Thank you, Mr. President
I would like to begin by thanking the President for convening this urgent meeting, jointly requested by the US, the ROK and Japan. I thank Mr. Jenča for the briefing.
North Korea once again launched a ballistic missile in blatant violation of relevant Security Council resolutions. This is totally unacceptable. Japan lodged a strong protest directly against North Korea immediately after the launch and condemned the act in the strongest terms. Here, I express once again our strong condemnation of this utterly unacceptable provocation. Japan demands that North Korea immediately cease all ballistic missile and nuclear development programmes and provocations. Japan will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea.
The North Korean official media has announced that they successfully carried out the launch of an inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM). The missile reached the altitude of more than 2,500km, flew for about 40 minutes, and landed within the Japanese Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ), approximately 300km off the Oga Peninsula. A number of Japanese fishing vessels were out in the sea at the time of the launch. This shows how dangerous and irresponsible this act by North Korea was.
If it hadn’t been such a lofted launch, the missile would have flown for more than 5,500km and could have reached many other member states’ soil. These provocations of North Korea trample upon international efforts towards the peaceful resolution of nuclear and missile issues, and present an enormous global threat. As North Korea claims that they are capable of hitting any part of the world, their threat has literally become global.
This most recent provocation made it ever more evident that circumstances are not right for dialogue with North Korea at this moment. There is no other choice left for us now than to work together to increase pressure against North Korea.
Thorough and faithful implementation of the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions is critically important. Every member state must work together to pressure North Korea into taking concrete action toward denuclearization. We need to send a clear, united message that it is North Korea that needs to change, not our side.
We must recall the Council’s “determination to take further significant measures in the event of a further DPRK nuclear test or launch.” This launch requires a swift response from the Council in the form of a resolution with robust sanctions. Japan looks forward to working closely with Council members to this end.
I thank you, Mr. President.