A firm resolve is our best antidote to the risks of war [fr]
Adoption of resolution 2397 strengthening sanctions against the North Korean regime
Explanation of vote from Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
UN Security Council - 22 December 2017
France welcomes the unanimous adoption of resolution 2397 (2017), which marks a significant step in strengthening sanctions against the North Korean regime. We thank the United States, China and each of the Council members for their resolute commitment. I would like to thank my American colleague Mrs. Nikki Haley in particular. Her commitment contributed greatly to this result.
Today’s vote is commensurate with the gravity of the issue and the magnitude of the threat to peace and security today. This year, North Korea accelerated its irresponsible, even methodical, race towards the development of an operational nuclear arsenal, at the cost of sacrificing its own population. Its many destabilizing actions have fuelled a serious rise in tensions in the region, from intercontinental ballistic missile launches to the nuclear test carried out in September, not to mention the two flights over Japanese territory. beyond that — and let us make no mistake about it — the North Korean threat is a threat to everyone’s safety, because every country is now affected by the range of North Korean missiles.
The Council was able to respond in a unified manner to each of North Korea’s actions, effectively and firmly. Our response to this direct threat to regional and international peace and security, which is also a blatant attack against the nuclear non-proliferation regime, speaks to our credibility. That is why the day after the ballistic missile launch on 28 November, France advocated the strengthening of sanctions. That is what we have done today with today’s adoption of resolution 2397 (2017), which allows us to send an unambiguous double message about unity and determination. The resolution complements the arsenal of measures reinforced by resolutions 2371 (2017) and 2375 (2017), adopted this summer. It sanctions the actors at the heart of the operation of the regime. It also sharply increases the constraints on the resources of the North Korean regime, particularly North Korean workers, as well as those placed on oil exports to North Korea. We are strengthening the tools at our disposal to prevent the circumvention of sanctions, particularly in the maritime field. Finally, the Council is committed to adopting new, appropriate and targeted measures on oil should North Korea conduct a new nuclear test or pursue the path of developing intercontinental ballistic capabilities.
By way of the provisions I have just recalled, resolution 2397 (2017) targets the regime, its actors and its resources in order to change North Korean strategy and policy. The resolution is therefore part of the maximum pressure that we wish to exert on the regime with a view to returning it to the negotiating table. Indeed, the necessary firmness that we are expressing today serves the only political strategy that can put an end to the North Korean crisis.
France is of course in favour of resumed dialogue, and the sooner the better. However, we are still impatiently awaiting concrete signs from the North Korean regime of its own willingness to engage in such dialogue. France is of the view that applying maximum pressure on the North Korean regime is our best means of enabling the dialogue that itself is the condition for a political settlement. To put it simply and clearly, the firm resolve that we have shown unanimously today is our best antidote to the risks of war and our best chance for paving the way for dialogue and, therefore, for the political solution we are seeking.