"What we are talking about here is a nuclear threat."

North Korea

Remarks to the press by François Delattre,
French Permanent Representative to the United Nations

Wednesday 8 March 2017

Three quick remarks.

First of all, what we are talking about here is a nuclear threat. So the stakes cannot be higher. On the scale of threat to peace and security, we are at 10 here. That’s why weakness or division of the Security Council is simply not an option.

Second point, the real challenge is that North Korea is combining an apparently irrational and certainly provocative pattern of behavior with a very rational and methodic effort to develop a nuclear military programme. And we the Security Council need to answer both, and for that to relentlessly increase the pressure on the regime, to both punish the regime for its irrational behavior and change its rational cost/advantage calculus. That’s why the swift and robust reaction of the Security Council yesterday was so important. A stronger reaction than usual, as I’m sure you’ve noticed.
But this is not enough: the Security Council has to make sure that its latest resolutions reinforcing the sanctions against North Korea are fully implemented. The latest report from the panel of experts shows very clearly that there are still loopholes in the system, let’s face it. And our main goal today is to make sure that we close these loopholes.

One last but very important remark with respect to the EU action. On our side, the European Union has already implemented Resolution 2321. We as France strongly favor the adoption of new restrictive measures by the European Union. That’s a very important message that I wanted to pass on to you. And as we speak, we are working on how to, again, adopt new restrictive measures by the European Union.

Mr Ambassador, what’s France’s reaction to the Chinese Foreign Minister’s proposal that there should be a halt to US/ Korean military exercises in exchange for a halt to North Korea’s ballistic missile tests?

You know, this is what we call in good French the “freeze-for-freeze” option. As you know the goal of the sanctions are not the sanctions themselves but rather the denuclearization, and peace and security of the Korean peninsula thanks to a negotiated solution. So long story short, it’s up to North Korea to show sincerely and with concrete steps that it is ready to start again the dialogue with a clear goal.

Une réaction vis-à-vis de la Chine et de cette proposition.

Face à la menace nucléaire à laquelle nous sommes confrontés aujourd’hui, la réaction de la communauté internationale doit être d’une grande fermeté. C’est le cas avec l’adoption hier d’une déclaration du Conseil rapidement et très ferme, plus ferme que ce n’était le cas lors des dernières provocations nord-coréennes ; première remarque.

Deuxième remarque : le défi est que nous devons répondre à deux questions en même temps, d’abord un comportement irrationnel et provocateur de la Corée du Nord, que l’on a bien identifié, et d’autre part à un effort très méthodique et rationnel, lui, pour renforcer sur l’ensemble des fronts le programme nucléaire et balistique nord-coréen. Et pour répondre à ces deux exigences apparemment contradictoires, il faut renforcer la pression sur le régime nord-coréen pour à la fois mettre un terme à ces provocations irrationnelles, qui sont inacceptables, et dans le même temps changer le calcul rationnel du régime, son bilan coûts-avantages, pour qu’il renonce à son programme nucléaire militaire. C’est ce que nous essayons de faire.

Dernière modification : 09/03/2017

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