Delivered by: His Excellency Mohamed Abushahab, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative

Mr. President,

I thank Assistant Secretary-General Khiari for his briefing, and I welcome the participation of the representatives of the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The United Arab Emirates strongly condemns yet another launch of a military reconnaissance satellite by the DPRK using ballistic missile technology. Not only does this launch blatantly defy Security Council resolutions, it follows a record-high number of similar violations over the past two years.

The DPRK’s actions are a source of major concern as they increase tensions in the Korean Peninsula and undermine the global non-proliferation regime. We strongly urge the DPRK to desist from its  activities, which are a flagrant violation of international law.  

The DPRK’s satellite launch violates this Council’s prohibition regarding the use of ballistic missile technology by the DPRK. In fact the satellite launch may have been pursued to conduct yet another illicit test of long-range ballistic missile technology. It is imperative that these provocative actions come to an end. 

For  our meeting today, I’d  like to make three  points:

First, the DPRK must immediately cease all launches and testing involving ballistic missile technology, as stipulated repeatedly by Security Council resolutions. Even though the authorities in Pyongyang issued early warnings to Japan, such warnings do not confer legitimacy to  launches. We therefore call on the DPRK to adhere to international law and Security Council resolutions, and refrain from conducting future illegal launches.

Second, the Council must send a strong unified message to the DPRK condemning its provocative behavior and encouraging dialogue. We reiterate that diplomacy and de-escalation is the only path to achieve peace and security on the Korean Peninsula. Restraint is critical to avoid unintended escalation. Engagement – not isolation – is the only way forward. The calls for dialogue have been repeated many times and it is time for the DPRK to heed them.

Third, the humanitarian situation in the DPRK continues to be a source of serious concern especially given that recent UN reports indicate that a staggering 45 percent of the population – roughly 12 million people – are in need of humanitarian assistance. As the country gradually reopens its borders, we emphasize the urgency of resuming on-the-ground humanitarian activities by international humanitarian agencies. We hope that the DPRK will  prioritize their return to the country, including that of the UN Resident Coordinator.

Mr. President, the ultimate objective is clear: to achieve a complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the DPRK and the DPRK’s return to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Therefore, we call upon Council members, alongside the Secretary-General, to reinvigorate diplomatic efforts to resume peace talks and to deter and curb the DPRK’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programme. Unified action today will  lead to a safer tomorrow on the Korean Peninsula.

Thank you, Mr. President.