Statement by H.E. Ambassador ISHIKANE Kimihiro, Permanent Representative of Japan to then United Nations, at the United Nations Security Council Open Briefing on “Non-proliferation/Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”


(As delivered)
Thank you, Mr. President. I also thank Mr. Khaled Khiari for his briefing.
Mr. President,
When this Council met on this issue in May, we all saw the vetoes cast that blocked the Council from taking action. And what happened after that? North Korea conducted launches the very next month, in June. And now let me ask you a question: how many ballistic missiles has North Korea launched just since the 25th of September? We all know the answer. Eight ballistic missiles over five separate launches in just 10 days. All of these launches violate relevant resolutions adopted by this Council, which is entrusted with the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. They mark a clear escalation. They pose a grave and imminent threat to the peace and security of not only Japan but also the region and beyond. In short, they challenge the very authority of this Council.
Mr. President,
Among these launches, the latest one was especially significant. It flew over Japan and impacted in the Pacific Ocean for the first time since 2017. I assume we can all imagine how terrifying it must be to see a missile flying overhead. This is absolutely unacceptable and Japan condemns it in the strongest possible terms.
Mr. President,
These most recent launches must not be viewed in isolation. They are part of North Korea’s long-pursued and reinvigorated nuclear and missile programs. In September, we also learned of further unacceptable developments regarding North Korea’s nuclear policy and there have been continued and widespread reports of ongoing activities at a nuclear test site in North Korea. We must not allow the current situation to become a “new normal”.
Mr. President,
This Council shall recall that it unanimously adopted Security Council resolution 2397 in 2017. That decision needs to be respected. This Council should be mindful that it is being tested and that its credibility is at stake. Silence is not an option. North Korea has violated multiple Council resolutions. This Council should act and produce an outcome that restores its credibility and fulfills its responsibilities. The Council also needs to send a clear and unequivocal message to North Korea and to the international community that North Korea’s ongoing nuclear and missile activities constitute a grave threat to international peace and security and that there is no excuse for their actions. Japan will spare no effort to cooperate with Council members and all other Member States to this end.
We need to do our jobs.
Thank you.