Speech

"DPRK clearly intends to threaten directly an ever greater number of States, and indirectly the whole world."

Statement by Ambassador Matthew Rycroft, UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on DPRK.

United Nations

Mr President,

Like the previous speakers from the United States, Japan and France, the United Kingdom condemns in the strongest terms the DPRK’s flagrant violation of unanimous decisions of the Security Council.

Despite our repeated condemnation and despite successive Security Council resolutions, the leadership of the DPRK has persisted in pursuing its illegal programmes in misguided pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability. This is simply not acceptable.

We have seen an unprecedented number of ballistic missile tests over the past year, including ground testing.

However, with this launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile, the Council should note that the DPRK clearly intends to threaten directly an ever greater number of States, and indirectly the whole world.

All such ballistic missile activity by the DPRK is in violation of binding Security Council resolutions. And any capability that the DPRK develops to threaten the security of other States is of grave concern.

Our response must be strong and clear. The international community must redouble our efforts. As the United Kingdom Foreign Secretary has said, North Korea strains every nerve and sinew to build nuclear weapons and launch illegal missiles, even as the people of North Korea endure starvation and poverty.

Amidst reports of widespread hardship and human rights violations in DPRK, Pyongyang’s priority should be the health and welfare of North Korean people, not continuation of the nuclear programme.

We continue to urge the DPRK to return to credible and authentic multilateral talks on its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, and to abide by its obligations under UN Security Council resolutions.

The United Kingdom had today summoned the DPRK’s Ambassador in London, conveying in the strongest terms our views of this reckless behaviour.

We will also be redoubling our efforts, with partners, to seek strong enforcement of the measures that aim to bring the DPRK to the right path.

Increased vigilance is needed. We will continue to encourage partners globally to take effective action to understand, and where necessary disrupt, the DPRK’s illegal proliferation and other sanctions-evasion activity. And we will also work with allies and partners around the world to consider the fullest range of measures to increase diplomatic pressure.

The primary responsibility lies with the DPRK, but all members of the international community must further strengthen their resolve to enforce existing measures fully and effectively, without delay. We also urge all States to comply with the Security Council’s requirements for reporting on implementation of measures.

But as the DPRK’s own statements of defiance make clear, even these steps will probably not be enough.

Faced with these provocations, we must toughen our resolve. The United Kingdom supports new binding measures to raise the cost further for these illegal actions. The Security Council should start work immediately on a new Security Council resolution to achieve this

Thank you.

Published 5 July 2017