Statement by H.E. Ambassador ISHIKANE Kimihiro, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the United Nations Security Council Meeting on “Non-Proliferation/DPRK”

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November 27, 2023


Thank you, Mr. President. I also thank ASG Khiari for his briefing.

I must begin by my condemnation in the strongest terms on yet another launch by North Korea using ballistic missile technology in violation of multiple Security Council resolutions. It is particularly appalling that this reckless behavior was conducted despite the call from most Council members and the Secretary-General on North Korea not to conduct further launches at the Council meetings in June and August on this matter.

North Korea’s series of unlawful actions, including the latest launch using ballistic missile technology which flew directly over the Japanese archipelago, are threats to international peace and security and a serious challenge to the global non-proliferation regime. Japan joins the Secretary-General in strongly condemning North Korea for this recent launch.

Mr. President,

Let us recall the basics of our discussion today. We are not gathering here to discuss either the right to use outer space or the right of self-defense. The very name of this agenda item makes it clear: we are here to ensure the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The Security Council unanimously adopted multiple resolutions obligating North Korea not to conduct any further launches that use ballistic missile technology, because it contributes to developing its delivery systems for nuclear weapons and poses a grave threat to the peace and security of the region and beyond.

Let us be clear about our collective responsibility for the non-proliferation of WMDs. Let us not spiral into the ambiguities of political rhetoric. We should not be deceived by any attempt to justify North Korea’s ambition to pursue unlawful WMD programs. The Security Council should be united on non-proliferation matters. I urge all Council members to reaffirm their commitment to the global non-proliferation regime that we all must value and uphold.

Mr. President,

North Korea has continued to ignore and deny its international obligations by pursuing its military ambition according to its five-year plan. Its actions are disrespectful of this Council and the United Nations Charter. It is high time for responsible Council members to restore the unity displayed in 2017 and live up to our commitment to firmly stand against proliferation. Otherwise, the Council only sends a wrong message – not just to Pyongyang, but the entire world, including potential proliferators.

In the light of not only widening division within the international community over approaches to nuclear disarmament, but also the aggravating security environment, the international community must express grave concern over such an irresponsible act of North Korea and take decisive action to address it.

Mr. President,

Japan once again calls on all Member States to fully implement relevant resolutions. In this regard, arms transfers from North Korea to Russia, which directly violate relevant Security Council resolutions, are absolutely unacceptable. Such transfers would not only exacerbate the situation in Ukraine, but also severely undermine the non-proliferation regime.  In addition, we are deeply concerned about the potential for any transfer of nuclear- or ballistic missile-related technology to North Korea, which would further threaten the peace and stability of the region as well as across the globe. We call on  North Korea and Russia to abide by their obligations under all relevant Security Council resolutions and immediately cease all activities that violate them.

In concluding, Japan demands that  North Korea immediately and fully comply with all relevant resolutions, engage in diplomacy and resume substantive dialogue. The path to dialogue remains open.

The world is watching to see whether we, in this Chamber, can fulfill our responsibility.

I thank you.

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