Condemning the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK) multiple ballistic missile launches 11 days ago, the United Nations Security Council today demanded that the country suspend all related activities and required States to prevent the import or export of funds or goods that could fuel Pyongyang's missile or weapons of mass destruction programmes.
The Council's unanimous adoption of resolution 1695 came following intensive debate behind closed doors and was immediately hailed by numerous Council members but rejected just as quickly by the DPRK Government.
In adopting the resolution, the 15-member body noted the potential of ballistic missiles to be used for delivering nuclear, chemical or biological payloads. It also invoked the Council's “special responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.”
The Council required 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.
States were also required to exercise vigilance and prevent the procurement of missiles or missile related-items, materials, goods and technology from the country, as well as the transfer of any financial resources in relation to its missile or WMD programmes.
The resolution deplored the DPRK's announced withdrawal from the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and its stated pursuit of atomic arms in spite of its obligations under the NPT and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards.
The DPRK was strongly urged to return immediately to the Six-Party Talks without precondition, to work towards the expeditious implementation of a September 2005 Joint Statement, “in particular to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes” and to return soon to the NPT and IAEA safeguards.
Supporting the six-party talks, the Council called for their early resumption, and urged all the participants – the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States – to intensify their efforts on the full implementation of the 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.
China, the United States, Japan and the Russian Federation were among the countries that welcomed the resolution's adoption during the debate which followed.
But DPRK representative Pak Gil Yon roundly rejected the resolution, saying the missile launches were part of routine military exercises to increase the country's capacity for self-defence and arguing that the exercise was a legitimate right of a sovereign State and was not covered by international law, bilateral or multilateral agreements.