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12 June 2009 - Security Council: North Korea - Adoption of resolution 1874 - Statement by Mr. Jean-Maurice Ripert, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

(Translation of statement in French)

France welcomes the unanimous adoption of resolution 1874 (2009). The international community has sent a very strong message to North Korea through the Council.

For years, North Korea has chosen a dangerous path. It has built up a clandestine nuclear programme, whose exclusively military aims are evident. It has also developed a ballistic missile programme that increases the its nuclear threat. It has spread extremely sensitive technology throughout the world, thus threatening the security of us all even more. In doing so, it has repeatedly violated the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, from which it has declared its withdrawal. It has used its dangerous programmes to demand benefits in exchange for its commitment to dismantle its programme, which it has not honoured.

Over the past two months, North Korea has significantly increased tensions in North-East Asia by first conducting ballistic missile tests, then a nuclear test and the firing of short- and medium-range missiles. Today’s reaction of the Security Council is commensurate with that provocation and the risk that it will encourage others to do the same. The Council condemns that activity in the strongest terms possible and demands its immediate cessation.

The Council imposes very strong sanctions that will limit North Korea’s capacity to advance its banned programmes, in particular by cutting off the financial resources originating from another destabilizing activity — the spread of weapons throughout the world — by blocking the financial networks that fuel those programmes, by extending the embargo to products that feed it, by adopting sanctions against the persons and entities involved and, lastly, by demanding that States inspect, seize and destroy the transportation of banned cargo.

It must be underscored that this response is, however, targeted, which ensured the Council’s support. The resolution excludes from the sanctions regime humanitarian assistance and economic development programmes for the people, whose circumstances continue to be of grave concern.

The key aspects remain to be addressed. In the coming months, we must agree in the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1718 (2006) on the list of additional North Korean individuals and entities who, because of their involvement in sensitive activities, must be subject to individual sanctions. We must ensure that all the provisions of resolution 1874 (2009) are strictly implemented by all.

In that respect, France is pleased that the Council has endowed the Committee in charge of monitoring the resolution’s implementation with a panel of experts, which will be of valuable help to the Turkish presidency of the Committee. In particular, it will enable us to considerably enhance follow-up and assistance to States that need it.

We must also draw lessons from this crisis for the future. I am thinking in particular of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). The usefulness of the detection system established under the CTBT Organization is clear in that respect. We must also work towards the rapid entry into force of the Treaty. Here in New York in September, France and Morocco will host the ministerial conference on article 14 of the Treaty. I am also thinking about the upcoming Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. In May 2010, we cannot fail to speak up about the seriousness of the threat posed by proliferation crises to the entire non-proliferation regime. We will also need to keep it in mind when we discuss strengthening guarantees and when we consider how to respond to States that may want to leave the Treaty. Finally, we must firmly call on North Korea to resume negotiations in the framework of the Six-Party Talks. North Korea must make a strategic choice to renounce its nuclear programme once and for all and to re-establish normal relations with its neighbours. Its people will be the first to benefit from that and it will be a first step towards the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, which France, like the European Union, dearly hopes for.

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