Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Anna Evstigneeva at UNSC briefing on DPRK

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13 July 2023


We have listened to the remarks by Mr.Khaled Khiari. We underscore again that neither today’s briefing nor Secretary-General’s statement yesterday mentioned a number of important factors that influence the situation around the Korean peninsula.

Russia consistently opposes any military activity that may jeopardize security of the Korean Peninsula and North-East Asian states. This meeting was called by the United States, Malta, Great Britain, and Japan in view of the recent launch. Once again, we must draw attention to the actions of the United States, the Republic of Korea, and Japan who continue to increase the scale of regional exercises and military interaction in the framework of their concept of so-called “extended deterrence”. For some reason, some members of the Council seek to downplay this factor, though it actually defines the context for the current developments.We have already repeatedly cited examples of this negative trend, but from meeting to meeting they only become more numerous. For example, in mid-June, for the first time in a while, a US nuclear submarine took part in exercises off the Korean peninsula; in late June, a series of United States-South Korean air maneuvers took place with the participation of US fighter jets and strategic bombers.

Obviously, such actions have a destabilizing effect on the situation not only in North-East Asia but also in the entire Asia-Pacific region. Its continued militarization, including through plans to move part of NATO’s military infrastructure there, and attempts by the United States and its allies to create new “dividing lines” by establishing closed alliances to counter countries that Washington holds for undesirable – all this has an extremely negative impact on global stability.

Besides, one should not overlook the most ambiguous and contradictory signals from the US allies in North-East Asia, Japan and the Republic of Korea, about so-called strengthening of cooperation with the United States in the nuclear area. There are even some extremely dangerous “thoughts aloud” about deploying US nuclear weapons on their territory, or even developing such weapons of their own.

Speaking of the situation on the Korean Peninsula that the Security Council is discussing today, it is clear that military activity by the United States and its allies in the sub-region is contrary (by definition) to the goal of de-escalation. In its discussions of this issue, the Security Council has no right to ignore this factor, despite the persistent attempts of certain states to impose a one-sided vision of current developments, blaming the escalation solely on the DPRK. More so if we take into account Pyongyang’s well-known and publicly stated position, as well as the long history of the Korean settlement, which shows that there is no alternative to solving the problems of the peninsula except through dialogue. It is obvious that the build-up of military activity, where Washington plays a decisive role, and Tokyo and Seoul follow in blindly, refusing to view the situation comprehensively, only postpones the resumption of this conversation. This looks like provoking deliberately an acute crisis around the Korean Peninsula, which is fraught with potentially dangerous scenarios.

I remind that UN Security Council resolutions on the DPRK prescribe to seek ways of political and diplomatic settlement of the situation on the Korean Peninsula. The latest developments around it indicate the need to de-escalate immediately, reject provocations and a get back to negotiations. In this connection, we once again draw attention to the Russian-Chinese action plan for a comprehensive settlement of the situation on the Korean Peninsula, which implies concrete steps at certain tracks. Its implementation will undoubtedly require a mutually respectful dialogue and consideration of legitimate concerns and rights of all States involved, including, of course, the DPRK.

So far, we have seen no willingness to do so. Moreover, because of the position of certain members of the Security Council, inexcusably little attention is being paid to finding ways to resolve the accumulated problems of the sub-region. We emphasize that the Russian-Chinese draft political and humanitarian resolution remains on the table. We are convinced that consideration and potential adoption of this proposal will bring much more benefit than any other deliberately unbalanced “products”, including those prepared in line with the policy of increasing sanctions pressure, which is prospectless in form and inhumane in content. The easing of restrictions through the Council will not be a “gift” to Pyongyang (which Western countries say North Korea allegedly does not deserve), but a long overdue step that, among other things, will make it possible to move towards restoring the atmosphere of trust and demonstrate to the DPRK the Council’s willingness to deliver fully on its functions under the UN Charter.

During recent meetings of the Security Council, we have repeatedly heard of the need to restore the unity of the Security Council with regard to the situation on the Korean Peninsula. We are convinced that this is doable and not too hard if all members of the Council are prepared, instead of promoting propaganda narratives, to fulfil their obligations and respond objectively and impartially to threats to international peace and security, taking into account all the factors that accompany them, and to participate seriously in a constructive and substantive discussion of ways to find a concrete solution to the entire set of problems on the Korean Peninsula.

Thank you.

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