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

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June 28, 2024

Thank you, Mr. President. I also thank Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs and Mr. Jonah Leff, Executive Director at Conflict Armament Research for their sobering and extremely alarming briefings.

Mr. President,

I must begin by condemning yet another ballistic missile launch by North Korea on 26 June local time. North Korea continues to develop its unlawful nuclear and ballistic missile programmes unabated, brazenly violating Security Council resolutions. What is more, it is evading Council sanctions with the help of other actors.

It is highly regrettable that, despite the affirmative support by 13 Council members, this Council was compelled to silence the Panel of Experts, which had played a crucial role in countering North Korea’s proliferation activities. Its renewal was blocked by the Russian Federation, which as a permanent member should bear the primary responsibility to maintain international peace and security but instead wielded its veto power to defend North Korea’s unlawful conduct.

If the Panel still existed, its reports would have certainly included further investigations on sanctions evasion and even on violations by Russia itself. Japan condemns in the strongest possible terms North Korea’s export and Russia’s procurement of ballistic missiles in violation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions, as well as Russia’s use of these missiles against Ukraine.

The transfer of these weapons supports Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine in flagrant violation of the UN Charter and will increase the suffering of the Ukrainian people and exacerbate the situation in Ukraine. It could also affect the entire international community, through its deleterious impact on non-proliferation regime, and by destabilizing the very foundation of the global security and economy.

Mr. President,

We have witnessed disagreements or, dare I say, deliberate obstructionism in this chamber on this file. Let me remind that, whatever the policy differences among us, there is one thing no one can and should deny – the previous Security Council resolutions which this Council unanimously adopted. They are in force and need to be reinforced.

Let’s say it straight:  all UN Member States including North Korea and anyone sitting in this chamber should fully implement and abide by the existing resolutions, no matter how different our views may be on geopolitical circumstances or the root causes regarding the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Let’s stop insisting on deceptive excuses for not adhering to the resolutions we have the obligation to adhere to.

Mr. President,

We recently witnessed the signing of the “Treaty on Comprehensive Strategic Partnership” between North Korea and Russia, paving the way for further deepening the military cooperation between the two parties, who are blatantly violating the UN Charter and the UN Security Council resolutions. I believe no additional reason is needed to affirm that this should be of grave concern to the rest of the international community.

Right after his visit to Pyongyang, Russian leader even suggested the possibility to provide weapons to North Korea. It is hence no exaggeration to say that we stand at a critical historical juncture for preventing the proliferation of WMDs and their means of delivery. No one benefits from weakening the global non-proliferation regime. If these acts go unchecked, it will shake the system to its foundations. If North Korea’s proliferation cannot be addressed and if evasion and violations of sanctions are ever condoned, significant consequences will spread far beyond Asia. This is an urgent non-proliferation crisis confronting the entire globe.

Thank you.

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