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
We thank Mr. Jeffrey Feltman for his briefing on the latest North Korean nuclear test.
The provocative nuclear missile activity by Pyongyang recently gained dangerous momentum. We are deeply troubled by the testing of a thermonuclear explosive device for an intercontinental ballistic missile, as announced by Pyongyang officials. There is no doubt that we are experiencing one of the gravest and most dramatic stages of developments on the Korean peninsula. It is no exaggeration to state that peace in the region is being sorely tested, and the threat of this conflict morphing into an active conflict is greater than ever.
The latest blatant display of North Korea’s disregard of the relevant Security Council resolutions and the norms of international law warrants the most vehement condemnation. We cannot but regret the fact that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea leadership, through its action to undermine the global non-proliferation regime, is posing a grave threat to peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and globally. The pursuit of such a policy is fraught with serious repercussions for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea itself.
At the same time, it is evident to us that military solutions cannot settle the issues plaguing the North Korean peninsula. Given the unfolding situation, there is an urgent need to maintain a cool head and to refrain from any action that could further escalate tensions. We reaffirm the need for comprehensive and full compliance by all stakeholders with the relevant Security Council statements and resolutions, including the recent resolution 2371 (2017), adopted by concensus.
Many today delved into the history of attempts to halt the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea nuclear and ballistic programme. That historical exploration only serves as evidence that we have failed to resolve this issue through Security Council resolutions that were geared only towards leveraging sanctions mechanisms.
We call upon all stakeholders to immediately return to dialogue and negotiations, as that is the only way to comprehensively settle the issues besetting the Korean peninsula — including nuclear issues. We reaffirm our willingness to engage in concerted efforts along those lines, including in the context of the implementation of the Russian-Chinese road map.
The Russian Federation calls on the international community to not yield to emotions and to act in a calm and balanced way. We once again stress that a comprehensive settlement to the nuclear and other issues plaguing the Korean peninsula can be arrived at solely through political and diplomatic channels, including by leveraging the mediation efforts of the Secretary-General.