North Korea: France calls to an adoption of new sanctions [fr]
Security Council Emergency Meeting - Non-proliferation/Democratic People’s Republic of Korea - Intervention of François Delattre, Permament Representative of France to the United Nations - Monday 4 september 2017
"Yesterday, North Korea once again crossed a major red line towards escalation." Ambassador Delattre, Permament Representative of France to the United Nations, Monday 4 september 2017
First of all, I should like to thank Egypt for its outstanding presidency of the Security Council last month and to congratulate Ethiopia through you, Sir, for having assumed the presidency for the month of September. You can naturally count on France’s full support for the coming month, which looks to be particularly busy. I thank you for having convened this emergency meeting upon our joint request alongside the United States, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Korea and Japan. I also thank Jeffrey Feltman for his very enlightening briefing.
Yesterday, North Korea once again crossed a major red line towards escalation. After launching two intercontinental ballistic missiles and placing one of the countries of the region in clear and present danger, last night it carried out its sixth nuclear test. The event was immediately detected by the International Monitoring System of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization.
Through its highest ranking officials, my country has voiced its most vehement condemnation of that event. In addition to the expression of solidarity that I offer to the countries of the region on behalf of France, with deep concern, I am calling on the countries of the international community to be lucid and firm. Obviously, each one of us is concerned today because each on of us is threatened.
Let us make no mistake. In just a few months, the threat has changed in its dimensions and even its nature. The threat is no longer merely regional. It is global. It is no longer merely virtual. It is immediate. It is no longer merely serious. It is existential. This serious and global threat endangers our security, strategic stability and international peace. Through its sixth nuclear test, the Pyongyang regime continues to violate its obligations, and defy us. Every one of the actions taken by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea corresponds to its relentless, continuous and methodical work to make its dangerous obsession into a reality as quickly as possible. I am speaking of the possession of an operational nuclear arsenal aimed at changing not only the regional but the international balance. The combination of nuclear capability, to which I referred, and North Korean intercontinental ballistic missiles constitutes henceforth an erga omnes danger everywhere.
In that regard, weakness or prevarication is not an option. That is why France calls for a swift, firm and unified response from the Security Council, based in particular on three specific points: the rapid adoption of new sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, very strict implementation of existing sanctions by all actors concerned and the adoption of additional measures by the European Union. Let us be cognizant of the fact that time is running out. We know that Pyongyang does not hesitate and will not hesitate to sacrifice its own people in order to flout the most basic rules we have devised on non-proliferation and so on. That is understood to be a major threat to the very foundation of our entire law and security system; one that we cannot accept. We are all responsible for ensuring that that system is respected, preserved and even strengthened; our credibility is at stake.
There are those who believe that the international community is not willing to engage in dialogue but, regrettably, the current situation is not at all conducive to negotiations. My country has always supported dialogue. Nonetheless, it must be noted that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has not given us even the smallest sign or assurance that it would perhaps be willing to negotiate on its nuclear and ballistic activities. In the light of such blatant disregard for international law and the authority of the Security Council, there can be no compromise. We have stated on multiple occasions that the violation of Council decisions cannot be treated as a commodity. We cannot allow others to dictate our response.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea must end its nuclear and ballistic programme in a comprehensive, verifiable and irreversible manner and meet its international obligations without delay. France also believes that it should join the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. A firm collective response alone will be effective in successfully bringing the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, without conditions, to the negotiating table. We must remain accountable in fully implementing existing sanctions. They are not an end in themselves, but they are indispensable.
Let us recall that major economic sanctions were adopted by the Council only in 2016, and they are having an effect. Nonetheless, in the light of new developments, we must put maximum pressure on the Pyongyang regime. France therefore supports the swift adoption of new sanctions, in particular economic and sectoral sanctions, by the Council. As I said, we remain resolute and committed to similar efforts within the European Union.
In the worrisome spiral of one-upmanship and provocation in which it finds itself, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea must bear the consequences of its unremitting obstinacy. The only response that we can provide is a very stringent, unambiguous policy, with the end goal of a complete dismantling of the Republic’s programmes. Only through a strict policy and maximum pressure on the regime will we be able to change the course of events, bring the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the negotiating table, without conditions, and embark on the path to a political settlement to the crisis.Given the acute and extremely serious threat, the Security Council must shoulder its responsibility. Rest assured of France’s resolute commitment in that regard, as a permanent member of the Security Council.