8039th Security Council Meeting: Non-Proliferation; DPRK

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SIX OFFICIAL 04-Sep-2017 01:26:34
The Security Council condemns the recent underground nuclear test by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, with members calling for tougher sanctions, at 8039th meeting.
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Strongly condemning the recent underground nuclear test conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Security Council, during an emergency meeting today, discussed options that would promptly de-escalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, said that, as tensions rose, so did the risk of misunderstanding, miscalculation and escalation. Stressing that the latest serious developments required a comprehensive response to break the cycle of provocations from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, he said such an action must include wise and bold diplomacy to be effective. As the Council considered its reaction, he emphasized that the Secretary-General reiterated the importance of responding to humanitarian imperatives regardless of the political situation.

Many Council members expressed alarm, calling for adopting fresh sanctions to economically choke the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s nuclear programme. “Enough is enough,” said the representative of the United States, stressing that the stakes could not be higher, especially since 24 years of sanctions and half-measures were not enough, and announcing that her delegation would soon table a draft resolution on the matter. “We must now adopt the strongest possible measures.”

Echoing that theme, Senegal’s delegate said the credibility of the Council was being put to the test, considering the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea routinely violating resolutions by the illegal testing of nuclear weapons. The Council must speak with one voice, he said.

“Time is ticking,” France’s delegate said, calling for new, more robust sanctions, including measures adopted by the European Union.

Supporting that view, the representative of the Republic of Korea said the Council must respond with the adoption of a new resolution containing tougher actions. That must include additional measures to further block funds that could possibly flow into the country’s illegal weapons-of-mass-destruction programme, corresponding to the magnitude and gravity of the most recent test and to compel Pyongyang to seriously engage in dialogue.

Several Council members emphasized the need to resolve tensions through diplomatic channels. China’s representative highlighted a proposal that had been made by his country and the Russian Federation to establish a peace mechanism that required Pyongyang to suspend its nuclear programme, and the Republic of Korea and the United States to halt its military exercises.

Many speakers agreed that sanctions alone would not solve the problem. Sweden’s delegate stressed that negotiations must prevail to resolve the current tensions. Others emphasized that no military solution had addressed the ongoing tensions and diplomatic measures were needed.

Also delivering statements were representatives of Japan, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Italy, Bolivia, Russian Federation, Uruguay, Kazakhstan, Egypt and Ethiopia.

The meeting began at 10:06 a.m. and ended at 11:30 a.m.
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