Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : The DPRK’s failed launch of a military reconnaissance satellite on 24 August is yet another grave violation of UN Security Council resolutions – UK statement at the Security Council [August 2023]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 25 August 2023.

Statement by Ambassador James Kariuki at the UN Security Council meeting on North Korea.

I thank Assistant Secretary-General Khiari for his briefing. I welcome the participation of the representatives of the Republic of Korea, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, at this meeting.

The DPRK made yet another failed launch of a military reconnaissance satellite. It triggered Japan’s local alert system in Okinawa.

This was yet another grave violation of UN Security Council resolutions, and a brazen effort to further expand the DPRK’s military programme. The DPRK have said they will try again.

Claims that so-called ‘provocations’, or rather, legitimate and transparently-declared military exercises, caused these launches, are baseless. The DPRK is not reacting: this is part of a long-established, clearly-defined plan that has required extensive scientific and technological investment.

Kim Jong Un said it himself in January this year: the National Aerospace Development Administration will launch the first military satellite at the earliest date possible by pushing ahead with the full preparation for a reconnaissance satellite and its vehicle, a major task to boost the political, ideological, military and technical strength of his army.

Colleagues, the Council must take action.

All of us here have signed, ratified and support the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

All of us should be committed to the full implementation of UN Security Council resolutions. We have a responsibility to uphold these obligations.

Our words and deeds matter. They are the message we convey to the world about our commitment to preventing nuclear non-proliferation globally. We noted the presence of permanent members, including the defence minister, at a DPRK weapons exhibition, with intercontinental ballistic missiles on display. Interactions such as these signal support for UN-sanctioned WMD programmes.

The United Kingdom urges the DPRK to cease these launches, to return to dialogue and to take credible steps towards denuclearisation and peace on the Korean Peninsula. We hope their presence at this meeting is a step forward in this regard.

The biggest victims of the DPRK’s military programme are the North Korean people, as resources are diverted away from their basic economic needs. DPRK should reopen its borders and engage the UN.

I also remind all UN Member States of their obligation to fully implement UN Security Council resolutions, including sanctions on the DPRK.

I call on all members of this Council to reiterate their condemnation of the DPRK’s illegal nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, in line with their responsibilities as UN Member States and signatories to the NPT.