Statement at the UNSC Briefing on the DPRK
Statement11 May 2022
Thank you, Assistant Secretary General Khiari, for your useful briefing.
Ireland condemns the recent missile launches by the DPRK. The intense and escalatory series of launches over the last six months, including ICBM launches, in violation of Council Resolutions, are a matter of deepest concern, and must be brought to an end.
The DPRK’s actions serve only to raise tensions, threatening the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the wider region. They also risk undermining the global non-proliferation architecture.
Since the Council last met on this issue, the DPRK has conducted three launches and restated its aim of “enhancing the efficiency in the operation of [its] tactical nukes”, while President Kim Jung-Un “declared DPRK’s resolve to further build up the nuclear combat forces of the DPRK.” At the same time, the DPRK has continued its nuclear activities, at both Yongbyon, with the production of further stocks of fissile material, and at other sites related to the nuclear programme.
This is wholly unacceptable. It directly contravenes the expressed concerns of the international community, and the decisions of this Council.
This Council has been silent too long. In this regard, the ongoing work towards a possible Council Resolution is welcome and necessary. The Security Council must be united, strong and determined in answering the DPRK’s actions.
There can only be a diplomatic and peaceful resolution to the issues on the Korean Peninsula. The DPRK must understand that, and take up, in good faith offers of dialogue by the United States and South Korea, without preconditions.
The DPRK must meet its obligations, as set out by Security Council Resolutions, to abandon its ballistic missile programme, and its nuclear and other WMD programmes, in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner.
It must resume its obligations under the NPT and IAEA safeguards, and sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.
Until the DPRK takes meaningful steps to fulfill its obligations, Council Resolutions, and the 1718 sanctions regime, must be fully and effectively enforced.
Equally, we must strengthen our efforts to stem sanctions evasion by the DPRK, which funds and assists procurement for the DPRK’s illegal programmes.
Ireland remains deeply concerned by the worsening humanitarian situation in the DPRK. We again urge the DPRK to allow access for UN and other humanitarian actors to assess needs and provide appropriate assistance in the country.
The 1718 Committee, in providing expedited exemptions, has sought to ensure that necessary humanitarian assistance reaches the DPRK.
The DPRK itself, however, must recognise that prioritising its illegal military programmes over the livelihoods, well-being and rights of its citizens, has had disasterous consequences for its own people.
It is time for this to end. The Council has made clear the necessary steps. It is for the DPRK to act on them.