Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia at UNSC briefing on the DPRK


This meeting is yet another illustration how brazenly the United States uses its President’s seat in the Council this month to advance a narrow, self-serving, politicized agenda. Having requested in its national capacity, along with Albania, Ecuador, France, Japan and Malta, an open briefing on the DPRK, the Presidency did not even bother to create an appearance of holding consultations among UNSC membership on the need for such a discussion and its format. They requested the meeting and immediately scheduled it – all by themselves. By such actions, the United States shows that it does not care at all about the opinion of other members of the Council.

This meeting is nothing more than a cynical and hypocritical attempt by the United States and its allies to increase pressure on Pyongyang and divert attention from the reckless escalatory actions of Washington and its allies in the region, which are the real source of threats to international peace and security. At the same time, Washington, in its customary manner, is turning the tables, hypocritically blaming others and not recognizing any responsibility for the escalation in North-East Asia. Why of course! The United States, as Caesar's wife, is always above suspicion.

We are surprised that in his briefing today, ASG Khiari did not say a single word to mention the destructive military activities of the United States, the Republic of Korea, and Japan in North-East Asia. We regret that the Secretariat, which is supposed to stick to an impartial and objective position, completely ignores this important circumstance.

Russia consistently opposes any military activity that poses a threat to security of the Korean Peninsula and neighboring states. However, Washington, Tokyo, and Seoul escalate the situation around the peninsula on a regular basis. In particular, regional military drills by the allies that fall within the concept of so-called "extended deterrence" of the DPRK serve exactly this goal, and their scale is increasing steadily. This is a blatantly provocative line, which further complicates the prospects for establishing dialogue, which is necessary for strengthening regional security.

Let us not forget about the series of American-South Korean air maneuvers by US fighter and strategic bomber jets that took place in June, and also about an American nuclear submarine that turned up near the Korean Peninsula. An extremely negative impact on the situation is produced by the attempts of the United States and its allies to create new "demarcation lines" in the region by means of establishing closed associations and making plans to move some of NATO's military infrastructure there.

Another concern is the contradictory signals from US allies in North-East Asia, Tokyo and Seoul, about so-called "enhanced cooperation" with Washington in the nuclear area, which may well be interpreted as an assumption of the possibility of deploying US nuclear weapons on their territories and developing such weapons of their own.

Some members of the Council have sought to put those factors out of the picture, even though ultimately they are the key reasons for deteriorating situation in the region. All delegations here are well aware of that, but there is no change for the better.

Pressure on Pyongyang is not limited to purely military activity. Unfortunately, the platform of UNSC has been used for that purpose too.  Another confirmation of this was last week's meeting on human rights situation in the DPRK, which was absolutely pointless from the practical point of view. In order to promote their biased agenda, the initiators of the meeting disregarded the mandate of the Council, which is not authorized to deal with human rights issues.

Against this backdrop, it is no surprise that tension in North-East Asia and Asia-Pacific is but growing.

May I remind that specialized UNSC resolutions prescribe to search for ways of a political and diplomatic settlement of the situation on the Korean Peninsula. The latest developments around it suggest the need for an immediate de-escalation, renunciation of provocations, and a return to negotiations. In this connection, we once again draw attention to the fact that the Russian-Chinese action plan for a comprehensive settlement of the situation on the Korean Peninsula, which implies concrete steps in all problem areas, remains on the table. Its implementation will undoubtedly require a mutually respectful dialogue taking into consideration legitimate concerns and rights of all states involved, including, naturally, the DPRK.  Instead of this, there is little willingness to do so due to the attitudes of certain Council members, whose statements continue to pay scant attention to finding realistic solutions to the sub-region's accumulated problems.

The Russian-Chinese draft political and humanitarian resolution also remains relevant. If adopted, it is going to bring much more benefit in comparison with such obviously futile measures as demonization of Pyongyang and the inhuman policy of increasing sanctions pressure. We are convinced that the policy of harsh restrictions has long exhausted itself. It fundamentally contradicts the tasks of restoring confidence, which should be the primary concern of the Security Council.

We believe that the Council will be able to upend this standing issue if all its members are prepared to work in an unbiased manner, responding to threats to international peace and security and taking into account all related factors rather than blindly continuing to recite worn-out propaganda clichés.

For our part, we are ready to engage in a constructive and substantive discussion of ways to address the entire range of problems on the Korean Peninsula, and we call on other members of the Council to do the same.

Thank you.


Video of the statement