First, let me thank ASG Khaled Khiari for your briefing. And we also welcome the participation of Japan and the Republic of Korea at this meeting.
The DPRK has performed a record number of ballistic missile tests since the beginning of this year. Norway is deeply disturbed by the DPRKs continued development of its nuclear and ballistic programmes, and the dangers this military activity poses to peace and stability in the region and beyond.
Norway condemns in the strongest term the launch of four ballistic missiles in late September, and the launch conducted yesterday (4 October) of a possible intermediate range ballistic missile over mainland Japan. This would be the first test of such a missile since 2017. We agree with the Secretary-General who called this launch a “reckless act, and a violation of Security Council resolutions”.
Colleagues on this Council have argued that we should not take any actions to provoke the DPRK or escalate the situation further, and yet the Council’s silence and inability to act has done just that. The recent launches raise tensions, and make diplomatic efforts even more difficult. These missile launches represent a very serious threat to civil aviation and maritime safety in the region.
We urge the government of the DPRK to: comply fully with its international obligations; to abandon its nuclear and ballistic programmes- in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner; and to re-commit to meaningful negotiations towards this end. The DPRK must re-join the international non-proliferation regime.
We call on the Council to show unity in the face of DPRK’s escalation. If the Council continues to remain silent, this will undermine its credibility and authority. Council members in contact with the DPRK should also urge Pyongyang to accept the unconditional offers of dialogue that have been extended by the United States, and the Republic of Korea.
Norway remains worried about the humanitarian situation in the DPRK and calls on the government of the DPRK to cooperate with the international community to enable humanitarian assistance, including COVID-related assistance.
Members of this Council have continued to show that they take the humanitarian situation in the DPRK very seriously - as evidenced by provisions in the vetoed Security Council resolution which would have broadened the humanitarian exemption mechanisms considerably. The 1718 Committee also continues to place a priority on approving requests for humanitarian exemptions.
In closing, let me reiterate that the full implementation of sanctions measures, by all Member States, is crucial. It is high time the Council spoke with a unified voice on this issue. And we support the press statement proposed by the United States.
We must continue to affirm that the government of the DPRK must comply fully with its international obligations under relevant Security Council resolutions. Only through dialogue and diplomacy will we find a lasting solution for peace on the Korean Peninsula.