Delivered by: Ambassador Mohamed Abushahab, Deputy Permanent Representative, Chargé d’Affaires, a.i.
I thank Assistant Secretary General Khiari for his informative briefing, and I welcome the participation of boththe Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea in today’s meeting.
The United Arab Emirates joins the Secretary General in his strong condemnation of the latest unlawful ballistic missile launch by the DPRK on the 12th of July.
The UAE’s message today is clear: this cycle of dangerous activities and escalation by the DPRK must end. Furthermore, the DPRK’s proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and brinkmanship are not only threatening the security and stability of the region, but that of the wider world. The DPRK’s ongoing violations are eroding the non-proliferation regime and undermine our collective security.
Once again, the DPRK failed to provide advance warning of the launch, putting international civil aviation and maritime traffic at risk. These launches continue to pose an imminent threat to civilians in neighbouring countries that live in fear of the DPRK’s actions. We express our solidarity with the people of the Republic of Korea and Japan in the threat they face. We reaffirm that civilians anywhere, including within the DPRK itself, should not be subjected to arbitrary threats such as these.
Regarding the latest launch; I would like to make three points.
First, yesterday’s test was not an isolated event. It is reported to be the twentieth ballistic missile, and the fourth of an intercontinental range, tested by the DPRK this year – all in flagrant violation of this Council’s resolutions. We reiterate our call on the DPRK to respect its obligations and refrain from further launches.
This latest ICBM launch was another alarming example of the DPRK’s unlawful progression of its nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities. It is reported that the so-called Hwasong-18 ICBM flew for approximately 74 minutes, potentially making it the longest flight test ever for an ICBM by the DPRK. Furthermore, it demonstrates that the DPRK’s capabilities are becoming ever more dangerous and threatening. With the DPRK’s increased ballistic missile activities since 2021, it is only a matter of time before there is a miscalculation or an accident resulting in the death of civilians.
Second, the DPRK’s actions regarding its illegal ballistic missile and WMD program continue to violate the clear prohibitions set by the Security Council.
The DPRK should return to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and work to achieve peace in the Korean Peninsula through complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization. In order to achieve this goal, we call on the DPRK to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to return to the country.
Third, the 70th anniversary of the Korean Armistice is a sobering reminder that sustainable peace in the Korean Peninsula remains elusive. All parties must double down on diplomatic efforts and dialogue to bring about stability and prosperity. Through constructive engagement, all concerns can be addressed at the negotiating table. We encourage the DPRK to heed the calls of the International community and return to dialogue without preconditions.
We continue to be concerned that, while attention is focused on the DPRK’s unlawful ballistic missile tests, the dire humanitarian needs of civilians in the DPRK remain unmet. The DPRK is in the midst of its lean agricultural season, when food insecurity is expected to be at its most acute. We strongly urge the DPRK to reestablish its dialogue with the United Nations and enable the return of humanitarian organizations to the country as soon as possible.
In the past, Council unity prevailed on this file and served to send a clear message that the Council would not allow nuclear proliferation. The UAE will continue to encourage a return to this unity so that the Council can fulfil its responsibility to support the work towards peace and security in the Korean Peninsula.
Thank you, Mr. President.