First, let me thank USG DiCarlo for her briefing. We also welcome the participation of Japan and the Republic of Korea in this meeting.
Norway is appalled by the continued launches of ballistic missiles from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. We condemn in the strongest terms the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile on 18 November.
The increase in the number of ballistic missile tests since the beginning of this year is cause for grave concern. These launches are unprecedented in frequency, diversity, and scale. Furthermore, the nuclear rhetoric of the DPRK state media, and the reopening of the nuclear test site at Punggye-ri, are deeply troubling.
Both the Republic of Korea and Japan have recently felt missiles landing within their economic zones. The continued weapons development and testing raise tensions, threaten peace and stability in the region and beyond. They also endanger civil aviation and maritime traffic in the region.
We urge the DPRK immediately to refrain from further missile launches, and to contribute to de-escalating tensions.
Norway believes that diplomacy is the right and only way forward for sustained peace and stability on the Korean peninsula. For that to happen, the DPRK must choose the path of dialogue.
The DPRK’s continued development of its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes is deeply disturbing. We recall that development of these programmes are in violation of multiple Security Council resolutions. It is therefore regrettable that this Council continues to be silent. We reiterate our call for the Council to show unity in responding to the DPRK’s escalatory behaviour.
The Council’s unanimously adopted sanctions measures are an essential part of our efforts to slow the development of – and to counter – North Korea’s prohibited weapons programmes. They are not intended to have adverse humanitarian consequences for the civilian population.
Members of this Council continue to show that they take the humanitarian situation in the DPRK seriously. Requests for humanitarian exemptions are swiftly processed in the 1718 Committee.
Provisions contained in the draft resolution, discussed on 26 May, would have also broadened the humanitarian exemption mechanism considerably. Norway too remains worried about the humanitarian situation in the DPRK. We call on the government of the DPRK to cooperate with the international community to enable humanitarian assistance to the North Korean people- including access for the Resident Coordinator; the UN and other international agencies.
We also call on all Member States to fully implement existing Security Council resolutions on the DPRK.