Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by Mr.Vladimir Safronkov, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, at the Security Council on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

We thank Assistant Secretary-General Miroslav Jenča for his briefing on the launch by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea of a ballistic missile.

The situation requires thorough clarification and investigation. The ballistic trajectory of the missile was confirmed and registered on the Russian rocket-launch warning system. According to information from the Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation, based on an objective and technology-based monitoring of the situation, it has been established that the parameters and data regarding the target of the missile were in line with the tactical criteria of mid-range ballistic missiles.

We are carefully following the development of the situation on the Korean peninsula and call the Council’s attention to the joint Russian and Chinese statement about this issue issued in Moscow on 4 July, immediately following the rocket launch. We consider this action by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to be inadmissible and to run counter to relevant Security Council resolutions. Russia and China have firmly urged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to strictly comply with the provisions of said resolutions. We share the serious concern regarding the evolving situation on and around the Korean peninsula. The escalation of military and political tensions in the region, which is fraught with the risk of an armed conflict, requires the international community to take collective measures for a peaceful settlement of the situation through dialogue and consultation.

We reject any statement or action that could lead to an escalation and hardening of antagonisms, and call on all interested States to act with restraint, avoid provocation and warmongering, demonstrate readiness to engage in dialogue without preconditions, and make active efforts aimed at de-escalating tensions.

The Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China have established a joint initiative, based on the Chinese proposal of a dual-track approach of promoting parallel progress in denuclearization efforts and a suspension-for-suspension approach to establish a peace mechanism on the peninsula, as well as the Russian phased plan to settle the Korean issue.

We call on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to voluntarily declare a moratorium on the testing of nuclear explosive devices and ballistic missiles. At the same time, the United States and the Republic of Korea should suspend their large-scale joint military training exercises. In parallel, the sides could hold talks and establish general principles for relations, including the non-use of force, the rejection of aggression, peaceful coexistence and steps towards the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula with a view to a comprehensive settlement of all problems, including the missile and nuclear issues.

All interested parties in the negotiations process could, through their chosen format, address the peace and security mechanisms of the Korean peninsuka and North-East Asia, leading to the normalization of relations between relevant States. I call upon all States to support such an initiative, which would offer a true window of opportunity to resolve the issues on the Korean peninsula.

We reaffirm our strong commitment to the international non-proliferation regime and our intention to see the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and the comprehensive and full implementation of relevant Security Council resolutions. We express our intention, together with other interested States, to pursue efforts to ensure that, through dialogue and consultations, all existing concerns are addressed in a balanced way. We call on all sides to comply strictly with the obligations set forth in the joint statement of 19 September 2005 and to swiftly resume dialogue with a view to achieving a comprehensive settlement to the issue of the Korean peninsula.

The option of resorting to military measures to resolve the problem on the Korean peninsula should be excluded. We express our support for the northern and southern sides on the Korean peninsula to engage in dialogue and consultations, demonstrate good will towards one another, improve relations, engage in cooperation towards a peaceful solution and play their due and responsible roles in de-escalating the situation on the Korean peninsula and resolving their pending problems.

We recognize the importance of ensuring international and regional balance and stability. We stress that alliances between certain States should never be established to the detriment of the interests of third parties. We oppose the military presence of extra-regional forces in North-East Asia and their deployment on the pretext of countering the military and missile programmes of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system in North-East Asia is a serious blow to the interests of the strategic security of States of the region, including Russia and China, and does not serve the goal of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula or ensure peace and stability in the region on the basis of indivisible security. We oppose the deployment of such systems and call on the relevant sides to swiftly halt and cancel the deployment process. All necessary measures should be taken to protect the security interests of the two countries, as well as to strike a strategic balance in the region.

It is perfectly clear to us that any attempt to justify a military solution is inadmissable and could have unpredictable consequences for the region. Attempts to strangle North Korea economically are equally unacceptable, since millions of its people are in great need of humanitarian assistance. The United Nations has a role to play in that regard. Humanitarian efforts must be depoliticized.

In summary, we must all acknowledge that sanctions will not resolve the issue but merely expedite a stalemate. Any attempt to resolve the situation by force would be equally inadmissible. We must take the security concerns of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea into account. It is important now to set aside the dangerous logic of confrontation and to seek together a settlement based on a comprehensive political solution to the problems of the Korean peninsula, including the issue of North Korea’s missile and nuclear programmes. In that regard, we believe that China’s proposal for mutual suspension and parallel progress, as well as the Russian road map for a Korean settlement — including the gradual establishment of a peace mechanism for North-East Asia, leading to the denuclearization of the peninsula — are appropriate starting points for such talks. We call on all to participate in that work.


 I would like to thank my American colleague Ambassador Haley for her comments. We too propose that we work together. The point of my statement was that we can see a meaningful way out of the situation on the Korean peninsula only by combining regional and international forces. It is clearly stated in the relevant resolutions that it is not through sanctions alone but, above all, through political efforts that we can find a way out. That is the task we have ahead of us. History has shown us that sanctions are not a panacea. We should therefore seek a political solution and take the path of creative diplomacy. And as I said in my statement, we propose to work collectively to do that.