Delivered By: Her Excellency Lana Nusseibeh, Ambassador and Permanent Representative

Mr. President,

I also thank Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo for her briefing and welcome the participation of Japan and the Republic of Korea in today’s meeting.

The DPRK launched its eighth intercontinental ballistic missile in 2022, and it’s reported to have fallen just 125 miles off the coast of Japan. This latest ballistic missile is assessed to have capabilities that put in grave danger not only the Korean peninsula, but many nations around the world, including those sitting around this table. We unequivocally condemn the DPRK’s actions, which violate multiple Security Council resolutions. The DPRK’s dangerous behavior threatens our collective stability and prosperity. The unprecedented escalation in the DPRK’s provocative actions and threats poses a challenge to the Council’s responsibility to maintain international peace and security.

We remain deeply concerned that the DPRK seemingly plans to carry out its seventh nuclear test. We once again call on it to refrain from conducting any further illegal tests, return to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, abandon all its nuclear weapon and related missile programs, implement IAEA safeguards, and fulfill its denuclearization obligations. Nuclear proliferation cannot guarantee the DPRK’s security and stability. On the contrary, the DPRK’s determination to pursue it will exacerbate tensions and instability on the Korean peninsula and beyond. At a time where the global non-proliferation architecture is at a critical juncture, we call upon the DPRK to abide by the UN Charter, international law, and Security Council resolutions. It is high time to engage in diplomacy and dialogue and avoid further escalation, and to make clear to the DPRK this Council’s expectations in that regard, leading to a substantive dialogue between all parties.

Mr. President,

While the Security Council has crafted a stringent sanctions regime to prevent the DPRK from developing its nuclear and ballistic capabilities, the country continues to evade sanctions to finance its prohibited activities. The new ways in which the DPRK resorts to funding its weapons arsenals have to give us pause. The Security Council’s sanctions regime should be able to effectively combat attempts by the DPRK to illegally smuggle weapons and components via the black market and to address crypto theft activities. Council members should come together, including within the 1718 Committee, so that we can close these loopholes. We urge all Member States to fully comply with the 1718 sanctions regime and effectively prevent the DPRK from continuing to evade sanctions.

Mr. President,

Once again, we see that the DPRK’s leaders continue to divert the country’s already scarce resources towards military capabilities rather than to the people’s urgent humanitarian and development needs. The humanitarian situation of the DPRK population remains a serious concern. The UN and other relief organizations, together with the international community, have expressed willingness to cooperate with the DPRK to alleviate the humanitarian suffering of its people. We urge the DPRK to respond to this outreach.

The DPRK framed this latest intercontinental ballistic missile launch as a signal projecting strength. Instead, it projects escalation, instability, and limited valuable resources channeled to fund military capabilities instead of addressing the desperate needs of the North Korean people. There is still time to change this trajectory. It is time for restraint, for constructive engagement, and genuine will to prioritize dialogue regarding the country’s nuclear programme. It is time for a clear message from this Council that the DPRK must comply with Security Council resolutions, in line with the call of the Secretary-General, and for a real dialogue to genuinely begin.

Thank you, Mr. President.