Statement by Ambassador Joonkook Hwang, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the UN, at the UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine

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January 10, 2024

Ambassador Joonkook Hwang (Republic of Korea) said that, besides waging an illegal war of aggression and violating international humanitarian law, the Russian Federation is also relying on weapons illegally provided by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Short-range ballistic missiles supplied by Pyongyang hit Ukraine on 30 December, 2 January and 6 January, he recalled, strongly condemning its export of ballistic missiles and launchers, as well as Moscow’s use of them against Ukraine.

By exporting missiles to the Russian Federation, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea used Ukraine as “a test site of its nuclear-capable missiles”, in wanton disregard of that country’s territorial integrity and safety of its people. Additionally, “the introduction of North Korean missiles into the war in Ukraine has a significant implication on global nuclear non-proliferation,” he warned, echoing the assessment of some experts that the missiles fired into Ukraine are KN-23, which the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea claims can deliver nuclear-warheads.

For the Republic of Korea, this presents an existential threat, he said, noting that the Council’s inaction to date has only encouraged the Pyongyang regime.

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