Statement by Ambassador Vassily A. Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, during the UN Security Council meeting on Non-proliferation/Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Once again, we voice our principled position vis-à-vis the inadmissibility of Pyongyang’s nuclear missile programme. It must be expeditiously and promptly put to an end. The ballistic missile launches of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea constitute a major threat to sea and air transit in the region and jeopardize the lives of ordinary civilians, in this instance the citizens of Japan.
We call for full compliance with the Security Council’s resolutions. Pyongyang must end the banned programmes, return to the non-proliferation regime of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and join the Chemical Weapons Convention. At the same time, Security Council members must seek a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution to the issues plaguing the Korean peninsula. The Council must seek to reduce tensions in the region. There is no other way.
We oppose the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s missile launches, but as we have repeatedly noted, it is impossible to address the issues plaguing the peninsula through sanctions and pressure alone. This path will not enable us to achieve the result we seek insofar as it proposes no option for engaging the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in constructive negotiations.
There can be no military solution to the issues plaguing the Korean peninsula. We believe that all further Security Council resolutions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea must explicitly underscore that fact.
We must also preclude additional unilateral sanctions on top of those imposed by the Council itself. If the situation on the Korean peninsula is to be normalized, there is a need for an approach that includes both an end to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s missile tests and an abandonment of military infrastructure build-up, including the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system.
The exercises being conducted must be scaled down. There is an urgent need to create an atmosphere of trust among the States of the region and, in principle, to build an architecture of security in North-East Asia. The road map for settling the myriad issues plaguing the Korean peninsula can be constituted by the joint Russian and Chinese ideas advanced in various formats, including the joint RussoChinese statement of 4 July.
Once again, we categorically reject military solutions to settlement of the issues plaguing the Korean peninsula. Political tools must be leveraged. We welcome the fact this approach has been enrhsined in presidential statement S/PRST/2017/16, which has just been adopted.