Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by Chargé d'Affaires of the Russian Federation Dmitry Polyanskiy at UNSC briefing on the situation of human rights in the DPRK


Today we again have to witness a brazen attempt by Western countries on the Security Council and the American Presidency itself to use the Council for promoting their self-serving politicized agenda.

This meeting has nothing to do with the developments on the ground and was not initially included in the draft programme of work that the US Presidency proposed at the beginning of the month. Apparently, our American colleagues realized that this was a provocative move and tried to evade the well-deserved criticism of other members of the Council that surely would have come. This provocation was clearly planned in advance. This follows from the “home assignment” of the US, Albania, and Japan, who circulated among the UNSC members a concept note that offered to focus the discussion exactly on human rights situation in the DPRK in the context of international peace and security.

Let me stress that under the existing practice, such concept notes can only be circulated by UNSC Presidency as regards flagship events of the month, in which case the Presidency truly has the opportunity to specify the topic and the format of the discussion. Hence a question to President of the Council. Our today’s meeting, is it another flagship event of the US Presidency in August? If yes, then why was it not announced as such at the beginning of the month? If no, then on what grounds do the United States, Albania, and Japan arrogate the right to steer the discussion at the Security Council? Such actions are nothing but a gross violation of the existing practice of UNSC work.

The steps you took are groundless, propaganda-oriented and contrary to the UNSC mandate. Human rights issues are not part of this Council’s mandate. These are addressed at specialized platforms, such as the Human Rights Council and the Third Committee of the General Assembly. Any linkage between human rights and threats to international peace and security that the initiators of today's meeting promote is absolutely artificial. Moreover, attempts to add tasks to the Security Council that are alien to its mandate disperse the attention of this body, lead to the politicization of the discussion and undermine the authority of the Council as a whole.

Clearly, the convening of this meeting is no more than a cynical and hypocritical attempt of the United States and its allies to promote their political agenda, increase pressure on Pyongyang and divert attention from the reckless escalatory actions of Washington and its allies in the region. This is what creates a real threat to international peace and security.  

There is no need to repeat what it is all about. Everyone is well aware that the United States, Japan, and the Republic of Korea continue to build up military activity in the region as part of their “extended deterrence” doctrine. One of the main trends is that their exercises and military cooperation keep gaining scale. Recently, the world has witnessed the appearance of a US nuclear submarine off the Korean Peninsula and US-South Korean air drills involving American fighter jets and strategic bombers. We should not forget about projects to move some of NATO's military infrastructure to the region. We also hear dangerous signals about the plans of Japan and the Republic of Korea to "build up cooperation" with the United States in the nuclear area, up to possible deployment of American nuclear weapons on their territories and development of own nuclear arsenals.

Russia consistently opposes any military activity that jeopardizes security of the Korean peninsula and North-East Asian states. Dangerous actions and statements directly contradict the task of reducing tension around the Korean Peninsula and finding ways to resolve the situation by political and diplomatic means, as set out in the relevant Security Council resolutions. And this is against the backdrop of the openly stated position of the DPRK, as well as the long "history of the issue", which clearly shows that problems cannot be resolved in any other way than through dialogue and constructive interaction, taking into account the legitimate concerns and rights of all States involved, certainly including the DPRK.

Recent developments confirm that rejection of confrontational steps and return to a negotiations table are the only way to address these issues effectively. In this connection, we once again draw attention to the Chinese-Russian action plan for comprehensive settlement on the Korean Peninsula that provides for concrete steps at relevant tracks.


This situation is a manifestation of blatant hypocrisy by the United States and its allies who elocute about human rights in the DPRK while suffocating the people of North Korea with inhumane unilateral sanctions. Neither UN representatives nor our Western colleagues today uttered a single word about the impact of these measures on ordinary people in the DPRK. This proves again the futility of this discussion, the only purpose of which is to serve Western double standards as regards both the procedures of the Security Council and the area of human rights.

We are convinced that this Council and the United Nations at large must not connive at US and allies’ policies that utilize human rights aspects to interfere in sovereign affairs of states. This is exactly what poses the main threat to peace and security, which dozens of states across the globe have already seen this for themselves. Whatever catches Washington and its allies come up with, this will not mislead anyone.

Thank you.