Remarks by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative, on North Korea, at the Security Council Stakeout, June 10, 2009

Susan E. Rice
United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
June 10, 2009




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ambassador: Good afternoon. I’m pleased to say that today on behalf of the United States, Russia, China, France, the UK, Japan, and South Korea we tabled a draft resolution to be considered by all colleagues on the Security Council, which we think provides a very strong, very credible, very appropriate response to the provocative nuclear tests that North Korea launched and its subsequent activities.  And we think that the message that the Council will send should it adopt this resolution is that North Korea’s behavior is unacceptable, they must pay a price, they are to return without conditions to a process of negotiations, and that the consequences they will face are significant.

I would like to outline for you the nature of the consequences, and measures, new sanctions imposed in this draft resolution.  I’d also like to draw your attention to the fact that the resolution begins with a condemnation in the strongest possible terms of the nuclear test.  It demands a number of concrete and specific actions from North Korea, and then it strengthens and enhances sanctions in five critical areas. 

In the first instance, this draft would impose a complete embargo on the export of arms from North Korea.  These arms exports have been a significant source of revenue over the years for North Korea and we think it important that that source of revenue be entirely curtailed. It substantially broadens the ban on the import of weapons to North Korea and requires that any remaining light weapons or small arms and related material that they be imported be notified in advance, fully transparently, to the Sanctions Committee. 

Secondly, this regime creates an unprecedented, detailed set of expectations and obligations regarding the inspection of suspect cargo believed to be carrying goods prohibited under Resolution 1718 and this draft current resolution.  It would make it very clear that states are expected to inspect suspected contraband cargo on their territory, in their land, air, or sea. 

Secondly, it makes it very clear that states are expected to consent to inspection on the high seas if a flagged vessel of their own is believed to be carrying contraband. It calls on all states to inspect suspect vessels with the consent of the flagged ship and it makes it very clear that states that refuse to be inspected on the high seas are obliged under international law to proceed to an appropriate convenient port for mandatory inspection. It also makes it clear that any contraband that is indeed found must be seized and disposed of by the state that finds that material.

It also has a provision, which I believe is brand new and substantially enhances this regime, that would prohibit the provision of bunkering services to DPRK vessels on the high seas believed to be carrying contraband – bunkering services are things like the provision of fuel and other necessary materials for the operation of ships.

The third area of additional sanctions is in the financial realm where we have a very broad set of new authorities to prevent the flow of funds internationally that could in any way, shape, or form benefit North Korea’s missile, nuclear or proliferation activities.

The fourth area of the new sanctions is a decision by the Council to engage in a process similar to the one we engaged in when we, subsequent to the passage of the Presidential Statement in April, where we will in the 1718 Committee designate additional goods, entities and individuals within a set timeframe and thus add to those whose assets would be frozen.

And, finally, there is a provision for the enhanced monitoring and implementation of this sanctions regime through a strengthened mandate for the 1718 Committee and the augmentation of its efforts by a panel of experts. Taken together, we think this is a very strong, important resolution. We are proud to have worked with colleagues in the P5+2 to put it together, and we hope very much that our colleagues on the Security Council, having had the opportunity to consider it carefully and weigh it in their capitals, will be prepared to join in moving forward on the basis of the draft that was tabled today. Thank you.  

Reporter: Ambassador, with regard to the inspections language within the resolution, it says “called upon”. When you say called upon, do you see that as binding or non-binding, because it doesn’t say besides. 

Ambassador: The resolution has a multistep process in it, and it calls upon states to inspect on their own territory and it calls upon states to inspect on the high seas and it calls upon states to consent to that inspection. 

Reporter: But it’s not binding.

Ambassador: I might finish. It also makes it clear in a binding requirement, that any state that refuses to submit to a consensual inspection on the high seas must be directed by its flag state to proceed to port for mandatory inspection.  So there is a mandatory end state in this process that I’ve described.

Reporter: Given the chain of events that followed the adoption of resolution 1718 in 2006, what gives you confidence that this resolution can halt North Korea’s nuclear program and missile ...(inaudible).

Ambassador: Well this is a very strong sanctions regime, I think both in terms of its elements and its inspection provisions.  It is currently the strongest provision that is in place if it were to be adopted by the Security Council.  But the DPRK will make its own judgment and it will decide what sort of response and what sort of future it has. There is no guarantee, obviously, but it is important for the international community to speak with one voice, it is important for there to be consequences, and this sanctions regime, if passed by the Security Council, will bite and bite in a meaningful way.

Reporter: Ambassador, when do you expect to see the resolution be put in blue?

Ambassador: I’m not prepared to predict the time frame for our deliberations; we all share a desire to move to completion on this as quickly as possible. But we also recognize that it is very important for all the states on the Council to have due time to consider this draft. It’s complex, it’s detailed, and it will take some time in capitals.

Reporter: Ambassador Rice, has China agreed to this inspections regime, because most of the cargo comes from China. Are they going to participate actively in this?

Ambassador: China, the United States, Russia, Britain, France, South Korea and Japan tabled this draft together as a consensus document and recommendation to the Council.  So by definition, yes.

Reporter: (inaudible)

Ambassador: I think what I have just described is that we have a series of steps that taken together are binding and credible, and we are very pleased with the text as it has emerged. We think it will create an unprecedented, strong regime for states to act to prevent the proliferation activities that we are all very concerned about and we think also that it is crafted in a wise and balanced way to minimize the risk of unintended conflict, and yet to insure that there is a credible interdiction regime.

Thank you.

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PRN: 2009/123