The Security Council this evening strongly condemned as “outrageous” the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea 28 August launch of a ballistic missile that flew over Japan, as well as multiple launches conducted on 25 August, expressing grave concern that the North-East Asian nation was deliberately undermining regional peace and stability and causing security concerns around the world.
Issuing presidential statement S/PRST/2017/16, read out by Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta (Egypt), Council President for August, members demanded that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea immediately cease such actions and comply with all relevant Council resolutions. Among other things, it must suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile programme, re-establish its pre-existing commitments to a moratorium on missile launches, abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes in a “complete, verifiable and irreversible manner”, refrain from conducting any further nuclear tests or provocations, and abandon any other existing weapons of mass destruction.
Stressing that such actions constituted a threat not only to the region but to all United Nations Member States, the Council further emphasized the vital importance of immediate, concrete actions to reduce tensions in the Korean Peninsula and beyond, and called on all States to strictly, fully and expeditiously implement all resolutions related to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Nikki Haley (United States), noting that her delegation had called the meeting “knowing we had to come away unified”, emphasized that all 15 Council members had indeed spoken in unison in denouncing the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s outrageous act against Japan and demanding an end to any future missile launches. Pyongyang had violated international law, as well as every single relevant Council resolution, and now all States must fully and strictly enforce all resolutions, including sanctions imposed against the country. “The United States will not allow its [the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s] lawlessness to continue, and the rest of the world is with us,” she said.
Koro Bessho (Japan) stressed that the presidential statement had sent a clear message to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea that the international community would not accept its reckless behaviour. Calling on Pyongyang to abide by all relevant Council resolutions, he vowed to continue to work with Council members and other Member States to reach a solution to the matter.
Liu Jieyi (China) called on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to comply with relevant Council resolutions and on all parties to refrain from any actions that might exacerbate the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Resolution 2371 (2017) called for the resumption of the Six-Party Talks, pledging to seek a political and peaceful solution. The dual-track approach proposed by China was a relevant option for such a solution, he added, reiterating his country’s support for the Peninsula’s denuclearization as well as its opposition to “any chaos or war” there. Indeed, any military escalation — including the deployment of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) systems — would increase tensions and undermine the security of the region, including China.
Vassily A. Nebenzia (Russian Federation) said the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s testing jeopardized the lives of civilians, most currently, the citizens of Japan. Pyongyang must cease its programme and put its facilities under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) review. Objecting to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s missile launches, he said addressing the issue through sanctions alone was not productive. Calling instead for constructive negotiations, he cited an urgent need to create trust among States in the region. Political tools must be leveraged, as mentioned in the presidential statement.
The meeting began at 8:05 p.m. and ended at 8:20 p.m.
The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2017/16 reads as follows:
“The Security Council strongly condemns the 28 August 2017 (local time) ballistic missile launch by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) that flew over Japan, as well as the multiple ballistic missile launches it conducted on 25 August 2017.
“The Security Council further condemns the DPRK for its outrageous actions and demands that the DPRK immediately cease all such actions. The Security Council stresses that these DPRK actions are not just a threat to the region, but to all United Nations Member States.
“The Security Council expresses its grave concern that the DPRK is, by conducting such a launch over Japan as well as its recent actions and public statements, deliberately undermining regional peace and stability and have caused grave security concerns around the world.
“The Security Council, resolute in its commitment to a denuclearized Korean Peninsula, emphasizes the vital importance of immediate, concrete actions to reduce tensions in the Korean Peninsula and beyond.
“The Security Council demands that the DPRK not proceed with any further launches using ballistic missile technology and comply with resolutions 1695 (2006), 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013), 2270 (2016), 2321 (2016), 2356 (2017), and 2371 (2017), as well as the statements of its President of 6 October 2006 (S/PRST/2006/41), 13 April 2009 (S/PRST/2009/7) and 16 April 2012 (S/PRST/2012/13), by suspending all activities related to its ballistic missile programme and in this context re-establish its pre-existing commitments to a moratorium on missile launches.
“The Security Council further demands that the DPRK immediately comply fully with all of its other obligations under all relevant Security Council resolutions, including that it shall: abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner, and immediately cease all related activities; not conduct any further nuclear tests or any further provocation; and abandon any other existing weapons of mass destruction in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner.
“The Security Council calls on all States to strictly, fully, and expeditiously implement all relevant Security Council resolutions, including 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013), 2270 (2016), 2321 (2016), 2356 (2017), and 2371 (2017).
“The Security Council reiterates the importance of maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in North-East Asia at large, expresses its commitment to a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution to the situation, and welcomes efforts by Council members, as well as other States, to facilitate a peaceful and comprehensive solution through dialogue.”