Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Russia has procured ballistic missiles and artillery shells from North Korea for direct use against Ukraine – UK statement at the UN Security Council [April 2024]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 11 April 2024.

Statement by Ambassador Barbara Woodward at the UN General Assembly meeting on North Korea’s illegal nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

On 28 March, Russia vetoed a draft UN Security Council resolution to renew the mandate for the important work of the 1718 committee’s Panel of Experts, which upholds the global non-proliferation regime. This veto completely disregards resolutions Russia has previously voted for; resolutions which protect the non-proliferation regime and international peace and security.

As a result of Russia’s veto, the UN membership will no longer receive reports from the Panel about North Korea’s accelerating nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. It will not receive Panel updates about North Korea’s and Russia’s sanction evasion practices, which now risk going unreported.

This veto was designed to conceal Russia’s partnership with North Korea and make it easier for North Korea to escalate its unlawful weapons programmes. In turn, this enables Russia to breach and evade UN sanctions to get arms and ammunition from North Korea for its illegal invasion of Ukraine.

The Security Council, and this Assembly, know Russia has procured several dozen ballistic missiles and millions of artillery shells from North Korea, for direct use against Ukraine, Ukraine’s people, and civilian infrastructure.

So with this veto, Russia has abused its position as a permanent member of this Council to undermine the global non-proliferation regime and global security.

But let’s be clear to Russia: the UN sanctions regime remains in place. And the UK remains committed to holding North Korea to account for its attempts to evade UN sanctions.

In conclusion, President, I wish to extend our deep gratitude to the 1718 Panel of Experts, and to the United States for their work as penholder in the Security Council. The Panel’s credible, objective, and independent reporting enabled the international community to monitor the implementation of UN sanctions and helped to prevent North Korea’s unlawful and dangerous development of nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

We will continue to work with all Member States to ensure oversight and implementation of UN sanctions on North Korea in support of the nuclear non-proliferation regime and to uphold international peace and security.