New York

09 September 2016

Secretary-General's remarks at press stakeout [scroll down for Q&A]

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the media.

As you know, I returned last night from a very productive visit to Southeast Asia.

I will see you again next Wednesday for my traditional press conference before the new General Assembly beginning.

This morning, I want focus on the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

I condemn in the strongest possible terms the underground nuclear test by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. This is yet another brazen breach of the resolutions of the Security Council. 

For the fifth time in recent years, the DPRK alone has broken the international norm against nuclear tests. This unacceptable act endangers peace and security in the region and is another vivid reminder of the urgent need to strengthen the global nuclear test ban regime.

I reiterate the united call of the international community on the leadership of the DPRK to reverse its course and commit to a path of denuclearization.  Rather than pursuing nuclear weapons and ballistic missile technology, the DPRK should be promoting the well-being of the country’s people.
I count on the Security Council to remain united and take appropriate action. We must urgently break this accelerating spiral of escalation.

We are monitoring and assessing developments related to the nuclear test in close coordination with the concerned international organizations, including the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, and with interested parties.

Thank you.

Q:  Secretary-General, I am a reporter from NHK. So, how do you expect to be the next step by the Security Council?  

SG:  First of all, I would strongly appreciate the Security Council to unite and take urgent action.  The Security Council has met eight times, this year only, on DPRK issues.  We are deeply concerned by continuing act of provocation by the DPRK regime – this time, the fifth, the biggest nuclear tests.  And I certainly hope that the United Nations Security Council will act in solidarity and unity for international peace and security and give strong warning to the DPRK authorities.  

Q:  Secretary-General, Nada Tawfik with the BBC.  In March, the Security Council passed one of the most comprehensive resolutions with additional sanctions on the DPRK.  I mean, today, while the Security Council meets in the afternoon, what else do you want them to keep in mind going forward to pressure Kim Jong-Un to act in concert with international demands?  

SG:  The Security Council has taken already several sanctions measures which are in force.  It's important that while the Security Council has taken such measures, the Member States of the United Nations should fully abide by and cooperate in fully implementing this resolution.  That is what I strongly urge all Member States and all Member States of the United Nations should send out a strong and united voice so that this international norm to prevent nuclear tests should be fully abided by the Member States.  That's my calling. Again, taking this opportunity, we have been so much concerned by the continuing acts of provocation by DPRK, and I sincerely hope that this time they will really listen to the voices and the concerns of the international community, expressed against their countries.  They should act as a Member State of the United Nations in keeping with all the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations.  I thank you very much.

Q:  Richard Roth from CNN.  Could you just speak personally?  You've been in the job nearly ten years.  You have dealt with this issue as the former South Korean foreign minister.  How disappointed are you?  You had to come into office expecting maybe you could make a difference.  There were trips that almost happened.  I guess, could you tell us -- you would assume you're not going to be visiting there.  How personally disappointing is it for you that you haven't been able to make a difference?  Whatever your thoughts are on the North Korea portfolio, that was in your back yard, and was it a dream of you to make a difference when you were in office?  

SG:  During my capacity, previous capacity as a Republic of Korea Government official, including Foreign Minister, I have been dealing with the issues concerning peace and security in the Korean Peninsula for many decades.  As Secretary-General, it's almost ten years that I have been dealing with these situations.  DPRK has tested five times.  Just before... first, just before I was elected, and four times during my time as the Secretary-General. It's a deeply disappointing concern for this act of provocation, continuing against such an honest appeal and urging by the international community.  I do not simply understand why they are continuing like this.  Of course, as one of the Korean citizens and as Secretary-General, I am deeply, deeply concerned and sad about this kind of continuing situation.  I've been trying my best, to the ability of my capacity as Secretary-General, to improve whatever would be possible during the last ten years, but I regret that I have not been able to materialize all the wishes and aspirations of the international community.  I will, of course, continue to do so until my last day of my mandate, but practically speaking, my own wish and initiative have not been much realized.  With all this changing situation on the Korean Peninsula.  Again, the… taking this opportunity, I sincerely hope that the DPRK authorities will heed to the calls of the international community and act as a Member State of the United Nations, which is required in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and relevant Security Council resolutions.  That’s my honest appeal again.  Okay.  Thank you very much.                                

* *** *