts that would lead to tension on the Korean peninsula.  He hoped the parties concerned would consider the overall interests and make more contributions to the peninsula’s peace and stability.  The Chinese side was ready to make joint efforts with all the parties concerned to overcome difficulties, promote the six-party talks and jointly maintain peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and in North-East Asia.


He said that, ever since the discussions had started in the Security Council on the missile launching, China had acted persistently to serve two major objectives, namely to maintain peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and to keep the Council united.  China had consistently advocated that the Council should make an appropriate response as soon as possible, send a unified message to the international community, reactivate a new round of diplomatic efforts and bring about an early resumption of the six-party talks.  China had adopted a responsible attitude and firmly opposed forcing through a vote on a draft resolution that was not conducive to unity, and would have further complicated and aggravated the situation, caused grave consequences for peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and created enormous obstacles for the six-party talks and other important diplomatic endeavours.  At the same time, China and the Russian Federation had put forward elements of a draft presidential statement, and then a draft resolution.  They had made constructive and vigorous efforts to seek consensus on the issue by Council members.


Under the present circumstances, China urged all the parties concerned to practice restraint, he said.  He was opposed to any acts that would lead to further tension.  He hoped that the resolution adopted today would help all the parties concerned to act calmly, and continue the diplomatic endeavours for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and the normalization of relations between the countries concerned.  Maintaining peace and stability on the Korean peninsula was in the common interests of the international community and the North-East Asian countries, and was the fundamental starting point for China in handling Korean peninsula affairs.  China would continue to make steadfast efforts to that end.


EMYR JONES PARRY ( United Kingdom) said his delegation had made clear its grave concern about the missile launches.  Many others had done the same.  The tests had been carried out, despite the international community’s concern, and against the background of the stated intention of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to withdraw from the NPT, and its statement that it possessed nuclear weapons.  Since the missile launches, the Government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had maintained that they had been part of a military policy that the Government would continue to pursue.  Against that backdrop, the launches had been provocative and had served to raise tensions in the region.  It was important that the Council had acted robustly and coherently.


He said the United Kingdom was delighted that the Council had unanimously agreed to the resolution.  A united signal by the text was both welcome and powerful.  The requirements of the text were clear.  The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and all States concerned must now comply with its obligations.


VITALY CHURKIN ( Russian Federation) said his delegation had been determined to see a speedy resolution of the issue.  It had expressed serious concern about the actions Pyongyang had taken without advance notice and contrary to the moratorium on missile launching.  It had also stressed, however, that the Council’s actions must be not only firm, but also carefully calibrated and weighed.  The main task was for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to return to a moratorium regime on ballistic missile testing, and for it to resume participation in the six-party talks.  Driven by those considerations, the Russian Federation had continued to actively harmonize the Council’s reaction.


Noting that consultations on the text had been complex, he said it was important that Council members displayed political will and responsibility.  The present resolution was a compromise and sent an appropriate signal to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on the need to display restraint and abide by its obligations.  At the same time, the resolution should work to strengthen peace and security in the region.  The adoption of the text by consensus confirmed that the Council was able to react effectively and in a spirit of unity to complex international challenges.


CESAR MAYORAL ( Argentina) said he was happy that the Council had adopted the resolution, which condemned the launching of missiles by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  The message that the Council was sending was a strong one, and Argentina hoped that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea would come back to the negotiating table and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).  He also hoped that it would stop developing weapons of mass destruction.  He thanked the countries of the region that were primarily affected by the launching of missiles for their understanding and cooperation.  They had been able to act wisely for the protection of international peace and security, in some cases, taking steps that conflicted with some domestic interests.  He also thanked the Ambassador of the United Kingdom, who had been able to bring about agreement, as well as the President of the Council for his search for a fair solution that would be acceptable to everyone.


TUVAKO MONONGI (United Republic of Tanzania) said that his delegation had voted for the draft resolution, bearing in mind the gravity of the situation.  He hoped that the message sent by the Council would engender dialogue and promote peace and security in the Korean peninsula and North-East Asia.  That action was in the interest of the parties involved and the international community at large.


Council President JEAN-MARC DE LA SABLIČRE ( France), speaking in his national capacity, congratulated the Council for having unanimously adopted the resolution.  That action was an appropriate response to a serious situation.  The development and testing by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea of ballistic missiles capable of carrying weapons of mass destruction seriously endangered the security of North-East Asia and beyond for several reasons, including that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had confirmed that it had developed nuclear weapons, that it was not a signatory to the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and that it was attempting to increase the range of its missiles.  The combination of such factors meant that the recent tests had endangered the security of the entire international community.


He said it had been the Council’s duty to condemn the tests and ensure that the international community prevent the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s missile and weapons of mass destruction programmes.  That was the meaning of the resolution, which required that the country return to responsible behaviour, cease its ballistic activities and reinstate its moratorium on testing.  It must also return to the six-party talks and renounce all of its nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes, with a view to reaching verifiable denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.  The resolution contained provisions to which all parties must comply.


The unanimous adoption of the text constituted a significant development of the Council in the area of combating proliferation, he said.  The Council had weighed the words of its message and had taken into account the responsibility to fight proliferation, as confirmed in the presidential statement of 1992 and extended by resolution 1540 of 2004.  Throughout the negotiations, France had had endeavoured to bring about unity in the Council.  Today’s unity was a measure of member’s shared intention to act resolutely in the fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.


PAK GIL YON (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) said that the Security Council was not justified in taking up his country’s missile launch exercise, both in view of the competence of the Council and of international law.  His delegation resolutely condemned the attempt of some countries to misuse the Council for despicable political aims and to put pressure on his country.  He totally rejected the resolution adopted today.


He said that the latest successful missile launches were part of routine military exercises to increase his country’s military capacity for self-defence.  The exercise was a legitimate right of a sovereign State and was neither bound to any international law, nor to bilateral or multilateral agreements, such as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea–Japan Pyongyang Declaration and the joint statement of the six-party talks. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was not a signatory to the missile technology control regime and, therefore, not bound to any commitment under it.


As for the moratorium on long-range missile test flightsthat his country had agreed to with the United States in 1999, it had been valid only when the United States-Democratic People’s Republic of Korea dialogue was under way, he said.  The Bush Administration had scrapped all the agreements signed by previous administrations.  The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had clarified that its moratorium had lost its validity in 2005.  The same could be said regarding the moratorium that his country had agreed to with Japan in 2002.  In the Pyongyang Declaration, his Government had expressed its intention to extend beyond 2003 the moratorium on missile firing, in the spirit of the Declaration, on the premise that Japan would normalize its relations with his country and redeem its past.  The Japanese authorities, however, had abused his country’s good faith and pursued a hostile policy.  That had brought the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea-Japanese relations to what they had been before the Declaration.


Turning to the joint statement of the six-party talks from September 2005, he said that it stipulated the commitments of the six parties to the talks, but no sooner had it been adopted, than the United States had applied financial sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and escalated pressure in various fields.  At the same time, it had totally hamstrung the main points of the agreements, through such blackmail as full-scale military exercises against his country.


It would be unfair for his country to unilaterally hold a missile-launch moratorium under such conditions, he continued.  It was also unfair to claim that routine missile launches for self-defence had strained the situation in the region.  A lesson taught by history, and a stark reality proven by the Iraqi crisis, was that upsetting the balance could bring instability and spark a new war.  Had it not been for his country’s self-defence, the United States would have attacked it more than once.  His country’s missile development, test-fire, manufacture and deployment were key to the balance of forces and, thus, needed, to preserve peace and stability in North-East Asia.


He added that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had been accused of not sending prior notice regarding the launches.  However, it would have been foolish to notify Washington D.C. and Tokyo of the planned launch.  The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was committed to peace and stability in the region.  The latest launch exercises were quite irrelevant to the latest six-party talks.  His country would go on with its launch exercises as part of its efforts to bolster deterrent for self-defence in the future, too.  The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea would have no option, but to take strong actions, should any country take issue with the exercises and apply pressure on his country.


CHOI YOUNG-JIN (Republic of Korea) noted that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had, on 5 July, fired missiles from its eastern coast.  Since early May, the Republic of Korea had been following North Korea’s activities, warning the Government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea not to conduct any missile launches.  The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had proceeded, however.  His Government had expressed profound regret over the unacceptable act, which had undermined peace and stability in North-East Asia.  In that regard, his Government appreciated the Council’s efforts, which had resulted in the resolution’s unanimous adoption.  He urged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to refrain from any further provocative actions, return to the six-party talks and comply with international efforts for non-proliferation.


Mr. BOLTON ( United States) said today had been a historic day.  The Council had unanimously adopted resolution 1695, and North Korea had set a world record in rejecting it within forty-five minutes of its adoption.  He could respond to the comments the representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had made before he left the Council Chamber, “but why bother”?


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For information media • not an official record