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The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea must take immediate steps to resume dialogue, cease its provocative actions and fully comply with its international obligations, a United Nations senior official stressed, as she briefed the Security Council today and urged the 15-nation organ to address, as a united body, another launch by Pyongyang of an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Rosemary DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, said that according to Pyongyang’s official news agency and various Government sources, at around 10:15 a.m. local time on 18 November, that country test-fired what it described as a new-type intercontinental ballistic missile, named the Hwasong-17.  It is critical to de-escalate tensions and enhance communication channels, she stressed, urging that country to resume dialogue for the complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula

“This is the tenth time the Council has met to discuss the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in 2022, yet the situation on the Korean Peninsula continues to head in the wrong direction,” she observed, underscoring that the repeated missile launches, confrontational rhetoric and military exercises contribute to a negative action-reaction cycle.  Pointing out that unity in the Council is critical and a diplomatic solution is the only way forward, she said the Council must join together, as a united body as well as individually, to urge the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to refrain from carrying out further launches using ballistic missile technology, or a seventh nuclear test.

In the ensuing debate, many Council members deplored the lack of unity in the 15-member organ, emphasizing that its inaction only emboldens the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to do more of the same with impunity.  Several delegations urged Pyongyang to focus on the humanitarian needs of its people rather than its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, while others called for the United States’ return to dialogue and cautioned against further sanctions.

The representative of the United States said her country is prepared to meet without preconditions and engage in serious negotiation.  However, for too long Pyongyang has acted with impunity, without fear of response or reprisal, emboldened by two veto-wielding members of the Council whose “blatant obstructionism” puts the region and the entire world at risk.  The United States will be proposing a presidential statement, she said, encouraging all to join in condemning the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and calling on it to curb its unlawful ballistic missile advancement.

France’s representative urged Pyongyang to stop diverting the country’s scant resources towards financing its proliferation programmes to the detriment of its people’s needs.  Yet Council inaction has offered the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea a “shield” behind which it can continue its provocations.  The recent launches demand a united, responsible and resolute response from the international community.  Further, that country has relentlessly circumvented sanctions by all possible means.  Thus, lightening sanctions would be “entirely illogical”.  Such measures must be maintained and, in some cases, strengthened. 

However, Brazil’s representative pointed out that all of Pyongyang’s intercontinental missile capabilities were developed while it was already one of the most sanctioned countries in the world.  Resolution 2397 (2017) — the most recent Council action on this issue — introduced some of the harshest sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, including bans on food and agricultural exports.  “None of these has prevented the prodigious quantity and qualitative expansion of North Korea’s arsenal for the past five years,” he emphasized.  Stressing the need for new and better tools to enable the Council to reduce the threat to peace and security, he urged the 15 nations to speak with one voice and bridge gaps between positions.

China’s representative, noting the long-standing stalemate on the issue, said the United States should put forward realistic and feasible proposals and respond positively to the legitimate concerns of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  The draft resolution jointly sponsored by his country and the Russian Federation will help mitigate the humanitarian situation in the country, create an atmosphere for dialogue and promote the realization of a political settlement, he emphasized, voicing hope that all parties will positively consider it.

The representative of the Russian Federation said Pyongyang’s actions are the result of the United States’ short-sighted confrontational military activity.  Moreover, the Council could not find the strength to facilitate détente due to the United States’ position.  Going forward, United Nations mechanisms, particularly the Council, should be leveraged to support inter-Korean dialogue and multilateral negotiations, she said, warning that further sanctions will threaten the citizens of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea with socioeconomic and human upheaval.

However, the representative of the Republic of Korea disagreed, stressing that all Member States, especially Council members, must fully implement all existing Council sanctions.  Since the Council’s failure to adopt a resolution in May, due to the opposition of two permanent members, Pyongyang has launched 40 ballistic missiles and promulgated a new law on nuclear weapons policy, setting the threshold for using nuclear weapons far lower than any other country.  Calling for the Council’s robust and united response, he further urged all members to support the swift adoption of the draft presidential statement proposed by the United States.

Japan’s representative weighed in as well, stressing:  “It is outrageous to allow North Korea to take hostage the entire international community.”  The recently launched intercontinental ballistic missile could travel up to 15,000 kilometres, potentially threatening all of Asia, Europe, North America, Africa and part of South America with nuclear warheads.  The Council must prevent a “nuclear North Korea” with ballistic missile capabilities, and reaffirm its commitment to that goal regardless of members’ bilateral relations with the country.  He urged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to immediately comply with all relevant resolutions and engage in diplomacy towards denuclearization.

Also speaking were representatives of Albania, Ireland, Norway, United Kingdom, Gabon, Mexico, India, Kenya, United Arab Emirates and Ghana.

The meeting began at 10:03 a.m. and ended at 11:18 a.m.

Briefing

ROSEMARY DICARLO, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, said that, according to the official news agency of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and various Government sources, at around 10:15 a.m. local time on 18 November, that country test-fired what it described as a new-type intercontinental ballistic missile, which it named the Hwasong-17.  The missile reportedly flew 1,000 kilometres and to an altitude of approximately 6,100 kilometres.  It is reportedly the first successful test of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s largest and most powerful missile, capable of reaching all of North America.

The launch was the latest in a series of alarming activities related to its nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programmes that that country has conducted in 2022, including over 60 launches using ballistic missile technology, she continued.  Two of those launches involved ballistic missiles characterized by the country as intermediate-range and three as intercontinental-range.  She also noted that other launches involved shorter-range missiles using ballistic missile technology and other systems, which the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has stated are for use to deliver “so-called ‘tactical’ nuclear weapons”.

This year, that country has also carried out launches using ballistic missile technology to test so-called hypersonic weapons and satellite systems, she said, pointing out that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea did not issue airspace or maritime safety notifications for any of them.  “Unannounced launches represent a serious risk to international civil aviation and maritime traffic,” she stressed, adding that the Secretary-General has strongly condemned that country’s latest intercontinental ballistic missile launch — the second intercontinental ballistic missile launch this month.

“The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s continued pursuit of its nuclear weapons programme and launches of ballistic missiles blatantly violate relevant Security Council resolutions and have led to a significant escalation of tensions,” she emphasized, repeating once again the United Nations’ calls on that country to desist from taking further provocative actions and to fully comply with its international obligations under relevant Security Council resolutions.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea also appears to be actively pursuing its nuclear programme, she pointed out.  Citing the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General, she said he reported on 16 November that the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site remains prepared to support a nuclear test.  IAEA has continued to observe activity at the site and has also observed construction activities at the Yongbyon nuclear facilities, as well as indications that the 5-megawatt nuclear reactor was operating.

“This is the tenth time the Council has met to discuss the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in 2022, yet the situation on the Korean Peninsula continues to head in the wrong direction,” she observed, underscoring that the repeated missile launches, confrontational rhetoric, and military exercises contribute to a negative action-reaction cycle.  Tensions continue to increase, with no off-ramps in sight, she warned, adding that the COVID‑19 pandemic is complicating diplomacy by impeding official and unofficial contacts with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  “It is critical to de-escalate and reduce tensions.  Communication channels must be enhanced, particularly military to military, to lower the risk of miscalculation,” she stressed.

Echoing the Secretary-General, she urged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to take immediate steps to resume dialogue leading to sustainable peace and the complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, adding that she conveyed the United Nations’ serious concerns during her meeting with that country’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations on 9 November.  “The Secretary-General counts on members of this Council, as a united body as well as individually, to urge the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to refrain from carrying out further launches using ballistic missile technology or a seventh nuclear test,” she stressed, pointing out that unity in the Council is critical, and a diplomatic solution is the only way forward.

Underlining the United Nations’ concerns regarding the humanitarian situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, she said the Organization is ready to assist the country in addressing medical and humanitarian needs, including those related to the COVID‑19 pandemic.  To allow for a timely and effective response, the entry of international staff and humanitarian supplies must be unimpeded, she said.

Statements

LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD (United States) condemned in the strongest possible terms the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s launching of an intercontinental ballistic missile launch, which landed 125 miles from Japan’s shore.  It was Pyongyang’s eighth launch this year, among an unprecedented total of 63 ballistic missiles launched in 2022, representing an increase of 2.5 times its previous annual record of 25.  Such actions, in violation of Council resolutions, demonstrate a disregard for the safety of the region and a lack of respect for the Council.  Recalling the Secretary-General’s statement on Friday urging that country to desist from further provocative actions and comply with its international obligations, including all relevant Council resolutions, she stressed:  “It is time for the Council to make the same call.”  For too long, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has acted with impunity, without fear of response or reprisal, emboldened by two veto-wielding members of the Council.  These members’ “blatant obstructionism” endangers the lives of Japanese civilians and puts the region and the entire world at risk.  In meetings with Member States on Council reform, she said:  “When they talk about abuse of the veto, they refer to cases like this one.”  The situation presents another opportunity for the Council to hold Pyongyang accountable for its dangerous rhetoric and destabilizing actions.  The United States will be proposing a Presidential Statement, she said, encouraging all colleagues to join her in condemning Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and calling on that country to curb their unlawful ballistic missile advancement.  The United States is committed to a diplomatic approach to the crisis and is prepared to meet without preconditions and engage with in serious negotiation.  However, they continue to engage in reckless behaviour, and therefore, the Council must respond, she said.

FERIT HOXHA (Albania) said that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has long put itself outside of the law, yet the Council remains silent and muted as if nothing has happened.  No wonder the regime considers this a license to do more of the same.  Noting a lack of Council unity on this issue since 2017, he said its members must respond unanimously with a strong action-oriented text that is proportional to the gravity of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s actions, its weapons of mass destruction and its proliferation regime.  Failing to do so only sends the wrong message to the regime, erodes the Council’s credibility and betrays those who expect the Council to stand up and act.  Commending the common position set out by the 10 elected Council members in a joint declaration on 4 November, he said that the other Council members should do the same and bring the organ together.

NICOLAS DE RIVIÈRE (France) condemned the 18 November launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile that landed in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone.  Assuring Japan and the Republic of Korea of France’s solidarity in the face of this “irresponsible act”, he stressed that the unprecedented increase in ballistic tests should concern all present.  Never before has the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea launched so many missiles nor has it used such aggressive nuclear rhetoric. Now, it is openly affirming its intention to develop a tactical nuclear arsenal.  Further, IAEA had noted constant activity, which gives reason to fear that a seventh nuclear test is imminent.  Pointing out that Pyongyang relentlessly circumvents sanctions by all possible means, he stressed that lightening sanctions would be “entirely illogical”; rather, such measures must be maintained and, in some cases, strengthened.  He also underscored that Pyongyang must stop diverting the country’s scant resources towards the financing of its proliferation programmes to the detriment of its people’s needs.  Adding that Council inaction offers the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea a “shield” behind which it can continue its provocations, he stressed that this new provocation demands a united, responsible and resolute response from the international community.

FERGAL MYTHEN (Ireland) said that it is a matter of deepest concern that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s eight intercontinental ballistic missile launches have each gone without any Council response, with two members blocking statements and vetoing a proportionate and balanced resolution.  The Council’s silence sends a worrisome message which suggests that it is unwilling or unable to uphold its own resolutions and that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea can act with impunity.   That country is solely responsible for raising tension, he said, asserting that it is seeking to establish itself as a nuclear power and threatening a seventh nuclear test in contravention of Council resolutions.  The Council must be clear that Pyongyang must completely, verifiably and irreversibly end its illegal nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, respect its IAEA safeguards and Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) obligations and adhere to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty without delay, he said, emphasizing that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea can never and will never be accepted as a nuclear-weapon State.

MONA JUUL (Norway), expressing that she was appalled by the continued launches of ballistic missiles from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, said that the increase in the number of ballistic missile tests since the beginning of this year are unprecedented in frequency, diversity, and scale.  Further, the nuclear rhetoric and the reopening of the nuclear test site at Punggye-ri are deeply troubling.  Noting that the Republic of Korea and Japan have recently had missiles land within their economic zones, she said continued weapons development and testing threaten peace and stability and endanger civil aviation and maritime traffic in the region.  She urged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to immediately refrain from further missile launches and contribute to de-escalating tensions.  Its continued development of its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes are in violation of multiple Council resolutions, she stressed, calling on the Council to show unity in responding.  Further, the Council’s unanimously adopted sanctions measures are not intended to have adverse humanitarian consequences.  She called on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to enable humanitarian assistance to its people, including access for the resident coordinator, the United Nations and other international agencies.

BARBARA WOODWARD (United Kingdom), strongly condemning the latest missile launch, recalled that when the Council last discussed this issue, all by two of its members supported a clear response, thus preventing it from acting.  By comparison, in 2017, it responded swiftly to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s ballistic missile launches, resulting in the adoption of several resolutions and the start of negotiations between that country and the United States.  Dialogue is the only means of restoring security to the Korean peninsula, she said, supporting the draft presidential statement proposed by the United States.  She called on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to cease all illegal activities and engage in dialogue with the United States and the Republic of Korea.  She went on to urged Pyongyang to invest in food and medicine for its people, rather than in illegal weapons, and called on it to allow United Nations staff and humanitarian assistance into the country.

ZHANG JUN (China) said all parties should remain calm and exercise restraint, act and speak with caution and avoid any action that could escalate tensions.  To return to the path of dialogue, all parties should “face up to the cracks” of the longstanding stalemate on the issue and work hard to resolve their respective concerns in a balanced manner.  The United States should show sincerity, put forward realistic and feasible proposals, respond positively to the legitimate concerns of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and turn the dialogue from a formality to reality as soon as possible.  Moreover, parties must persist in advancing the denuclearization process in the Peninsula and at the same time take practical actions to stop military exercises and ease sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  The Council must play a constructive role on the issue and not always condemn or exert pressure on that country, he emphasized, noting that Council deliberations should help ease the tension and leave room for diplomatic efforts rather than create obstacles to them.  The draft resolution jointly sponsored by his country and the Russian Federation will help mitigate the humanitarian situation in the country, create an atmosphere for dialogue and promote the realization of a political settlement, he pointed out, voicing hope that all parties will positively consider it.

LILLY STELLA NGYEMA NDONG (Gabon) expressed concern over the latest launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which are progressively more powerful in frequency and range, and led to emergency alerts in the region.  Such actions constitute a clear escalation, fuel tension and instability and bring the nuclear threat in the region to its peak.  They also violating multiple Council resolutions, she said, expressing concern over the scale of the threat, which is accompanied by provocative discourse and no dialogue.  She called for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and urged parties concerned — as well as those with influence — to bring about a dialogue, in particular leading to a return to the 2017 agreement on a moratorium on long-range missile launches.  She also urged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to renounce such weapons and refrain from actions that exacerbate risks.  The Council’s unity must be unambiguous in the face of the crisis and it must also be attentive to the alarming humanitarian situation faced by the population of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

JUAN RAMÓN DE LA FUENTE RAMIREZ (Mexico) noted that there has been no difference whether, after being informed of launches, there has been an open debate or closed consultations.  It is clear that the Council’s silence has sent mixed messages, he observed, adding that the launches continue in flagrant defiance of the Council, its resolutions and the multilateral system in general.  He recalled that Mexico has issued several appeals for the resumption of dialogue and reiterated his support for the Council’s resolutions, calling on the States to comply with them.  He spotlighted the joint appeal of the elected Members of the Council to the Democratic Republic of Korea to refrain from new launches and underscored that the Council needs to make its position clear in a united nature.

RUCHIRA KAMBOJ (India), noting that today is the second time the Council is meeting in November concerning the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, condemned that country’s recent launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile.  This action constitutes a violation of relevant Council resolutions and affects the peace and security of the region and beyond.  Against that backdrop, she called for the full implementation of relevant Council resolutions, also reiterating the need to address the proliferation of nuclear and missile technologies related to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  Such proliferation is concerning, as it has an adverse impact on peace and security in the region, including in India.  Expressing hope that the international community and the Council can be united on this front, she reiterated her country’s continued support for denuclearization towards peace and security on the Korean Peninsula.  Ensuring peace and security thereon “is in our collective interest”, she added, noting that India will support dialogue and diplomacy towards this end.

MICHAEL KIBOINO (Kenya) said the unprecedented scale of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s missile launches this year constitutes a grave threat to regional peace and security.  Even more concerning is the reported development of tactical nuclear weapons and preparations by Pyongyang to imminently carry out more nuclear missile tests.  The increasing frequency of missile launches and their impact on the sovereign territories of regional states is alarming, he said, emphasizing that a slight miscalculation could plunge the region into a calamitous destruction with worldwide ramifications.  Recalling the Korean peninsula’s critical trade connections with Africa, he said that peace and security on the African continent are endangered as well.  In this context, he encouraged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to prioritise the needs of its people over costly military ventures.

JOÃO GENÉSIO DE ALMEIDA FILHO (Brazil) said that while condemnation of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s missile launches is necessary and appropriate, the Council must think critically about how to proceed.  All of Pyongyang’s intercontinental missile capabilities were developed while it was already one of the most sanctioned countries in the world, he said, recalling that resolution 2397 (2017), adopted in response to the Hwasong-15 launch in November 2017 — and the most recent Council action on this issue — introduced some of the harshest sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, including bans on food and agricultural exports.  “None of those has prevented the prodigious quantity and qualitative expansion of North Korea’s arsenal for the past five years,” he said, adding that sanctions may be one part of a comprehensive approach, but not the full answer.  It is the Council’s duty to reduce the threat, he said, stressing the need for new and better tools to do so.  He further urged the Council to speak with one voice, make real efforts to find convergence and bridge gaps between positions.

ANNA M. EVSTIGNEEVA (Russian Federation) said that the Council is trapped in a familiar circle, in which the United States and its allies carry out large-scale military exercises, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea reacts and the Council gets together to talk about it.  With each new round, the positions and actions of the parties become increasingly provocative and dangerous.  The reason is clear, she said, citing the United States’ desire to force the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea into unilateral disarmament through sanctions and force.  Noting that the United States, the Republic of Korea and Japan conducted military exercises at sea and in the air on the eve of the latest missile launch, she said that Pyongyang’s actions are the result of the United States’ short-sighted confrontational military activity.  It is also due to the United States position that the Council could not find the strength to facilitate détente, she added.  Going forward, United Nations mechanisms, particularly the Council, should be leveraged to support inter-Korean dialogue and multilateral negotiations.  Further sanctions will threaten the citizens of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea with socioeconomic and human upheaval.  Calling on all parties to show restraint, she said that a draft political and humanitarian resolution, drawn up by the Russian Federation and China, remains on the table, along with other initiatives that would encourage negotiations.

LANA ZAKI NUSSEIBEH (United Arab Emirates) said that the unprecedented escalation of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s provocations is challenging the Council’s responsibility to maintain international peace and security.  It is also concerning that Pyongyang seemingly plans to carry out a seventh nuclear test, she said, calling on it to refrain from further testing, return to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, abandon its nuclear-weapon and related missile programmes, implement IAEA safeguards and fulfil its denuclearization obligations.  “Nuclear proliferation cannot guarantee the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s security and stability,” she said.  Noting that Pyongyang continues to evade Council sanctions to finance its prohibited activities, she called on Council members to come together to close these loopholes.  The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is framing its latest ballistic missile launch as a sign of strength, but in fact it is projecting escalation, instability and the channelling of limited valuable resources to fund military capabilities rather than the desperate needs of the people.  “There is still time to change this,” she added.

HAROLD ADLAI AGYEMAN (Ghana), Council President for November, speaking in his national capacity, said that his country is gravely concerned about the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s continued breach of Council resolutions.  He strong urged that country to refrain from further ballistic missile launches and return to compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty as well as IAEA safeguards.  All parties must work towards deescalating tensions in the region and to resume constructive dialogue, he said, also stressing the importance of ensuring that the humanitarian needs of the people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea are met.

JOONKOOK HWANG (Republic of Korea) condemned in the strongest terms the continued ballistic missile launches by Pyongyang, including its intercontinental ballistic missile launch on 18 November, only two weeks after a Council meeting was held in response to that country’s barrage of missile launches.  “It is simply appalling to witness how the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, a United Nations Member State, can completely disregard international norms, including the United Nations Charter and the decisions of this august Council,” he stressed.  Following the launch, Pyongyang’s state media announced that the country’s leader touted the pre-emptive nuclear strike capabilities of its newest type of intercontinental ballistic missile.  Such statements demonstrate the deplorable reality that Pyongyang persistently prioritizes its unlawful weapon-of-mass-destruction programme at all costs.  Such actions undermine the global non-proliferation regime and threaten international peace and security, while neglecting the well-being of its own people amid a deteriorating humanitarian situation.

Following the latest launch, Pyongyang released a statement in the name of its Foreign Minister yesterday, justifying its provocations and denouncing the Secretary-General’s recent statement condemning its actions, he continued, adding that by publicly mocking the Secretary-General as a puppet of the United States, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea once again highlighted its categorical refusal to respect the authority of the United Nations.  Pyongyang is taking advantage of the Council’s inaction and divisions to build up its nuclear arsenal.  Since the Council’s failure to adopt a resolution in May, due to the opposition of two permanent members, that country has launched 40 ballistic missiles, and promulgated a new law on nuclear weapons policy, setting the threshold for using nuclear weapons far lower than any other country.  It has become increasingly aggressive and dangerous, and stands on the verge of its seventh nuclear test.  In the face of “innumerable provocations” by Pyongyang, he called on the Council to make a robust and united response to that country’s reckless nuclear ambition, and requested all Council members to support the swift adoption of the draft presidential statement proposed by the United States.  Moreover, all Member States, especially Council members, must fully implement all existing Security Council sanctions, he emphasized.

ISHIKANE KIMIHIRO (Japan), drawing attention to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s increasing frequency and variety of missile launches, reported that, in the last two months, one launch flew over Japan for the first time in five years and another impacted the Japanese Exclusive Economic Zone — a clear, unlawful escalation.  Strongly condemning the launches, he said that the launches pose a grave threat to vessels, aircrafts and civilian life both in the region and in the entire world.  Detailing the threat, he said that the recently-launched intercontinental ballistic missile could travel up to 15,000 kilometres, potentially threatening all of Asia, Europe, North America, Africa and part of South America with nuclear warheads.  “It is outrageous to allow North Korea to take hostage the entire international community,” he said.

He stressed the need of the Security Council to stand against this challenge to peace and the Council itself, citing resolution 2397 (2017) which states that it would act if the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea were to launch intercontinental ballistic missiles or conduct a nuclear test.  Reiterating his country’s caution against letting the situation become a “new normal”, he recalled that all Member States agree to implement Security Council decisions and that violations should not go unchecked.  He underscored that the Council must prevent a “nuclear North Korea” with ballistic missile capabilities and that the body must reaffirm its commitment to this goal regardless of members’ bilateral relations with the country.  He urged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to immediately comply with all relevant resolutions and engage in diplomacy toward denuclearization.  Further, he urged Member States to implements the relevant resolutions and cooperate with the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1718 (2006), reiterating Japan’s expectation that the Council fulfil its responsibility to take resolute action.

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