Mr. President, Members of the Security Council,
According to the official news agency of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), and various governmental sources, at approximately 09:00 am local time on 4 July 2017, the DPRK launched a ballistic missile, which it termed a quote – “test-fire of inter-continental ballistic rocket Hwasong-14” – end quote.
The missile was launched near the Panghyon airfield in the northwest of the DPRK. According to the DPRK, it covered a distance of 933km during a 39-minute flight, reaching an altitude of 2,802km, before impacting into the sea. According to these parameters, the missile would have a range of roughly 6,700 km if launched on a more typical trajectory, making it an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) according to widely used definitions. The DPRK again did not send pre-launch notifications to international organisations responsible for airspace and maritime safety.
The official media claimed the DPRK was now – quote – “a full-fledged nuclear power that has been possessed of the most powerful inter-continental ballistic rocket capable of hitting any part of the world, along with nuclear weapons” – end quote.
This is the seventh time the Council has met to discuss the DPRK in 2017. Including today, five of these emergency consultations have followed the launch by the DPRK of ballistic missiles in open violation of Security Council resolutions.
Mr. President, the Secretary-General strongly condemns the launch of a ballistic missile of possible intercontinental range conducted by the DPRK. This action is yet another brazen violation of the relevant Security Council resolutions and constitutes a dangerous escalation of the situation. The DPRK leadership must cease further provocative actions and comply fully with its international obligations. The Secretary-General underlines the importance of maintaining the unity of the international community in addressing this serious challenge.
The DPRK must stop actions in violation of Security Council resolutions and allow space for the resumption of sincere dialogue. All parties must work to reopen communication channels, particularly military-to-military, to lower the risk of miscalculation or misunderstanding.
Amidst the escalation of the security situation in the region, the United Nations and partners play a critical role in saving the lives of the most vulnerable people in the DPRK. As the Council considers its response, we again remind Member States of the importance of separating political and humanitarian concerns, and urge them to support the life-saving activities carried out by the humanitarian organisations in the country.
Mr. President, I would like to close by reiterating the Secretary-General’s commitment to seeking peaceful and political solutions. The United Nations will remain in close contact with all concerned parties and remains ready to assist in any way possible.