Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Anna Evstigneeva at UNSC briefing on the DPRK
We followed carefully the briefing by ASG Khiari. We regret that today again like at the previous such briefing the UN representative failed to provide a full account of the situation. Indeed, the risks in the region are too high now. That is why we cannot rely on this sort of one-sided assessment.
Russia is opposed to any military activity that poses threats to the security of the Korean peninsula and North-East Asian states.
We note with regret that recently, the situation on the Korean Peninsula has seriously deteriorated. The reason for this is obvious – Washington's desire to force Pyongyang to a unilateral disarmament through sanctions and pressure. On October 31, the United States and the Republic of Korea began an unprecedented military exercise involving about 240 modern combat aircraft – in fact, a rehearsal for a massive strike against the territory of the DPRK. And this is not a single-time occurrence. Large-scale military training activities of the United States in the region began in August. At the end of September, exercises of the United States, the Republic of Korea and Japan were held in the Sea of Japan with the participation of a nuclear missile carrier was trained to target critical facilities in the DPRK. At the level of the leadership of these countries, there is irresponsible talk about the deployment of American deterrents (i.a. nuclear) on the Korean Peninsula and in the region. In this regard, it is obvious that Pyongyang's missile launches are a consequence of the short-sighted confrontational military activity of the United States around this country, which hits both their partners in the region and the situation in Northeast Asia as a whole. So it is obvious that missile launches by Pyongyang are a response to the short-sighted confrontational military activities of the US taking place around the DPRK. These activities also affect partners of the United States in the region and the situation in North-East Asia at large.
Furthermore, the situation on the Korean peninsula cannot be considered separately from the complicated processes which are currently taking place in this part of the world. And we cannot but note the persistent pushing forward by Washington of their unilateral security doctrine in Asia Pacific, which only creates new risks for the countries in the region and is trying to divide them according to the principle “if you're not with us, you're against us”. Creating new military alliances, like that of the United States, Great Britain, and Australia is part of this activity, which makes other stakeholders, including Pyongyang, doubt whether those states truly have benevolent intentions. This is definitely not conducive to dialogue.
We deeply regret that our Western colleagues have consistently ignored the numerous appeals by Pyongyang to the United States to stop its hostile activity, which would have opened a window for dialogue. In 2018-2019, Pyongyang made some accommodating steps and sent positive signals, but none of those were heeded. It was because of the United States position that the Council was not able react to those steps properly and thus contribute to easing tensions.
Mechanisms of the United Nations and its Security Council need to be used to support the inter-Korean dialogue and multilateral negotiations, rather than hinder them. Only then will we be able to talk about resolving the outstanding issues in the region effectively (nuclear issue included) on the basis of mutually acceptable agreements. Further advancement of sanctions against DPRK goes beyond being just a measure to counter the banned missile and nuclear programs and threatens the citizens of North Korea with unacceptable socio-economic and humanitarian perturbations.
It is not the first time that we are talking in this Council about the need for preventive diplomacy, the importance of searching for a political and diplomatic solution and real steps (i.e. something more than just promises) of Washington aimed at establishing targeted dialogue with Pyongyang. But apparently, our Western colleagues are not ready for any of this. So there is no point in waiting for a miracle to happen. The build-up of military measures by the United States and its allies threatens to further increase tensions on the Peninsula, which could lead to unpredictable and dangerous consequences for the whole of North-East Asia.
What is the alternative? In our view, our today’s task is to make sure that all sides exercise restraint and prove their commitment to resuming dialogue in the spirit of earlier agreements and obligations. Russian-Chinese draft of a humanitarian UNSC resolution and other initiatives of our states that could truly encourage the sides to boost negotiation efforts remain on the table.