Delivered By: His Excellency Mohamed Abushahab, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative
I thank Assistant Secretary-General [Khaled] Khairi for his valuable briefing, and I welcome the participation of the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea in this meeting.
First and foremost, the UAE condemns the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile by the DPRK on 12 April. This is the 17th ballistic missile launch in 2023 alone. DPRK state media has reported that it is the first test of a solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile. This weapon, which can be fired more quickly than missiles using liquid propellants, is a clear and dangerous escalation by the DPRK which threatens the region and the world.
The Security Council must address the DPRK’s behavior. There are no signs of de-escalation from Pyongyang. The DPRK’s actions have only heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula and in the wider region. The DPRK is continuing to blatantly violate Security Council resolutions and endanger lives, again and again. The UAE urges the Council to unite in condemning the DRPK’s illicit activities.
We also strengthen compliance with the Security Council’s 1718 sanctions regime, which remains critical in slowing the development of the DPRK’s nuclear and ballistic capabilities. We urge all Member States to uphold the sanctions regime and to combat the DPRK’s continued efforts to evade sanctions.
The UAE believes that the best way forward is for Pyongyang to return to the negotiating table and choose diplomacy and dialogue over provocation and escalation. We also call on the DPRK to refrain from conducting further illegal tests, return to compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty, abandon its nuclear weapons and related missile programs, implement IAEA safeguards, and fulfil its denuclearization obligations.
We also remain deeply troubled by the humanitarian situation in the DPRK. In 2022, the UN estimated that more than 5 million people in the DPRK required humanitarian assistance. Prior to that year, aid groups’ lifesaving work included the provision of clean water and medicines to children, agricultural support to address chronic food production deficits, and specialized nutritional programs for the malnourished. These programs have all but halted while people in the DPRK remain in need of critical humanitarian assistance. We once again call upon the DPRK to allow the UN and humanitarian agencies to return to the country and restart their work, for the benefit of the people of the DPRK.
The DPRK’s continued provocations are an unambiguous threat to international peace and security. The Security Council must demonstrate clear resolve on this critical issue, and we must find a way to move forward through dialogue.
Thank you, Mr. President.