Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Anna Evstigneeva at UNSC briefing on the DPRK

Mme. President,

Russia is opposed to any military activity that jeopardizes the security of the Korean Peninsula and South-East Asian states.

We are convinced that search for mutually acceptable political and diplomatic solutions is the only possible path towards a peaceful resolution of the problem of the Korean Peninsula and building resilient security mechanisms in South-East Asia. This must be our primary task which, once solved, will let us normalize the situation in the region.

We note with regret that over the past 4 years the Council has failed to react to dismantling of North Korea’s nuclear test site as well as Pyongyang’s compliance with the moratorium on nuclear tests and intercontinental ballistic missile launches. In all its resolutions on DPRK starting from 2006, the Council has expressed readiness to revisit the restrictions depending on the level of Pyongyang’s compliance with relevant documents. Unfortunately, until this moment the Security Council only has tightened the restrictions while ignoring all positive signals from North Korea. In this sense, the current developments are but a consequence of such short-sightedness of some our colleagues who are not ready to go beyond sanctions paradigm which has failed to guarantee security in the region after all those years. As for other feasible initiatives, they simply fail to put forward any of such.

Further build-up of sanctions against the DPRK exceeds the scope of measures that are needed to curb financing of banned nuclear missile programs and exposes the people of North Korea to the danger of inadmissible socio-economic and humanitarian turbulence.

We remind our American colleagues that negotiations is a two-way street. It makes no sense waiting for Pyongyang to disarm unconditionally while spiraling up sanctions and offering unsubstantiated “guarantees” in return. Creation of further military alliances in the region, like that of the US, UK, and Australia makes one (Pyongyang included) seriously doubt their benevolent intentions and does not add to having dialogue.

Institutes and mechanisms of the United Nations and its Security Council must be engaged to support settlement process and inter-Korean dialogue rather than be an obstacle to them. Only then will we be able to talk about effective resolution of the region’s problems, including the nuclear one, on the basis of dialogue and mutually acceptable agreements. This can never be achieved through sanctions and dialogue.

What raises even greater resentment is the so-called autonomous secondary sanctions against the DPRK and other states that Washington and its allies impose in circumvention or on top of UNSC sanctions. Unilateral restrictions not only infringe on sovereignty and legitimate interests of member states and contradict the rules and norms of global trade, but also undermine the integrity of UNSC-endorsed sanctions. Attempts to “consecrate” such restrictions by the authority of the Security Council or its Committee 1718 on the DPRK are unacceptable.

In this regard, we call on everyone to act in a reserved manner and reiterate practical commitment to resuming dialogue in line with prior agreements and obligations. Russian-Chinese draft of a political and humanitarian UNSC resolution that could encourage the sides to boost negotiation efforts remains on the table. Thereby we would like to point out that the lack of progress at the political track, which the mentioned draft resolution could be part of, threatens with further build-up of tension in the peninsula, which we unfortunately have seen in recent months.

Thank you.