Security Council Extends Mandate of Expert Panel Overseeing Sanctions against Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Until 30 April 2023
Speakers Strongly Condemn 24 March Launch of Intercontinental Ballistic Missile
The Security Council extended the mandate of the expert panel assisting the committee overseeing its sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea until 30 April 2023.
Members then held an emergency debate on that country’s launch of intercontinental ballistic missile — on 27 February and 5 March — which the United Nations Political Affairs Chief denounced as a breach of multiple resolutions.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2627 (2022) under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, the Council decided that the mandate applies to measures imposed by its relevant resolutions adopted in 2016 and 2017 and overseen by the Sanctions Committee established pursuant to resolution 1718 (2006). It expressed its intent to review the mandate and take appropriate action regarding its further extension no later than 25 March 2023.
Underscoring that the Panel of Experts must carry out credible, fact-based, independent assessments, analysis and recommendations in an objective and impartial manner, the Council requested that the Panel provide the Sanctions Committee with a planned work programme no later than 30 days after the Panel’s reappointment. Members further requested that the Panel of Experts provide the Sanctions Committee with a midterm report no later than 3 August; a final report no later than 3 February 2023; and a final report no later than 3 March 2023.
Following the adoption, several delegates expressed concern about a leak of the Panel’s report before its public release.
The representative of the United States expressed hope that all parties will protect the report until it is publicly released and asked the Panel to deliver the incident report requested concerning the unlawful launches of intercontinental ballistic missile earlier this year. She said the Panel is indispensable in investigating Pyongyang’s unlawful weapons programme and sanctions evasion efforts and the Council should do more to empower it and ensure that its work is best leveraged.
China’s representative emphasized that the Panel must improve its methods and carry out its work in an objective, impartial manner. Media outlets cited material contained in the Panel’s interim and final reports detailing the inner workings of the 1718 Committee and the Panel itself. He urged the Council to raise the issue of leaked reports and confidentiality of information within the resolution on the Panel’s mandate renewal, he said.
The Russian Federation’s representative expressed support for the resolution while voicing regret that the resolution’s drafters were unable to consider her country’s wishes on preventing the leaking of expert reports.
Norway’s representative welcomed the Panel’s assessments of and reporting on incidents of possible noncompliance with Council resolutions, while reiterating the importance of the confidentiality of reports and related information before publication. Any leaks only diminish the credibility of the Sanctions Committee’s work, severely impacting its efforts to oversee the sanctions and address non-compliance, she said.
Mexico’s representative expressed regret that despite many efforts by the resolution’s author, no agreement was reached on the explicit instructions that the Panel investigate and report as needed on incidents related to the launch of ballistic missiles. “This is especially relevant”, he emphasized, describing the Panel as the technical and impartial body that should expeditiously provide information on missile technology and capacity involved in launches in order to establish without a doubt if such actions violate the Council’s resolutions.
Briefing Council members, Rosemary DiCarlo, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, said the Hwasong 17 missile launched on 24 March landed within Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone. She added that Pyongyang conducted 12 launches using ballistic missile technology in the last year alone — testing hypersonic weapons, railway-borne missiles, an intermediate range ballistic missile and systems related to the development of military reconnaissance satellites.
Moreover, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea appears to be pursuing its nuclear programme, she said. Citing a 7 March report by the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), she said it indicates operations at the Yongyon site and construction of an annex to its reported enrichment centrifuge facility, in defiance of the Council’s repeated demands to cease such activities. “The unity of the Security Council in this matter is essential to ease tensions,” she affirmed.
In the ensuing dialogue, representatives strongly condemned the 24 March launch as a “clear escalation” and demanded immediate action by the Council, with Japan’s delegate emphasizing: “These willful and repeated violations of Council resolutions are partly a result of the long regrettable silence of the Council. This should end now.”
The Republic of Korea’s representative similarly condemned the launches as a flagrant violation of the moratorium that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea itself enacted in 2018. Noting that his country’s efforts to restart dialogue with Pyongyang met “not only a cold silence, but also with continued provocations”, he emphasized that no one harbours any hostility towards Pyongyang and urged the latter to refrain from further provocations.
The representative of the United States agreed that the launch warrants an immediate response and urged the Council to speak in one voice and bring the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea back to the negotiating table. The United States will be introducing a draft resolution under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations to update and strengthen the sanctions regime, she added.
China’s delegate similarly said his delegation and that of the Russian Federation have developed a resolution with the aim of easing the humanitarian plight and creating an atmosphere for dialogue. He added that the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea should re-engage in direct talks without delay, pressing Washington, D.C., to demonstrate good will and work harder to stabilize the situation.
The Russian Federation’s representative added that mutually acceptable diplomatic and political solutions are the only means to resolve the issues and establish a stable security mechanism for North-East Asia. The resolution devised by the Russian Federation and China could support those aims, she said, denouncing the idea that Pyongyang should carry out unconditional disarmament under threat of “turning the sanctions screw”.
Also speaking today were representatives of Albania, Ireland, France, Norway, United Kingdom, India, Mexico, Ghana, Kenya, Gabon, Brazil and the United Arab Emirates.
The meeting began at 3:05 p.m. and ended at 4:44 p.m.
ROSEMARY DICARLO, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, recalled that the State news agency of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea reported the launch of a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile — the so-called Hwasong 17 — on 24 March, from Sunan, north of Pyongyang. It covered 1,090 kilometres and reached an apogee of around 6,200 kilometres, making an impact in the sea within Japan’s exclusive economic zone, she said. Recalling the last time Pyongyang conducted an intercontinental ballistic missile test, on 29 November 2017, she emphasized that the Secretary-General strongly condemns the latest launch as a flagrant breach of the country’s own 2018 moratorium and of relevant Council resolutions. It also risks triggering a significant escalation of tensions in the region and beyond, she added.
In the last year alone, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has conducted 12 launches using ballistic missile technology, she said, adding that this is the fifth time in 2022 that the Secretariat has been asked to brief the Council in that connection. According to the Government’s public statements, the launches involved, among other things, a test of so-called hypersonic weapons, railway-borne missiles and an intermediate range ballistic missile, as well as trials of systems related to the development of so-called military reconnaissance satellites.
Pointing out that resolution 2397 (2017) reaffirms the Council’s decisions that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea shall not conduct any further launches using ballistic missile technology, she said the Government did not issue airspace or maritime safety notifications for any of its launches. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has repeatedly informed the country that unannounced missile launches represent a “serious risk to international civil aviation” and has called upon Pyongyang to act in accordance with the Convention on International Civil Aviation, she noted.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea appears to be actively pursuing its nuclear programme, she said, recalling that on 7 March, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported “ongoing indications consistent with the operation of the 5-megawatt reactor at the Yongyon site”. He added that IAEA also observed construction of an annex to the reported enrichment centrifuge facility at that site. At the same time, satellite imagery analysis indicates renewed activity at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site for the first time since Pyongyang announced its closure and dismantlement in 2018. She clarified that “in pursuing its nuclear capability and ballistic missile programmes, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is defying the repeated demands of the Council to cease such activities”, explaining that her Office has consistently conveyed those concerns to Pyongyang.
She went on to emphasize that the United Nations stands ready, alongside its humanitarian partners, to assist people in need whose vulnerability has possibly increased since the coronavirus outbreak and border closures in 2020. Reiterating calls for the entry of international staff, including the United Nations Resident Coordinator, and the unimpeded entry of humanitarian supplies to allow for a timely and effective response, she reaffirmed the Secretary-General’s commitment to working with all parties for sustainable peace and the complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. She urged Pyongyang to comply with the Council’s decisions, reset the course to dialogue and build on previous diplomatic efforts, while affirming: “The unity of the Security Council in this matter is essential to ease tensions, overcome the diplomatic impasse and avoid a negative action reaction cycle.”
LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD (United States), unequivocally condemning the 24 March launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, described it as a threat to the entire international community. “This launch warrants an immediate response from the Council,” she said, adding that it was the thirteenth missile launched in 2022 alone. While Pyongyang tried to disguise some of its recent launches, the one conducted on 24 March demonstrates its true intention to continue its pursuit of nuclear weapons, she noted. Warning against remaining silent, she urged the Council to speak in one voice and bring the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea back to the negotiating table. Nor should the Council reward bad behaviour with the sanctions relief proposed by some countries, she said, stressing that the current sanctions regime has undeniably restricted Pyongyang’s missile expansions “and now is not the time to end it”. In light of recent developments, the United States will be introducing a draft resolution under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations to update and strengthen that sanctions regime, she added.
FERIT HOXHA (Albania) said the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is “continuously, stubbornly, unilaterally and dangerously” escalating tension in the region, threatening its neighbours and snubbing the Council’s resolutions. Such behaviour is intolerable and must be met with a united and resolved Council decision on an open and determined response, he emphasized. “The [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] must be told, in clear terms, that they cannot defy the international community and they cannot disrespect Security Council resolutions.” He added that the Council cannot keep meeting behind closed doors on the issue. “Inaction is tantamount to tacit approval, a license to do more of the same,” he stressed, calling upon Pyongyang to return to negotiations, urgently and without preconditions. Stressing that now is the time to update the 1718 Committee’s sanctions list, he expressed concern about the untold pain, poverty and suffering experienced by the people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, whose leadership prefers economic starvation to engagement with the wider world.
MARTIN GALLAGHER (Ireland) condemned the intercontinental ballistic missile launch, saying it represents a serious escalation by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea designed to threaten stability on the Korean Peninsula. “It is a further flagrant challenge to the serious concerns of the international community and to the authority of this Council,” he added. The launches are all the more worrisome given Pyongyang’s continued nuclear activities. “This Council has been silent too long,” he asserted, emphasizing that it must say now with a clear, strong, unified voice that Pyongyang cannot continue on that path without repercussions. It must be made clear that further tests are utterly unacceptable, he stressed, saying Council members must, together, urge the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to end its destabilizing actions and instead take up the good-faith offer of talks by the United States and the Republic of Korea. It should also heed long-standing calls to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Noting that resolution 2397 (2017) outlines the Council’s requirement to act in the face of an intercontinental ballistic missile launch, he urged Pyongyang to act urgently on the recommendations of the Panel of Experts. He also reiterated calls for the Government to respond to international offers of assistance in light of the dire humanitarian situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
NICOLAS DE RIVIÈRE (France) roundly condemned the ballistic missile launch, saying it is the most serious in almost five years, and the twelfth series of launches in 2022 alone. The Korean regime has clearly chosen escalation, he noted, emphasizing the essential need for the Council to unanimously condemn the provocation. The new intercontinental ballistic missile is likely to be more powerful than the one tested in 2017, he said, cautioning that “doing nothing would mean running the major risk for regional instability and for the disarmament architecture”. Noting that Pyongyang has consolidated its nuclear programme, having already carried out six tests and announced its desire to develop tactical weapons, he stressed that easing sanctions “does not make any sense”. He called for stronger, more effective sanctions, since the Government is circumventing the current regime. They must cover cyber-related issues, which allow Pyongyang to gain access to information and hundreds of millions of euros to fund its activities, he said. He also called for the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of its programmes and for the resumption of dialogue, urging the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to seize on proposals made in that direction.
MONA JUUL (Norway), strongly condemning the 24 March launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, said that country’s continued development of such weapons is a direct threat to regional and international peace and security as well as a violation of several Council resolutions. She said Pyongyang must comply fully with its international obligations, reverse course and re-join the international non-proliferation regime through the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. Noting that its threats and behaviour have “reached a new magnitude”, she expressed concern about a possible further escalation, stating: “We are profoundly sad to see that the Government continues to channel its resources to weapons development instead of delivering basic services to its own people.” In similar vein, she called upon Pyongyang to end its self-imposed blockade and allow the United Nations to re-enter the country and resume its work. She urged the Government to respond to repeated offers of dialogue and to take concrete steps towards abandoning its programmes to develop weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner, underlining that, until those steps are taken, the Council’s sanctions must remain in place.
BARBARA WOODWARD (United Kingdom), echoing condemnations of the recent missile launches, expressed deep concern over their increased tempo and the escalation they represent. She recalled that the last intercontinental ballistic missile launch by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in 2017, was met with united Council action and urged members to take a similar united stand now. They should consider updating the targeted sanctions aimed at disrupting that country’s testing capabilities while enforcing all the sanctions adopted, she added, while emphasizing that the Council’s measures, including sanctions, are not targeted at the people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Calling upon Pyongyang to allow United Nations humanitarian workers to carry out an independent needs assessment and allow aid to flow freely into the country, she urged it to engage in dialogue and abandon all its nuclear weapons programmes in a complete and irreversible manner.
T.S. TIRUMURTI (India) deplored the latest intercontinental ballistic missile launch, saying it affects peace and security in the region and beyond. Calling for the full implementation of Council resolutions related to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, he asked the Panel of Experts under the 1718 Committee to issue incident reports on the recent launches, while noting the pressing need to address the proliferation of nuclear and missile technologies in the region. Emphasizing that his country supports dialogue, he said India is working to address the humanitarian crisis in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and has sent $1 million worth of humanitarian assistance in the form of anti-tuberculosis medicines, routed through the World Health Organization (WHO).
ZHANG JUN (China) said the world saw détente when the leaders of the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea met several times to advance denuclearization. Based on that process, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea pledged to enact a moratorium on its ballistic missile launches, a “major step forward”, he recalled. However, from early 2021, and starting last May, in particular, that dialogue became deadlocked, he said, adding that the denuclearization process “was marking time” and more variables were “added to the mix”. Noting that his country has consistently promoted the Peninsula’s denuclearization and a solutions-through-dialogue approach, he said China had hoped the two sides would settle their differences through dialogue, but unfortunately that did not happen.
He went on to explain that the relevant parties failed to address Pyongyang’s justified concerns, other than to speak about “talks without preconditions”, he said. Expressing concern at how events are evolving, he called for calm, restraint, staying on the track of dialogue and avoiding actions that could lead to misjudgements. The United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea should re-engage in direct talks without delay, he said, pressing Washington, D.C., to show good will and work harder to stabilize the situation. The Security Council should do its utmost to maintain peace and stability on Korean Peninsula, he said, warning that the region cannot afford the risk of any dramatic change. The parties must urgently seek a way out of the impasse, prioritize the greater good of peace, pursue dialogue, take a dual-track approach and work tirelessly to denuclearize the Peninsula.
He went on to underline that the justified concerns of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea must be addressed, blaming decades-long external threats for the way in which the situation has evolved. Pyongyang has made it clear that the United States, rather than stopping its joint military exercises with the Republic of Korea, has instead persisted, he said, urging the Council to address Pyongyang’s concerns. Furthermore, it is imperative to implement the Council resolutions fully and accurately, advancing a political solution and easing sanctions at the appropriate time, he stressed, blaming the deadlock partly on non-implementation of certain provisions. He went on to highlight a draft resolution presented by China and the Russian Federation with the aim of easing the humanitarian plight and creating an atmosphere for dialogue and called upon members to give it the support it deserves.
JUAN RAMÓN DE LA FUENTE RAMÍREZ (Mexico), describing the missile launch as “another provocation”, condemned it in the strongest terms. Such actions only fuel distrust and undermine regional security, he said, adding that the implications for international peace and security cannot be viewed in isolation. Expressing concern that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea appears to be pursuing its nuclear intentions, he noted that the sanctions are not working. The Council, for its part, must restrict all pathways to the pursuit of nuclear missile technology, he emphasized. He reiterated the need to fully implement the sanctions regime and urged all Member States to apply resolutions more strictly. He also called for maximum restraint and dialogue with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, leading to the irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
HAROLD ADLAI AGYEMAN (Ghana) said the latest long-range ballistic missile test by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has implications for international peace and security, including for the country’s immediate neighbours. It has heightened international tensions at a time when the world is already focused on finding a path for diplomacy in Ukraine, he noted. Against that backdrop, he urged Pyongyang to refrain from further test launches and to take the urgent and necessary steps to ease tensions in the region. “The world can ill afford to have multiple crises at this time, when we are still grappling with the many deaths on both sides of the war in Ukraine, the displacement of more than 10 million people from that country and the transmission of the shocks of food and energy insecurity across several parts of the world,” he stressed. Urging the United States to follow through on its offer of dialogue with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, he called upon Pyongyang to accept the offer in good faith.
MICHAEL KAPKIAI KIBOINO (Kenya) said the prospect of resumed testing of nuclear weapons is increasing by the day, warning that the successive, provocative actions carried out by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea are driving the Peninsula into an arms race with grave implications for global peace and security. “The international community can ill afford another crisis”, he emphasized, while expressing regret that the escalation of armaments is diverting resources away from much-needed social protection and development for the people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Calling on that country to halt any further test launches and return to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, he said the only acceptable path is dialogue that considers the interests of and the threats perceived by all parties in the region.
EDWIGE KOUMBY MISSAMBO (Gabon), condemning the 24 March launch as another step on Pyongyang’s path of international violations, expressed concern about the worsening international security climate more broadly. “Weapons that are manufactured to be used in conflict are not an instrument of peace and can never be a sufficient deterrent,” he emphasized, calling upon the parties to engage in dialogue and focus on diplomatic solutions. That is the only way to create a horizon of peace, security and development for the region, he said.
ANNA M. EVSTIGNEEVA (Russian Federation) cautioned against any military activity that threatens the security of the Korean Peninsula, noting that mutually acceptable diplomatic and political solutions are the only way to resolve the issues at hand and establish a stable security mechanism for North-East Asia. “This should be our main objective,” she emphasized. Expressing regret that the Council has been unable to respond to the dismantlement by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea of its nuclear testing ground for four years, she said Pyongyang has complied with the moratorium on nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches. She noted that in each of its resolutions from 2006 onwards, the Council has expressed its willingness to review restrictions depending on how far Pyongyang has gone to comply with the relevant measures. Instead, it has only strengthened sanctions, ignoring the positive signals from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, she said.
Recent developments arise from the lack of farsightedness on the part of several present today, who have been unable to transcend the sanctions-based paradigm, she continued, adding: “We have not seen any other viable initiatives from them.” The further strengthening of sanctions would threaten citizens with unacceptable socioeconomic and humanitarian problems, she said, telling her counterpart from the United States: “Negotiations are a two-way street.” It would be unrealistic for Pyongyang to carry out unconditional disarmament under threat of “turning the sanctions screw”, she added. The creation of military blocs, such as the one linking the United Kingdom, United States and Australia, casts serious doubt over their good intentions, she said, stressing the need to form unified, indivisible security spaces. Council mechanisms should be used to support settlement and the inter-Korean dialogue, rather than obstruct those avenues, she said. Similarly rejecting autonomous secondary sanctions imposed by Washington, D.C., and its allies, she said it is unacceptable to enshrine such restrictions by using the Council’s authority, calling instead for restraint and readiness for dialogue.
RONALDO COSTA FILHO (Brazil) strongly condemned the ballistic missile launch as a flagrant violation of multiple resolutions and its own moratorium on such tests. Noting that the recently launched missile appears to be the longest reaching ever launched by Pyongyang, he pointed to a pattern of multiple short-range missile launches followed by intermediate artifacts. He went on to underline the Council’s duty to avoid the risks of nuclear testing, in violation of its resolutions and international treaties, stressing that it must work transparently to pave the way for the de-escalation of tensions and sustainable solutions. It should be proactive, leading in the direction of effective negotiations, he said, also calling upon key regional actors to redouble their efforts to engage with Pyongyang in order to bring it back negotiations, bolstered by the Council’s support for that course of action. At the same time, the Council must strive to find a platform for dialogue with a view to realizing a transparent, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. He urged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to review its nuclear status, join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear weapons State and accede to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
LANA ZAKI NUSSEIBEH (United Arab Emirates), Council President for March, spoke in her national capacity, condemning Pyongyang’s latest missile tests in the strongest terms as a flagrant violation of international law and relevant Council resolutions. Emphasizing the importance of Council unity in responding to that dangerous escalation, she reiterated the importance of pursuing peaceful solutions and giving priority to dialogue and diplomatic endeavours to avoid further escalation. She strongly urged Pyongyang to respond positively to such efforts and return to the negotiating table without preconditions, underlining the need for the parties to define an acceptable framework for moving forward. She went on to express concern about the continued suffering of the people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea — caused largely by their country’s policies — and urge the Government to provide for its people’s basic needs, including by cooperating with United Nations humanitarian entities.
The representative of the United States, taking the floor a second time, rejected efforts by some delegates to frame the current issue as a “United States-Democratic People’s Republic of Korea problem” when in fact it is a threat “that affects us all”. Washington has offered to discuss the matter directly with Pyongyang, but has yet to receive a response, she noted, saying her country supports the swift processing of sanctions exemptions to aid organizations and is working closely with the United Nations in that respect. Regarding the sanctions relief text previously proposed by the Russian Federation and China, she said “the purported impetus for that resolution is no longer valid” in light of Pyongyang’s recent violations of its own moratorium on ballistic testing. She also corrected erroneous claims made today about the AUKUS programme, emphasizing that it provides conventionally armed nuclear submarines to Australia and does not violate the terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
The representative of the United Kingdom reinforced that point, saying the trilateral cooperation between her country, the United States and Australia will be fully consistent with the obligations of the three parties under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and will be carried out in a way that preserves the integrity of the global non-proliferation regime.
CHO HYUN (Republic of Korea) condemned Pyongyang’s flagrant violation of multiple Council resolutions in the strongest terms, emphasizing that it poses a serious threat to the Korean Peninsula, the region and the international community. “This launch means that [Pyongyang] has reneged on its own commitment to a moratorium on intercontinental ballistic missile tests that it had announced in April 2018,” she said, adding that its continuing provocative “must stop immediately”. She noted that her country has spared no effort to restart dialogue with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in recent years, seeking progress towards complete denuclearization and lasting peace. Regrettably, all those efforts were met “not only with a cold silence, but also with continued provocations”, she said. Emphasizing that no one harbours any hostility towards Pyongyang, she urged the latter to refrain from further provocations, fulfil its obligations and engage in meaningful dialogue.
ISHIKANE KIMIHIRO (Japan) said the ballistic missile launched on 24 March impacted within his country’s Exclusive Economic Zone, just 150km from Japanese soil. Strongly condemning that “dangerous and destabilizing act”, he said it endangered vessels and exposed aircraft in the surrounding area to great risk. It also increases proliferation risks in every corner of the world and threatens international peace and security. “This is a clear escalation, he added, emphasizing: “We need concrete and immediate action by this Council.” Recalling previous launches that led the Council to threaten action to further restrict the export of petroleum to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, he urged members to now follow up on what it already agreed to do in that respect. All missile launches must be viewed together, and not each in isolation, he stressed, pointing out that Pyongyang has publicly declared its intention to acquire tactical nuclear weapons. “These wilful and repeated violations of Council resolutions are partly a result of the long regrettable silence of the Council, he noted, declaring: “This should end now.”