Speech

"We have taken these steps to restrict the income the DPRK uses to fund its prohibited nuclear and ballistic missile programs"

Statement by Ambassador Matthew Rycroft, UK Permanent Representative to the UN, on North Korea Sanctions.

The Security Council unanimously adopts resolution 2397 (UN Photo/Manuel Elias)

Thank you Mr President.

Last week we sat in this Council and listened to the many ways that North Korea has violated multiple UN resolutions and the will of the Security Council. The illegal nuclear programme. Multiple launches of ballistic missiles. The appalling human right violations.

We condemned, in the strongest possible terms, these reckless acts by North Korea. And we called on them to stop immediately all that activity in defiance of this Council. We also offered Kim Jong-Un a clear choice. A different path which leads to prosperity and security.

However, last Friday, the DPRK’s Permanent Representative defiantly made clear that North Korea has no intention of changing its path. They have no intention of abandoning their nuclear programme.

Instead, unbelievably, they claimed that they will be a responsible nuclear power. They show no sense of responsibility to their neighbours, over whom they fire their ballistic missiles. They show no sense of responsibility to the people they force into modern slavery.

As North Korea’s missile capabilities advance, so too do the contempt and disregard they show for this Council. They have repeatedly and wilfully rebuffed our unanimous will. They continue to act in brazen violation of their legal obligations and they seek to undermine our systems and our collective values.

Last week we all confirmed we must use all the diplomatic and economic tools at our disposal to deliver the uncompromising message that this path is unacceptable.

Today we are doing just that. Through the adoption of this Resolution we are showing the regime that our will is strong and that these provocative actions have severe consequences.

Today we have banned the import of nearly 90% of refined petroleum products to North Korea. These products are used by the regime to resource their illegal nuclear and ballistic missile programs. By cutting off this supply we will restrict their ability to develop and deploy these weapons.

We have also banned North Korean exports of food products, machinery and industrial and electrical equipment. We have taken another important step to end the exploitation of North Korean workers who are sent overseas with the sole aim of generating earnings for the regime.

We have taken these steps to restrict the income the DPRK uses to fund its prohibited nuclear and ballistic missile programs. I congratulate the United States on this diplomatic achievement and we join them in leaving no stone unturned in pursuit of a diplomatic solution.

We call on all states to implement this Resolution, and previous Resolutions, fully. It is only by all of us doing this that they will have the intended impact.

These measures are not designed to hurt the North Korean people. We are not targeting the ordinary citizens of North Korea. There are humanitarian exemptions and protections in place to protect the people who already suffer so much at the hands of the Government. It is the regime that bears full responsibility for the measures we have enacted today. Any consequences the people suffer are because of the regime’s reckless choices. The choice to develop its nuclear programme over providing for its people.

We must stand united and be clear that we are adopting these measures today to force Kim Jong-Un to see that he has the choice of two paths. The current path does not advance the prosperity and security of North Korea. It instead poses a very real threat to the entire international community.

So we once again call on North Korea to change course. Let us all once again call on them to prioritise the well-being of their people over their illegal pursuit of nuclear weapons. Let us once again call on them to engage, meaningfully, with the international community.

The United Kingdom will continue to work with members of this Council, our allies, our partners, to increase diplomatic pressure. This resolution just enacted gives us the opportunity to do just that. We must all enforce these new measures and work together using all the diplomatic and economic tools at our disposal to deliver this clear, uncompromising message to the Kim regime.

Thank you.

Published 22 December 2017