Urgent to bring Pyongyang back to the negotiating table [fr]
North Korea/ Adoption of the resolution 2371 - Vote explanation by Mr.François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 5th August 2017
«It is more urgent than ever to put an end to North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic programmes and bring Pyongyang back to the negotiating table.» F.Delattre
France welcomes the unanimous adoption of resolution 2371 (2017), which reinforces the sanctions imposed by the United Nations on North Korea as a result of the ballistic missile launches that took place on 3 and 28 July. We thank the United States for its leadership in the negotiations, as well as for its unwavering commitment to this issue, which today is more important than ever for international peace and security.
For years, North Korea has pursued the forced development of its nuclear and ballistic programmes, initiated at the highest level of the regime. It seeks methodically to acquire an operational nuclear arsenal, at the cost of the sacrifice of its own population.
The launches of the past few weeks have taken us a step further towards the threat posed by North Korean programmes, clearly demonstrating Pyongyang’s determination to bring the entire international community within the reach of its missiles. This is an unacceptable situation, which directly challenges the security of us all.
Let us not deceive ourselves — the threat is global, and even beyond this grave and direct threat, it is the entire non-proliferation regime that is in danger, even though it is one of the pillars of our system of collective security.
That is why weakness is not an option, and why France has been convinced from the outset that only a position of great firmness can open the way to the political and diplomatic strategy that is itself the only possible outcome to this crisis.
In that context, it is more urgent than ever to put an end to North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic programmes and bring Pyongyang back to the negotiating table. In recent months, however, despite repeated warnings, North Korea has persistently ignored every injunction by the Council and has defied the international community as a whole. Considering the seriousness of the threat that is currently hanging over all of us, stamping our authority on the situation is a matter of urgency. Bringing to bear the greatest diplomatic and economic pressure possible is the only way to put a stop to these programmes, bring North Korea back to the negotiating table and promote a peaceful solution to the current crisis.
Through today’s resolution, and beyond its unambiguous condemnation of North Korea’s unjustifiable actions, the Council is articulating two complementary actions — punishing a new group of individuals and entities that are central to the functioning of the regime and its programmes, and imposing an embargo on several key sectors of activity, including the capacity to provide the liquidity that Pyongyang needs to finance its illegal programmes. Clearly, these measures, which will probably cut the regime’s income by an amount estimated to be more than $1 billion a year, are likely to change the situation. They emphasize the scope of the tools available to the Council, whose effectiveness is increased tenfold when it takes action and does so unanimously, as it has today. Of course, they are accompanied by humanitarian exemption clauses aimed at minimizing the consequences for the people of North Korea, who are not targeted by these measures.
The new resolution’s determined response is also a new warning. This dangerous and irresponsible leap on the part of the regime, whose irrationality is equalled only by its methodical pursuit of its goal, must stop. North Korea must understand that if it continues to choose the road of escalation and provocation, we will have no choice but to ramp up the pressure. And one of the messages that we have unanimously sent today is that we are ready to do that.
As we have said a number of times, sanctions are not an end in themselves but a means of forcing Pyongyang to return to a serious dialogue. In the face of the regime’s irresponsible, unjustifiable stubbornness, today we have no alternative to firmness if we are to bring North Korea back to the path of reason and thereby pave the way for a political and diplomatic outcome of this crisis.