New York, 27 November 2023
Thank you, Mr. President and thank you ASG Khiari for your briefing,
After two failed attempts, on 21st November, DPRK’s launched a military reconnaissance satellite. We condemn it as it represents another act of escalation in total disregard of multiple Security Council resolutions.
This was the third such attempt in six months. But these are not the only violations by the DPRK, which has launched 29 ballistic missiles, including several ICBMs. The regime continues to invest in its military capabilities through open provocation, seeking destabilisation and escalation and putting in danger the entire region.
In this regard, we share the concerns of the countries in the region and remain worried for any accidents or possible miscalculation which may be caused by all these military actions and trends.
The propaganda and the false narratives pushed by the regime portray the launch as “a full-fledged exercise of self-defense”.
As a matter of fact, sending such satellites into space may provide the regime with additional opportunities to develop technologies useful in its ballistic missile and nuclear programs, including re-entry technology for nuclear warheads.
DPRK is not under any threat by its neighbors or anyone else, anywhere in the world. The DPRK is only and constantly under the threat of its regime, their escalatory and dangerous policies, their wrong choices which are starving people and their frightening paranoia which has made it a pariah.
The international community has shown continuously that it wants to help and has spared no efforts to offer humanitarian assistance to reach the people of DPRK, which are hostage of their own regime, in a country that is more like an open-air prison.
The actions undertaken by the DPRK and its heightened rhetoric are a direct threat to the regional peace and security in the Korean Peninsula and an open challenge to the global non-proliferation regime.
As such they cannot remain unanswered by the Security Council. Indeed, the case of North Korea is a perfect example of preventive action, one of clear and urgent necessity to act before things get worse, before what is openly said, is openly done. The regime doesn’t hide its intentions and amidst the inaction of the Council, it feels free to carry them out.
Despite being illegal! Despite being dangerous! Despite being escalatory!
So much has happened since the Security Council stopped taking the DPRK issue seriously and became unable to keep the common ground it had secured for years. In 2016, North Korea had not fired any intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Since then, it has developed and launched three types of ICBMs, and now is placing satellites in space, which it could use to target more effectively its neighbors. It is a frightening prospect from which no one, in the region or outside, has anything to gain. And still, the Council is surprisingly muted. The result of it? no progress whatsoever on demilitarization; more modern weapons, more satellites and a more aggressive and dangerous regime.
DPRK is also violating the sanctions regime and is not doing it alone. We condemn all the efforts to open windows of opportunities to the DPRK for military and nuclear purposes, which not only violate the sanction’s regime and international norms but also increase tensions in the Korean Peninsula and exacerbate threats to peace and security, elsewhere, including in Europe. Such acts call for meticulous scrutiny and accountability.
When resolution are not respected, when rules are broken, when sanctions are not observed, when actions and policies lead to threats, it is the primary duty of the Security Council to act. It is not doing so in the case of North Korea, repeatedly. We profoundly regret this wrong approach.
Protecting the DPRK means empowering it to continue with its nuclear programme, means giving it a licence for further militarisation and continue to threaten its neighbours.
The majority of the members of this Council continue to call for the Council to act against the reckless attitude by the DPRK. They are not listened to. We may end up regretting this pervasive inactivity.
If we do not want the DPRK to believe that actions have no consequences;
if we do not want to make it believe that diplomatic tools are useless;
if we do not intend to make North Korea’s violations a pattern for other rogue states to follow and make a mockery of the Security Council, we must act and respond in a prompt and proper way to irresponsible behaviour.
The Council had done so in the past, there is even more reason to act now and through collective preventive diplomacy, it must ensure that the regime ends fully, transparently, comprehensively, and irreversibly its WMD, ballistic and nuclear programme.
This is the only away ahead.