Blocking UNSC’s efforts sends dangerous signal to states seeking to undermine international peace and security

Mr President,

The United Kingdom strongly regrets China and Russia’s use of the veto to block a Security Council resolution on DPRK on 26 May – a resolution which enjoyed the support of every other Council member. Blocking the Council’s response to repeated breaches of Security Council resolutions sends a dangerous signal to states seeking to undermine international peace and security. That is why we are here today in the General Assembly.

On 5 June, DPRK launched eight ballistic missiles. This is the highest number in a single day, and the 16th set of tests in 2022. The DPRK has tested six Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles this year. It has stated its intention publicly to break its nuclear testing moratorium. We know it is making preparations to conduct a nuclear test this year.

All existing UN sanctions against DPRK were agreed unanimously. The threat that its weapons present to international peace and security has only increased. It was right for the Council to take further action. We should continue to press for DPRK to return to its NPT commitments and IAEA safeguards. We again call on China and Russia to work together with other Council members toward this goal, and for all Member States to implement fully existing UN sanctions.

The United Kingdom remains deeply concerned about the dire humanitarian situation in the DPRK, which is the result of the government’s diversion of resources into its weapons programmes. After two years of COVID lockdowns, and with Pyongyang reporting its first “fever cases”, the situation in the DPRK is deteriorating. We call on the DPRK to provide access for UN humanitarian workers to deliver urgently required aid.

UN sanctions are not targeted at the North Korean people. We fully support the delivery of humanitarian support to the most vulnerable. The vetoed draft resolution would have made it easier to provide humanitarian support, including in response to the COVID situation.

Mr President, I must respond to remarks made by the Chinese and Russian Representatives about AUKUS. The trilateral cooperation between Australia, the US and the UK will be fully consistent with the three parties’ respective non-proliferation obligations. It will be pursued in a manner that preserves the integrity of the non-proliferation regime.

Finally, Mr President, let me again call upon the DPRK to cease its provocations, engage meaningfully with dialogue, and take concrete steps towards denuclearisation. This must be done in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner. In the long term, denuclearisation is the only way to create a more stable and prosperous future for the DPRK and its people.

Thank you.

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