Today the North Atlantic Council has met to discuss the actions of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. We have invited our partners Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the Republic of Korea to join us in deliberating. Based on our consultations and our growing concern for the matter, the North Atlantic Council issues this statement.
The North Atlantic Council condemns in the strongest possible terms the continued development by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes, and its inflammatory and threatening rhetoric.
We are deeply concerned by the persistent, provocative and destabilizing behaviour of the DPRK, particularly in 2016, and strongly condemn the DPRK’s nuclear tests of 6 January and 9 September, and its numerous tests of ballistic missiles and ballistic missile technology in 2016. North Korea’s actions are in direct violation of its international legal obligations including relevant UN Security Council and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Resolutions, and are contrary to its own commitments. They seriously undermine regional stability, defy the non-proliferation regime rooted in the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), jeopardize the prospects for lasting peace in the Korean Peninsula and pose an increasing threat to international peace and security.
We welcome the unanimous adoption of Resolution 2321 by the UN Security Council, co-sponsored by 50 UN Member States on 30 November. It is essential that the international community rigorously implement UNSCR 2321, 2270 and all other relevant Security Council resolutions, as well as remain prepared to strengthen its responses to the DPRK’s provocations to include consideration of further international sanctions and pressure, if necessary. We welcome the commitment of many partners, including Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the European Union, to adopt further measures that will contribute to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
As previously stated at the 2016 Warsaw Summit and during our discussions with the Republic of Korea Foreign Minister Yun in October, we confirm our commitment to lasting peace and achieving the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner. To that end, we urge the DPRK to refrain from further provocative acts. It must abide by its obligations under all relevant UN Security Council resolutions; recommit to the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and comply with its Comprehensive Nuclear Safeguards Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); live up to its commitments in the September 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks; abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear and ballistic missile programmes in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner; and engage in credible and authentic talks on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Australia, Japan, Montenegro, New Zealand and the Republic of Korea associate themselves with this statement.