Statement by UK Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Barbara Woodward at the UN Security Council meeting on North Korea.

Since 2006, this Council has adopted nine resolutions on the DPRK. All nine condemned the DPRK’s nuclear and ballistic missile activity. They called on the DPRK to cease this activity and imposed sanctions, including prohibiting the transfer of arms and related materiel between the DPRK and any UN Member State. All nine were unanimously adopted by this Council.

Russia has violated these resolutions repeatedly. There is now a continuous flow of cargo between Russia and the DPRK. This includes munitions and ballistic missiles, as reported by UN experts in April and our briefer today. As well as weapons and the flow of goods between Russia and the DPRK, the DPRK is also procuring refined petroleum from Russia, which is likely to exceed the UNSCR-mandated cap.

Russia does not even attempt to hide its behaviour. Russia brazenly vetoed the renewal of the 1718 Panel of Experts, and during President Putin’s visit to Pyongyang this month, Kim Jong-Un praised the active cooperation between the two countries, including in military affairs.

Colleagues, in return for the weapons, and Russia’s protection in the Council, DPRK is seeking trade and military assistance, in further circumvention of UN sanctions and increasing the risks to regional security and stability. These violations have serious consequences for millions of people worldwide.

North Korean missiles are being used, as we’ve heard today, in the destruction of Kharkiv, bringing misery, injury and death to Ukrainian civilians. Ammunition is helping Russia prolong its war, which continues to exact a heavy toll on women and children.

The DPRK built its missile programmes by diverting resources from the North Korean people. It continues to use forced labour. And by damaging the fabric of the non-proliferation regime, and reducing constraints on the DPRK’s military programmes, Russia’s actions are making the world a more dangerous place, for all countries.

The UK will work with all willing countries to identify, expose, and counter Russian attempts to acquire military equipment from DPRK, and to protect the global non-proliferation regime. It is an abuse of this organisation and its principles that Russia so openly and deliberately violates the UN sanctions regime, on top of its flagrant breach of the UN Charter in Ukraine. This is all unacceptable. All of us who believe in this Council must call Russia out clearly and must commit to working together to protect the UN, the non-proliferation system, and global peace and security.

Published 28 June 2024