Remarks by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, at the Security Council Stakeout Re: North Korean Announcement of Nuclear Test

NEW YORK–(ENEWSPF)–February 12, 2013. Good morning, everyone. The UN Security Council, as you know, just met to discuss North Korea’s highly provocative nuclear test. Countries around the world, including every member of the Security Council, agreed that this test was an extremely regrettable act that further undermines international peace and security, as well as that of the region.

The nuclear test directly violates the DPRK’s obligations under several unanimous Security Council resolutions, including 1718, 1874, and 2087. Moreover, the test contravenes North Korea’s commitments under the September 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks and increases the risk of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

North Korea does not and will not benefit from violating international law. Far from achieving its stated goal of becoming a strong and prosperous nation, the DPRK has instead increasingly isolated and impoverished its people through its ill-advised pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.

North Korea’s continued work on its nuclear and missile programs seriously undermines regional and international peace and security and threatens the security of a number of countries, including the United States. When the Council responded to the last DPRK provocation and violation of its obligations, we said—and the Council said—that it was clearly committed in Resolution 2087 to take, and I quote, “significant action” in the event of any further launch using ballistic missile technology or another nuclear test. And indeed, we will do so.

To address the persistent danger posed by North Korea’s threatening activities, the UN Security Council must and will deliver a swift, credible, and strong response by way of a Security Council resolution that further impedes the growth of DPRK’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs and its ability to engage in proliferation activities. In the days ahead, we will consult closely with other Council members and concerned UN member states to pursue appropriate further action.

I’m happy to take a couple quick questions on North Korea.

Reporter: Thank you very much. Ambassador Rice, what else can this resolution do that further—that might stop the North Koreans from acting?

Ambassador Rice: Well, as you may anticipate, we and others have a number of further measures that we will be discussing with Council members in various spheres that will not only tighten the existing measures but—we aim to augment the sanctions regime that is already quite strong as implemented in 1874 and 2087.

Reporter: With financial sanctions? Sanctions on the financial institutions? Anything more in significant action?

Ambassador Rice: All of those categories are areas that we think are ripe for appropriate further action.

Reporter: Madame ambassador, could you tell us your view—what is the difference between the past two times—past two nuclear tests—and this new nuclear test, both in the impact with the international community and the outcome (inaudible)?

Ambassador Rice: Well, North Korea continues to violate repeated Security Council resolutions and that in itself makes this different. It is a third test. We’ll await further information on the technical specifications of that test, but we will be interested to see whether in fact this indicates a difference in their success level or a difference in the quality of the test itself. Whatever the outcome, however, the international community—this Council—has been quite clear: The actions of North Korea are a threat to regional peace and security, international peace and security. And they are not acceptable, they will not be tolerated, and they will be met with North Korea’s increasing isolation and pressure under United Nations sanctions.

Thank you very much.