Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the opportunity to speak today and for your commendable role in this difficult situation. I particularly wish to thank both you, in your capacity as Chair of the Preparatory Commission, and Executive Secretary Toth, for your swift and strong statements condemning the DPRK’s actions. I am also grateful to all of those governments and Missions that have so swiftly and resolutely added their voices to the overwhelming global outcry against what President Obama this morning termed a “threatening provocation” on the part of the DPRK.
As President Obama said, North Korea’s announcement today that it conducted a third nuclear test, following its December 12 ballistic missile launch, undermines regional stability, violates North Korea’s obligations under numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions, contravenes its commitments under the September 19, 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks, and increases the risk of proliferation. North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs constitute a threat to U.S. national security and to international peace and security.
Make no mistake, the United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and steadfast in our defense commitments to allies in the region.
These provocations do not make North Korea more secure. Far from achieving its stated goal of becoming a strong and prosperous nation, North Korea has instead increasingly isolated and impoverished its people through its ill-advised pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.
The United States has made clear that it is prepared to engage in an authentic and credible diplomatic process with the DPRK, but only if North Korea adheres to its commitments and international obligations and deals peacefully with its neighbors.
The danger posed by North Korea’s threatening activities warrants further swift and credible action by the international community. Later today in New York and across the world, we will be urging all UN Member States to support a swift and strong reaction by the Security Council; make public statements condemning the test; and, once again, to call upon the DPRK to fulfill its obligations and commitments under the relevant UNSCRs.
As part of the international community’s response to this threat, the Preparatory Commission and Provisional Technical Secretariat also have important roles to play. I am confident that the CTBTO will continue to acquit itself effectively and constructively, as it has in the past, and thus help bring the world closer to eliminating the threat of nuclear explosive testing.