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UN censures North before its top envoy

June 30,2017
United Nations member states supporting the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) condemned North Korea on Wednesday during a Security Council meeting attended by Pyongyang’s top diplomat.

At the meeting in New York, Ambassador of Spain to the UN Roman Oyarzun Marchesi, speaking on behalf of the Group of Friends of Resolution 1540 - 51 countries that oppose the spread of WMDs - condemned “proliferation in all possible forms by anyone,” vowing to “make every effort to prevent it.”

Marchesi added, “We condemn in the strongest terms the nuclear weapons and ballistic missile development activities conducted by the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) in flagrant violation of the Security Council’s resolutions.”

UNSC Resolution 1540 of 2004 calls for all member states to refrain from providing any form of support to non-state actors that attempt to develop, acquire, transfer or use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their means of delivery, in particular for terrorist purposes.

Kim In-ryong, North Korea’s ambassador to the UN, told the Security Council during the meeting that Pyongyang will keep building its arsenal despite sanctions and warnings issued by diplomats. It was rare for the North Korean diplomat to attend a Security Council meeting, as he has generally boycotted meetings dealing with sanctions against his country.

Critiquing the United States for carrying out a “hostile policy,” he asserted, “No matter what others say, whatever sanctions, pressure and military attack may follow, we will not flinch from the road to build up nuclear forces,” which he said defends “the sovereignty of the country” and its existence.

The 15-member Security Council passed a new sanctions resolution on Pyongyang at the beginning of the month, expanding its blacklist of North Korean officials and entities linked to the regime’s illicit nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

The North Korean diplomat went on to call out the United States for its “double standards” by modernizing its nuclear weapons while not allowing other countries “to test or launch any object which goes with the words of nuclear or ballistic.”

Cho Tae-yul, South Korean ambassador to the United Nations, underscored the importance of “implementing all measures to stem the threat posed by the proliferation activities” of North Korea, according to the Security Council’s statement.

BY SARAH KIM [kim.sarah@joongang.co.kr]