Statement by H.E. Ambassador SHINO Mitsuko, Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to then United Nations, at the United Nations Security Council Open Briefing on “Non-proliferation/Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”

Must read

July 13, 2023

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

Mr. President,

I must begin by expressing my greatest regret that North Korea launched yet another ICBM in violation of multiple Security Council resolutions. This latest ICBM is estimated to have landed in waters near Japan, just 250 km from Hokkaido. Once again, it endangered vessels, exposed aircraft in the surrounding area to great risk, and terrified Japanese citizens.

Japan condemns in the strongest possible terms North Korea’s dangerous act and wishes to remind the international community that this is a clear violation of international law and constitutes a threat to peace and security.

Mr. President, dear colleagues,

The threat goes far beyond Japan, the ROK, and the region. The missile, which is reportedly North Korea’s new type of solid-fueled ICBM – Hwasong 18 – is estimated to have flown 1,000 km with an apogee of over 6,000 km and a duration of 74 minutes, the longest ever. Calculations based on the flight trajectory indicate that the estimated capable range of the missile could exceed 15,000 km. This means all of Asia, all of Europe, all of North America, all of Africa and even part of South America would be within range of this delivery system of unlawful nuclear warheads.

North Korea has been advancing its unlawful WMD development steadily and boldly as an implementation of their strategic planning, while taking full advantage of the silence and inaction of this august body. Their actions are disrespectful of this Council and the United Nations Charter.

Mr. President, dear colleagues,

We should all ask ourselves: is it our job to sit back and wait for North Korea to steadily develop the capability to target the world with nuclear weapons and take hostage the entire international community? Do we have to acknowledge North Korea as a nuclear state?

We all know the answer. Absolutely not.

Mr. President, dear colleagues,

If I dare to say, it is getting harder to count the number of Council meetings in response to North Korea’s ballistic missile launches, because there are just too many provocations and too many Council meetings without any tangible and responsible action.

Yet, it is our duty to face this challenge. Let us go back to basics to make sure this will not be the new normal. This Council bears primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security, and in fulfilling its responsibility, the Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2397 in 2017 – the most recent resolution adopted in the face of threats posed by North Korea. In the resolution, the Council decided to take action if North Korea were to launch “an ICBM” or conduct a nuclear test. Even a single ICBM launch requires the Council to take action. This has been our determination. How many ICBMs have we witnessed without taking any action?

Some argue that the role of the Council should be to ease tensions and not single out only North Korea’s behavior. We do not deny that different countries have different views. At the same time, let me clearly point out the truth that no one should deny: there is no excuse for North Korea to continuously violate the relevant Security Council resolutions and for this Council to continue to disregard violations of its own resolutions. Once again, Japan reiterates its sincere and strong expectation that the Council will fulfill its responsibility. Let’s do our job.

Mr. President, dear colleagues,

In concluding, Japan once again urges North Korea to immediately and fully comply with all relevant resolutions and to resume substantive dialogue with the countries concerned toward complete denuclearization. The path to dialogue remains open.

I thank you, Mr. President.

More articles

Latest article