North Korea: It is a global threat [fr]
North Korea - Intervention of M. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - 5 July 2017
Allow me to thank you, Sir, and the representatives of the United States and Japan for convening this very important meeting. I also thank Mr. Jenča, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, for his very enlightening briefing on the situation.
The Security Council is once again meeting following a serious and unjustifiable violation by North Korea of its international obligations, which threatens international peace and security. With the launch of a ballistic missile two days ago, North Korea continues in its posture of an inexcusable headlong rush. It is confirming its stubborn and proclaimed determination to flout the authority of the Security Council. It continues to ignore the numerous appeals and calls to reason, which we have continuously addressed to it. Finally, it persists with an irresponsible provocative attitude, which threatens to leads us straight to an escalation.
France has condemned the missile launch, just as it has condemned the numerous ballistic missile launches carried out by Pyongyang in recent months. All of North Korea’s actions fuel a dangerous and provocative spiral of regional instability and even threaten peace and international security. Today, the countries of the region are directly threatened. I reiterate France’s full solidarity with them, but let us be fully aware that everyone is now affected by this threat. It is a global threat.
The systematic and determined effort, initiated at the highest level of the North Korean regime, to develop its nuclear programmes speaks for itself. This new ballistic missile launch, which follows in the wake of previous launches and nuclear tests, represents another step towards North Korea’s acquisition of an operational nuclear capacity. It is a deliberate, methodical and fully acknowledged assault on the non-proliferation regime, which is at the heart of our security system and which we cannot afford to tolerate. Let us make no mistake — North Korea’s nuclear programme is one of the main threats to the non-proliferation regime that we have forged together, step by step, in recent decades. The non-proliferation regime itself is the backbone of international peace and security, which we are responsible for protecting. This dangerous forward push must cease immediately and without preconditions.
Sanctions are never automatic or an end in themselves, but when our messages, appeals and even our warnings are deliberately, repeatedly and systematically ignored, a determined response is necessary. Negotiation is always the first choice, but the current situation does not allow for it at all. The deliberate, repeated and outright violation by whomsoever of our decisions cannot be subject to bargaining. It is up to North Korea to sincerely demonstrate, through concrete action, that it is ready to invest in a negotiated settlement. Otherwise, we will have no other choice but to respond firmly.
Nuclear proliferation is essentially what is at stake. In the face of this threat, weakness and lack of action are not options. We have been brought together by a shared sense of urgency and a common determination to ensure that the authority of the Security Council is upheld. We must therefore shoulder our responsibilities together. The entire international community must pursue its efforts to ensure the effective implementation of measures already adopted, but we must also confirm our decisive commitment to putting an end to the irresponsible action of North Korea. Our goal must be complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. Time is of the essence. The firm and unambiguous message conveyed through today’s meeting is an important step in this direction.
France has been at the forefront of establishing a non-proliferation regime and intends to stay there. In the Security Council and in the European Union, France has always responded with determination and firmness to any attempt to undermine that regime. France has contributed to building consensus with its partners to ensure that a firm response is provided. I would like to reassure the international community that my country will continue to do so with determination. We will therefore work with all our partners for the adoption of a Security Council resolution aimed at imposing new, robust and operational measures. We will also pursue similar measures within the European Union.
When the basis of our collective security is threatened, there is no room for equivocation. Given the risk that the situation could continue to deteriorate, the Council must and will assume its responsibilities.