The Security Council today spoke out against the recent rocket launch by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), stressing the importance of preserving peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and in North-East Asia.
In a statement read out by Ambassador Claude Heller of Mexico, which holds the Council's rotating presidency, the 15-member body deems the 5 April launch to be in contravention of resolution 1718, which demanded that the country “not conduct any further nuclear test or launch of a ballistic missile,” following its claims to have conducted a nuclear test in October 2006.
“The Security Council demands that the DPRK not conduct any further launch,” according to today's statement, which expressed the body's desire for a “peaceful and diplomatic solution to the situation” and welcomed Member States' efforts to reach a “comprehensive solution through dialogue.”
It also said that it will adjust sanctions, imposed by the 2006 resolution, by the end of this month.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the adoption of today's statement, “which sends a unified message of the international community” on the DPRK's launch.
According to a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban voiced hope that the Council's actions today will “pave the way for renewed efforts towards the peaceful resolution of all outstanding issues in the region, including through the early resumption of the Six-Party Talks and the inter-Korean dialogue.”
Expressing its support for the also expressed it support for the resumption of the so-called Six-Party Talks – involving China, DPRK, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States – the Council called on these nations to step up efforts to implement the Joint Statement of 19 September 2005 in which the DPRK committed itself to abandon nuclear weapons and rejoin the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Addressing reporters after today's Council meeting, Mr. Heller said the statement adopted unanimously sends a “clear message” to the DPRK, signalling that the East Asian nation must “show that it's capable [of fulfilling] this confidence gap that exists before the international community for past actions.”