Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
U.S. Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
October 20, 2021
AMBASSADOR LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD: Good afternoon. I think you heard from my colleagues earlier. So, let me just start out by thanking all of you for being here today. We kind of expected you.
This afternoon the Security Council will discuss the latest DPRK provocation. It announced submarine-launched ballistic missile test on October 19 local time. The United States and many other Council Members have condemned the launch, which violated multiple Security Council resolutions. We should not look at this most recent launch in isolation. It is the latest in a series of reckless provocations.
Since the beginning of September, the DPRK has launched multiple ballistic missiles, one of which the DPRK claimed included a new hypersonic glide vehicle capability. These are unlawful activities. They are in violation of multiple Security Council resolutions. And they are unacceptable. Each new advancement of the DPRK’s weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs destabilizes the region and threatens international peace and security. The United States calls on the DPRK to refrain from further provocations and engage in sustained and substantive dialogues.
We also call on all Members States to fulfill their sanctions obligations under existing Security Council resolutions, so that we can prevent the DPRK from accessing the funds, the technology, the knowhow it needs to further develop its unlawful weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs. Our position remains clear: the DPRK must abide by the Security Council resolutions and it is time to engage in sustained and substantive dialogue toward the goal of complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
We have offered to meet the DPRK officials, without any preconditions, and we have made clear that we hold no hostile intent toward the DPRK. This does not serve the people of North Korea. We are committed to working closely with the international community to reduce tensions and maintain peace and stability in the region. And our commitment to the defense of the Republic of Korea and Japan is ironclad. Our goal remains the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and we are still prepared to engage in serious and sustained diplomacy to that end.
Thank you very much.
QUESTION: Ambassador, is the U.S. considering imposing any further unilateral sanctions on DPRK?
AMBASSADOR THOMAS-GREENFIELD: Look, we already have a sanctions regime in place. We just need to be more serious about the implementation of that regime. Frankly, the 1718 Committee is not doing its job. We need to enforce these violations. We need to ramp up the implementation of the sanctions. And we’ve not done that. And particularly, we need to focus on those who are violating the sanctions and others who are engaging in activities that break the sanctions.