"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Statement by H.E. Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan At the Thematic Meeting of the United Nations Security Council On the Denuclearization of North Korea

[Date] April 28, 2017
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

Mr. President,

I would like to begin by expressing my sincere appreciation to you for convening this timely meeting on the denuclearization of North Korea. I would also like to thank Secretary-General Guterres for his informative briefing.

Mr. President,

The threat posed by North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile development has reached a new level. Since January 2016 alone, it has conducted two nuclear tests and at least thirty ballistic missile launches.

This threat is not just hypothetical. For ordinary citizens, it is only too real. On 6 March, North Korea launched four ballistic missiles, three of which landed within Japan's exclusive economic zone. There was no advance notice, and the consequence of these reckless launches could have been catastrophic for innocent fishing boats, sea vessels and aircraft. These launches were intentionally meant to be a provocation, as evidenced by North Korean media reports which state that the North Korean units responsible for striking U.S. bases in Japan in contingencies were involved.

It is therefore increasingly important for countries in the region to strengthen deterrence to ensure their peace and security.

Mr. President,

Now is a good time to recall the commitments North Korea has made on denuclearization in the past. In 2005, North Korea, together with China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation and the United States, "unanimously reaffirmed that the goal of the Six-Party Talks is the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner" in the Six-Party Talks Joint Statement. All parties except North Korea remain committed to this position.

There is no doubt that dialogue is necessary to achieve the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. However, under the current situation, where North Korea continues to advance its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, meaningful dialogue is clearly not possible. In order to bring North Korea back to the negotiating table, the international community must send a strong message that provocation comes at a high price, and that no bright future awaits North Korea without its denuclearization.

With this in mind, Japan calls on all Member States to increase pressure on North Korea through rigorous and thorough implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions. Japan has been implementing additional measures against North Korea, which go beyond the obligations under the Security Council resolutions, to severely restrict the flow of people, goods and funds, including the total ban of exports and imports. Japan has also actively assisted capacity building for ASEAN countries, in order to enhance the effectiveness of the Security Council resolutions.

No state should allow itself to become a loophole in the North Korea sanctions regime. Japan calls on all Member States which have not already done so to submit national implementation reports to the North Korea Sanctions Committee, as required by Security Council resolutions.

Any further provocations, including nuclear tests, should be met promptly by an even more stringent resolution by the Security Council.

Mr. President,

North Korea has defiantly dismissed Security Council resolutions as "illegal" and has refused to be bound by these obligations. This has real humanitarian consequences: the regime's pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile development comes at the expense of the welfare and basic needs of the people in North Korea.

These people include international abductees. In the past, North Korean agents infiltrated Japan and abducted a number of Japanese citizens, including a girl as young as thirteen years old. Abductees' futures have been stolen, and their families torn apart. Japan attaches the utmost importance to the abductions issue, which undermines the sovereignty of Japan and casts fear over the lives of our citizens. Victims of abduction are not limited to Japanese citizens. This is a universal issue facing the international community and a violation of fundamental human rights. In urging North Korea to take concrete action on this issue, Japan asks for the international community's support and understanding.

Mr. President,

Regrettably, the possibility of further provocations by North Korea is high. The Council must send a clear message that such actions will only lead to more rigorous responses from the international community.

Japan strongly urges North Korea to demonstrate its seriousness as well as concrete actions on denuclearization. Japan looks forward to continuing to work closely with all of our colleagues here today on this matter.

I thank you, Mr. President.