Bright Future Awaits If Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Fulfils Promises of Complete Denuclearization, United States Tells Security Council
Some Members Query Imposition of Sanctions for Their Own Sake, as Others Stress Effectiveness in Persuading Pyongyang to Negotiate
A bright future awaits the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea if its leader, Kim Jong Un, makes good on his promise to completely denuclearize the country, the senior United States foreign affairs official told the Security Council today, emphasizing that Washington stands ready to facilitate such a process.
“President [Donald] Trump has made abundantly clear that if Chairman Kim follows through on his commitments, a much brighter future lies ahead for North Korea and its people, and the United States will be at the forefront of facilitating that bright future,” Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said during a ministerial‑level meeting of the Council.
He said “the international pressure campaign” led by President Trump has resulted in “the first significant diplomatic breakthrough in decades”, adding that the two leaders share a common vision for the future of the Korean Peninsula. He cautioned, however, that the enforcement of sanctions must continue until denuclearization is final and verified. He cautioned, however, that the enforcement of sanctions must continue until denuclearization is final and verified, citing violations by some countries, including Council members, of resolution 2397 (2017). That text lowered the annual cap on Pyongyang’s imports of refined petroleum, among other restrictions, and that has already been breached, he said.
While some Council members supported the view of the United States concerning the efficacy of sanctions, others argued that such measures are not an end in themselves and must therefore be carried out in such a manner as to bring about a political settlement.
Wang Yi, China’s Foreign Minister, said that sanctions and the promotion of a political settlement must be pursued equally, fairly and impartially. Given the recent positive diplomatic developments and changes in Pyongyang’s focus, the Council should consider invoking provisions on the lifting of sanctions, he stressed. Furthermore, the ultimate goal of denuclearization is to ensure a better life for the people of the region, he said, calling for the establishment of a peace mechanism on the Korean Peninsula, with all stakeholders engaged, including all participants in the Six‑Party Talks.
Echoing his counterpart from China, Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Federation’s Foreign Minister, said negotiations are a two‑way street, emphasizing that now is not the time for Western countries to tighten the sanctions. Positive developments on the political front must be followed by the easing of such measures, he added. Moreover, unilateral measures, such as imposing secondary sanctions introduced by the United States and some of its allies, undermine the Council’s integrity, he warned, urging them to refrain.
Kang Kyung-Wha, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea, while noting the effectiveness of the sanctions imposed on her country’s northern neighbour, welcomed Pyongyang’s return to the negotiating table. She said that during the third inter‑Korea summit on 19 September, Chairman Kim stated, for the first time in his own voice, his commitment to turn the Korean Peninsula into a land of peace, free of nuclear weapons. “Hopes are high that the upcoming United States‑North Korea negotiations will produce more concrete outcomes,” she added.
Taro Kono, Japan’s Foreign Minister, pledged that his country will spare no effort to realize Pyongyang’s complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantling of all weapons of mass destruction as well as ballistic missiles of all ranges. While expressing support for the ongoing diplomatic efforts, he urged the international community to remain united in enforcing Council resolutions and to stop the sanctions‑evasion activities of some countries.
Some Council members offered their own views on how to implement denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.
Kairat Abdrakhmanov, Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister, suggested the possibility of developing a road map for the phased denuclearization of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, with solid security guarantees from the five permanent members of the Security Council, instead of full implementation of all its obligations and its return to the Treaty on the Non‑Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
Margot Wallström, Sweden’s Foreign Minister, also supported a step‑by‑step approach to denuclearization, underlining the importance of involving the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) early in the process.
Bolivia’s representative said that his country hailed from the nuclear‑weapon‑free region of Latin America and called upon the nuclear‑weapon States to do their part by signing up to the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
Also speaking today were the Foreign Ministers of Kuwait, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Ethiopia, Poland, France, Côte d’Ivoire, Peru and Equatorial Guinea.
The meeting began at 10:35 a.m. and ended at 12:25 p.m.
MICHAEL POMPEO, Secretary of State of the United States and Council President for September, spoke in his national capacity. He noted that “the international pressure campaign” led by President Donald Trump has resulted in “the first significant diplomatic breakthrough in decades”, adding that the President and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea leader Kim Jong Un share a common objective — transforming the Korean Peninsula through complete and verifiable denuclearization. He recalled that, during a bilateral meeting yesterday, he and the Foreign Minister of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea reaffirmed that their countries will move forward with the agreements reached between President Trump and Chairman Kim during their June summit in Singapore, and discussed a second summit.
It should not be forgotten, however, that it was Security Council sanctions that helped to bring about such an outcome, he emphasized, adding that it is the Council’s solemn responsibility to implement them. He said that he will travel again to Pyongyang next month to meet Chairman Kim and to accelerate the process towards denuclearization. If Chairman Kim fulfils his commitments, a bright future lies ahead for his country and its people, and the United States will be at the forefront in facilitating that future, he said, adding, however, that enforcement of the sanctions must continue until denuclearization is final and verified. Council members must set an example and hold each other accountable, he said, recalling that a Council resolution on petroleum trade has been breached by illegal ship‑to‑ship transfers of fuel, and some Member States, including some on the Council, host new labourers from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in violation of the resolution. The future is bright if Pyongyang makes good on its promises, and it should seize the unprecedented diplomatic opening, he reiterated. That will mark the dawn of a brighter future for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and a safer world for all.
SHEIKH SABAH KHALID AL HAMAD AL SABAH, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kuwait, noted that today’s meeting is being held only 24 hours after the Security Council summit, which discussed the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction. Describing the situation on the Korean Peninsula as one of the longest‑running issues on the United Nations agenda, as well as one of the most dangerous, he recalled that a few months ago, tensions rose following nuclear tests and the launch of ballistic missiles by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in clear violation of relevant Security Council resolutions. However, the strong and sincere political will demonstrated by the United States and States in the region to choose the path of direct dialogue resulted in the convening of three summit meetings in a period of just four months. The summits led to a number of commitments supported by Kuwait and the international community, he said, while pointing out the importance of emphasizing the Security Council’s key role in launching the diplomatic talks.
He went on to state that the way to deal with the issue under discussion today is by demonstrating full support for direct talks aimed at reaching a peaceful resolution of the crisis over Pyongyang’s nuclear programme, he said. At the same time, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea must comply fully with all its international obligations, in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions, including by eliminating its nuclear weapons and other illicit programmes, and rejoining the Treaty on the Non‑Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons — commonly known as the Non‑Proliferation Treaty or NPT — as a non‑nuclear State, in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions. Underlining that only destruction and total elimination guarantee the non‑proliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, he recalled that the General Assembly adopted its first resolution — on the elimination of all nuclear weapons — by consensus on 1 January 1946. Kuwait’s commitment to consensus on eliminating the grave threat posed by such weapons, he said, confirms its conviction that the continued unity of Security Council members is the most important element in the nuclear disarmament of the Korean Peninsula.
WANG YI, State Counsellor and Minister for Foreign Affairs of China, welcomed the important, positive developments seen on the Korean Peninsula in 2018, noting, among other things, that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea realized the opportunity presented by the Winter Olympics to come together. Chairman Kim took his first steps across the military demarcation line, and several summits — including one held just last week — have brought the leaders of the two nations together. Hailing the political decisiveness and courage demonstrated by the two States, as well as their efforts to transform that growing trust into action, he said the June summit in Singapore led to an important mutual understanding between Pyongyang and the United States. Those two nations continue to engage in talks and their leaders are preparing to meet again, he said, voicing support for those efforts and calling for concrete results. China has long supported the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, he said, emphasizing that the Council must send a united and clear message in support of accelerated, concerted efforts towards a peaceful settlement of the issue — which is ultimately about security.
Urging the concerned parties to address those matters in a practical and balanced way, he said an official “end‑of‑war” declaration would be one important step towards peace. He also called for the establishment of a peace mechanism on the Korean Peninsula, stressing that all stakeholders — including all those engaged in the Six‑Party Talks — must continue to play their role. The ultimate goal of denuclearization is to ensure a better life for the people of the region, he said, welcoming Pyongyang’s recent shift in policy to focus on economic development. While supporting those efforts, Member States must also continue to uphold all relevant Council resolutions as long as they are in place, he added. Underlining that “pressure is not the end [goal]”, he said that sanctions and the promotion of a political settlement must be pursued equally and in a fair and impartial manner. Given the recent positive diplomatic developments and changes in Pyongyang’s focus, the Council should consider invoking provisions on the lifting of sanctions in order to compel the parties to accelerate their denuclearization efforts, he said.
JEREMY HUNT, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom, recalled that, decades ago, the Non‑Proliferation Treaty drew together dozens of nations in support of broad, global non‑proliferation commitments. Only one nation, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, signed on to the Treaty — and later withdrew from it — only to go on to conduct repeated testing of nuclear weapons. Welcoming Pyongyang’s decision to return to the course of diplomacy, he expressed hope that its promises to denuclearize completely will be turned into tangible action. “Deeds must follow words,” he emphasized, noting that, until that day comes, all countries must enforce fully the sanctions imposed on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. “This Council passed those relevant resolutions as one, and we should uphold them as one,” he stressed, spotlighting in particular the need to maintain tough controls on the import of refined petroleum products.
Outlining his country’s efforts to uphold those crucial sanctions, including by sending its own vessels into the area, he said the Council’s leadership must not be undermined. He noted that decades of communist economic failure in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea — where the governing regime has squandered the nation’s resources in pursuit of nuclear weapons, leading to a humanitarian disaster for its people — has resulted in a national gross domestic product (GDP) that is less than 5 per cent that of the Republic of Korea. “It is not too late to change course,” he said, cautioning that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea must avoid creating yet more poverty and international conflict by choosing instead to heed the will of the Council, fulfil its leader’s own promises and abandon his nuclear weapons programme.
STEPHANUS BLOK, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, said the Security Council’s show of unity was occasioned by the gravity of the multiple ballistic missile and nuclear tests conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, as well as its development of nuclear and missile programmes that posed a threat to regional and global security. Those events engendered a shared sense of purpose and highlighted the urgent need to bring the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea back to the negotiating table, he noted. In response, the Council has worked tirelessly and adopted three far‑reaching resolutions within the space of five months, resulting in the most comprehensive sanctions regime ever. This has forced Pyongyang back to the negotiating table and created the window of diplomatic opportunity that exists today, he said.
The international community should maintain the pressure until the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea meets its international obligations, he continued. A united Council will ensure full and effective implementation of sanctions, and pave the way for the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Emphasizing the essential need for a well‑functioning 1718 Sanctions Committee, he said it can play a key role in acting in response to sanctions violations and in minimizing the humanitarian impact of sanctions. While no effort should be spared in seeking a peaceful solution, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea continues to evade sanctions in order to advance its nuclear weapons programme, often with the possibly unwitting assistance of other countries, he noted, warning that Pyongyang might also still be on a path towards a deployable intercontinental ballistic missile. The world is watching and the Council must act, he stressed.
WORKINEH GEBEYEHU NEGEWO, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, noted that determination and diplomacy, coupled with measures at the Security Council, have led to three summit‑level meetings between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea. More importantly, they have resulted in the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula and the Pyongyang Joint Declaration. Pyongyang’s latest commitment to dismantle a missile engine test site and launch platform and to permanently dismantle its nuclear facilities at Yongbyon in the present of experts, as reflected in the Pyongyang Joint Declaration, are steps in the right direction, he said.
Important steps to be taken by both Governments at the upcoming summit will be a significant contribution to reducing tensions and avoiding any miscalculations on the Korean Peninsula, he said. Finding a comprehensive, peaceful, political and diplomatic solution to the long‑standing issue and ensuring the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula requires continued dialogue. Ethiopia recognizes the importance of ensuring full compliance with the relevant Security Council resolutions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, he said, while noting the implementation gaps in relation to the sanctions imposed on Pyongyang by the Council.
JACEK CZAPUTOWICZ, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Poland, said that a long-lasting peace must be achieved through peaceful means. Noting positive developments, including the three summits between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea, as well as the historic United States‑Democratic People’s Republic summit in Singapore, he also welcomed Pyongyang’s announcement of the suspension of its intercontinental ballistic missile tests, and the closing of its nuclear sites. It is critical to continue this momentum as a top priority for the entire international community, he emphasized.
Despite the latest developments, however, the risk of proliferation of nuclear‑weapons technology and materials remains, he said, stressing that it is mandatory for all States to comply with obligations arising from Security Council resolutions. Complete, irreversible and verifiable denuclearization has not happened and sanctions must, therefore, be kept in place, he said, urging the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to return to the Non‑Proliferation Treaty and join the Comprehensive Nuclear‑Test‑Ban Treaty. Poland will continue to contribute to the further reduction of tensions and to facilitate dialogue, he said, adding: “If we are to be successful, we must be united.”
SERGEY LAVROV, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, noted the significant reduction in tensions as well as the progress made in the situation on the Korean Peninsula, citing the suspension of missile tests and the closing of nuclear test sites by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. He said that his country supports diplomatic efforts such as the successful summits between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea, noting that the road map proposed by the Russian Federation and China is being implemented. He emphasized that it is unacceptable for sanctions to become a punishment, pointing out that this is not the time for Western partners to tighten the measures.
He went on to emphasize that negotiations are a two‑way street and thus positive developments must be followed by the easing of sanctions. Their negative effects on socioeconomic conditions in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea include the delivery of humanitarian aid and sporting events, which have nothing to do with denuclearization. Unilateral measures, such as imposing secondary sanctions introduced by the United States and some of its allies, undermine the Council’s integrity, he warned, urging them to refrain. The 1718 Committee should find a way to exempt some joint economic projects from sanctions, he said, stressing that, in light of the current momentum, the Council should send a positive message. The Russian Federation plans to table a draft resolution to that effect, he added.
JEAN-YVES LE DRIAN, Minister for Foreign Affairs of France, welcomed the recent dialogue between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea, and between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the United States, noting the importance of those talks. Welcoming Pyongyang’s 19 September commitment to rapprochement on the Korean Peninsula, he nevertheless warned that, until concrete steps are taken, the international community must continue to demonstrate its willingness to enforce sanctions and combat any nuclear activities that Pyongyang may continue to conduct. He also expressed concern that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has not yet signed on to the Chemical Weapons Convention, recalling that the death of Chairman Kim’s half‑brother in Malaysia was linked to those types of weapons.
As long as such risks continue, and until Pyongyang’s arsenal is completely eliminated, the Council must keep up the pressure “so that this time, the [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] does live up to its commitments”, he said. Indeed, Pyongyang must demonstrate genuine willingness to dismantle its nuclear facilities in a concrete, irreversible manner under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), he added, noting that drawing up a comprehensive inventory of its nuclear facilities would be an important step. States should remain unified in vigorously enforcing the sanctions, he reiterated. Welcoming the work of the Panel of Experts and the 1718 Sanctions Committee in monitoring implementation of the sanctions — and hailing their impartiality — he said greater efforts are needed to fight attempts by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to circumvent the measures, including through ship‑to‑ship transfers.
KAIRAT ABDRAKHMANOV, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, recalled that, despite the great temptation to become a new nuclear Power upon that country’s independence in 1991, and the unpredictable geopolitical uncertainties prevailing in the region at that time, President Nursultan Nazarbayev made the momentous decision to abandon the world’s fourth largest nuclear arsenal, and to shut down the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site, the world’s second largest. “We successfully steered through an uncharted way and eventually became a trusted and reliable partner for the world community,” he noted.
Emphasizing that disarmament is the best measure to build confidence, he cited the creation of a nuclear‑weapon‑free zone in Central Asia, the first and only one of its kind in the Northern Hemisphere. The President also initiated the most important project in Asia by establishing the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia. Turning to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, he suggested the possibility of developing a road map for the phased denuclearization of that country, with solid security guarantees from the permanent Security Council members, instead of full implementation of all its obligations and its return to the Nuclear Non‑Proliferation Treaty.
MARCEL AMON-TANOH, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Côte d’Ivoire, expressed concern over recent evidence of the eroding global non‑proliferation regime as well as other challenges to international norms. Urging the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to comply with its international obligations, he welcomed Pyongyang’s dismantling of some of its nuclear facilities, calling for it to go even further along the path of peace and diplomacy. All States in the region must opt for talks over conflict, he emphasized, urging the parties to strengthen the mutual trust they have built over the past year. Welcoming the determination of the two Korean leaders to engage in mutual economic and humanitarian cooperation — as well as relevant support from China and other partners — he said the Council remains duty‑bound to support and accompany normalization. Only unity within the Council will help to push diplomacy forward and yield a peaceful resolution of the current challenges, he added.
NÉSTOR POPOLIZIO BARDALES, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Peru, described the nuclear programme of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as a major threat to international peace and security, and called for its full dismantling. Until that happens, all sanctions imposed on Pyongyang must be fully implemented and the Council must be willing to punish any party that does not enforce them. Welcoming the ongoing high‑level diplomatic efforts, he hailed the recent progress in reducing tensions and lowering the risk of misunderstandings and miscalculations. Both the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea have demonstrated willingness to build trust and work towards peace, he said. Meanwhile, the sanctions have been successful in bringing Pyongyang to the negotiating table and must be maintained. Underlining the importance of multilateralism, respect for international law and the peaceful settlement of disputes, he said that Peru — as a member of the Treaty of Tlatelolco in the nuclear‑weapon‑free region of Latin America and a signatory to the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons — will continue to support all efforts to end the nuclear threat on the Korean Peninsula.
SIMEON OYONO ESONO ANGUE, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Equatorial Guinea, said that although the nuclear and ballistic missile programmes of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea remain a global concern and threat, sanctions for their own sake are not an end in themselves. They should be implemented on the principle of proportionality and should not hurt vulnerable people, he said, emphasizing that the 1718 Sanctions Committee is not the most effective, and there is a need to improve it through cooperation.
The high-level meetings between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea, and between the former and the United States, give reason for hope, he said, adding: “If these meetings deliver results, they will bring positive changes.” In particular, the 19 September Pyongyang-Seoul summit displayed their friendly relations and determination. Welcoming their agreement to mount a joint bid to co‑host the 2032 Winter Olympics, he urged the two countries to sign a peace agreement and expressed support for the reunification of their separated families. Efforts to determine winners and losers must be avoided, he stressed.
MARGOT WALLSTRÖM, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden, said the existing sanctions must be effectively implemented until the Council’s demands are met, she emphasized. Noting the widespread violations of the sanctions regime in a range of areas, including arms exports, petroleum trade and financial transactions, she urged the Council to call upon Member States to fulfil their obligations and ensure full implementation. There is no doubt that responsibility for the dire humanitarian situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea fundamentally rests with its Government, she said. At the same time, there are concerns about the indirect, negative impact of sanctions, she added, stressing the need for enhanced efforts to ensure that humanitarian exemptions are safeguarded.
She went on to underline that diplomatic efforts must continue, noting that progress in the dialogue between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea is very encouraging. Important agreements, including most recently at last week’s summit in Pyongyang, have been achieved. The June summit between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the United States in Singapore was significant, and all parties must now work to maintain the momentum and build trust and confidence. A step‑by‑step approach is needed to achieve complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization, she said, adding that, for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, this means translating its commitments into concrete undertakings without delay. It is also important to give IAEA a role early in the process.
SACHA SERGIO LLORENTTY SOLÍZ (Bolivia), pointing out that his country is a signatory to the Treaty of Tlatelolco and has enshrined measures against nuclear proliferation in its Constitution, called upon all countries — especially nuclear‑weapon States — to sign up to the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Urging the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to work towards complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization, he noted that the Security Council’s harsh sanctions on Pyongyang are now meeting many of their objectives, including effectively bringing the concerned parties back to the negotiating table. Pledging to implement those sanctions and all other Council resolutions in full, he said the recent positive developments are paving the way for sincere talks and further de‑escalation on the Korean Peninsula. While Bolivia would have liked to see the emergence of more concrete measures — including the complete end of Pyongyang’s ballistic missile testing and the dismantling of all its testing sites — he nevertheless welcomed the talks involving the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea and the United States, as well as the suspension of various military activities. “Sanctions should not be an end in themselves,” he stressed, warning against undermining the living conditions of civilians while fully rejecting the imposition of unilateral sanctions.
KANG KYUNG-WHA, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea, outlined various positive diplomatic developments between her Government and that of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, as well as those between the latter and the United States. In the wake of Pyongyang’s April 2018 decision to discontinue nuclear as well as intercontinental ballistic missile testing, President Moon Jae‑in visited Pyongyang last week for his third summit with Chairman Kim Jong Un, she said. They discussed at length the denuclearization challenge and, for the first time “in his own voice”, Chairman Kim stated his commitment to turn the Korean Peninsula into a land of peace, free of nuclear weapons. More specifically, she added, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea announced, through the Pyongyang Joint Declaration, that it will permanently dismantle its Dongchang‑ri missile engine test site and launch platform under the observation of international experts.
She went on to state that Pyongyang also signalled its willingness to take additional measures, including the permanent dismantling of nuclear facilities at Yongbyon, while the United States takes corresponding measures. “Hopes are high that the upcoming United States‑North Korea negotiations will produce more concrete outcomes.” Acknowledging the Security Council’s critical role in helping to bring the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea back to the negotiating table, she said that its series of sanctions — supported fully and unanimously by the international community — sent a clear message that Pyongyang’s pursuit of a nuclear weapons programme will never be accepted. At the same time, the door was left open for dialogue, allowing Pyongyang eventually to change course and return to talks on the pursuit of a peaceful resolution. Pledging the Republic of Korea’s continued support for those efforts, she said sanctions must continue to be implemented faithfully, even as Pyongyang engages and progress continues.
TARO KONO, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, expressed support for the ongoing diplomatic efforts, including the historic summit between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the three inter‑Korea summits. Japan will spare no effort to realize the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantling of all Pyongyang’s weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all ranges. Citing the latest IAEA report, which expresses “grave concern” that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is continuing its nuclear programme, he said the international community should come together to assist the diplomatic efforts under way, and in doing so, remain united to ensure full implementation of the Council’s resolutions, unanimously adopted.
He went on to state that his country shares the view expressed by the United States and other partner countries that the 2018 annual cap for petroleum products has already been breached. Reports suggest the existence of sophisticated measures to circumvent provisions of the Council resolutions, such as ship‑to‑ship transfers and the selling of fishing rights. “It is our obligation to stop sanctions evasion activities,” he emphasized. Turning to the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, he said Japan is determined to engage directly and use every possible means at its disposal for the immediate resolution of that question. “[The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] is blessed with great potential and is well placed to shape a brighter future for itself if it takes the right path,” he stressed, urging that country to seize this unique opportunity.