Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
U.S. Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
March 20, 2023
Thank you, Mr. President, for giving me the floor a second time; I apologize. But I feel like I have to correct some of the fallacies that we have just heard from our Chinese and Russian counterparts.
First, specifically on the mention that the DPRK abandoned its nuclear and ballistic missile program in 2018: That is not true. The slew of launches that we’ve seen demonstrate to all of us that the DPRK was continuing to advance its programs within its own borders, even if it temporarily stopped testing.
On AUKUS, we’ve said this time and time again, and I want to reaffirm it again today for this chamber: It does not violate NPT. Our Chinese colleagues are once again trying to distract us from the matter at hand, which is to condemn the DPRK’s proliferation.
And I find it very interesting that neither China nor Russia today, not a single time, called on the DPRK to cease their testing. And I know it’s not okay with you that they continue to test, but not to even condemn the testing in the Security Council when 13 other members condemned those testing, I find really interesting and enlightening.
And I want to say that, on your joint resolution to provide humanitarian assistance, that that resolution would reward the DPRK for doing nothing, for doing nothing to comply with Security Council resolutions. But what they are doing is depriving their own people of needed humanitarian assistance that would alleviate their suffering and allow for the international community to come in and provide the needed humanitarian assistance which we are all willing to do without a resolution.
On the joint military exercises: These exercises are longstanding, they are routine, they are purely defensive in nature. They support the security of the United States, the Republic of Korea, and the peace and stability of the region. The United States harbors no hostile intent toward the DPRK. We have not sent any missiles flying over the DPRK. No attacks have been made on DPRK territory.
However, we remain committed to the security of the Republic of Korea, which includes our alliance’s combined defense posture. Our exercises are not the cause of DPRK launches. We were not conducting exercises when the DPRK began its unprecedented pace of launches.
So, let’s be clear here: This is about DPRK. It is not about the U.S. It is about their attacks on peace and security, their attacks on Security Council resolutions that the entire Council passed. It is about condemning the actions that we’ve seen them take over the past two years, including two tests that have occurred in the past week that we should all – all 15 of us should be condemning roundly.
Thank you, Mr. President.