Statement by H.E. Mr. Shintaro Ito
Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan
At the Meeting of the Security Council

15 July 2006

Mr. President,

The Council has just taken a very significant decision on the question of peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia. Japan welcomes the adoption, by unanimity, of the draft resolution presented as a Presidential text. With the adoption of this resolution, the Council has acted swiftly and robustly, in response to the reckless and condemnable act of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in launching the barrages of ballistic missiles on 5 July local time. Through this resolution the Council has, in unity, sent, on behalf of the international community, a strong and unmistakable message to the DPRK, and agreed on a set of binding measures that both the DPRK and Member States are obliged to comply in order to appropriately deal with the situation created by the DPRK.

Mr. President,

The launches of missiles and other related activities conducted by the DPRK have been a matter of very serious concern for peace and security for Japan. These missile launches pose a direct threat to the security of Japan and other countries, in and of themselves, but the nature of the threat becomes far more serious, particularly in light of the DPRK's claim that it has developed nuclear weapons. The well known behavior of the DPRK as a leading proliferator of ballistic missiles and related technology, among other unacceptable behaviors, should not escape our attention.

To initiate the appropriate and swift Council response to the event, Japan and other concerned members of the Council prepared a strong draft resolution on the next day. After a series of consultations, the original draft resolution was presented on July 7, co-sponsored by eight members: Denmark, France, Greece, Japan, Peru, Slovakia, UK, and US.

Subsequently, China and Russia presented a text of a Presidential statement and later on, submitted a draft resolution. We welcomed this move on the part of China and Russia, both neighboring countries of the DPRK and important members of the Six-Party Talks. However, their draft was considered insufficient and weak, in its message and measures proposed, to deal adequately with the issue of peace, security and stability on hand, and deal with the threat posed by the DPRK's defiant and unacceptable act.

After a series of intensive consultations which ensued to bridge the differences between the two texts, members have been able to reach agreement on a text that is strong in its message and binding under the United Nations Charter on Member States on measures related to the maintenance of international peace and security.

It is important that in today's resolution, the members of the Council have acted in unity.

The resolution clearly states that the Council is acting under its special responsibility for the maintenance of the international peace and security and demands the DPRK to suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile programme and to re-establish its pre-existing commitments to a moratorium on missile launching.

The resolution also strongly urges the DPRK to return immediately to the Six-Party Talks without precondition. Japan strongly urges the DPRK to comply with the Council's demand and to sincerely respond to all the other provisions addressed to the DPRK. Japan also urges the DPRK to cease all work on nuclear-related activities with the aim of the complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement of its all nuclear programmes.

We believe it is essential, as the resolution just adopted requires, that Member States that have not yet done so, to exercise vigilance and prevent missiles and missile-related items, materials, goods and technology being transferred to the DPRK's missile or WMD programmes; it requires Member States to exercise vigilance and prevent the procurement of missile-related materials and technology from the DPRK, and the transfer of any financial resources in relation to the DPRK's missile and WMD programmes.

I would like to state my government's intention to implement, in accordance with this resolution, those measures that are necessary to achieve the objectives set out in the resolution, in accordance with domestic laws and procedures.

My government has already taken a decision on a number of measures against the DPRK on a unilateral basis, which includes continuation of strict implementation of export control measures on missiles and weapons of mass destruction (WMD)-related goods and services against the DPRK.

Japan also expects that the DPRK will respond quickly to the call from the Council to return to the Six-Party Talks and work towards the expeditious implementation of the September 2005 Joint Statement, and return also to the NPT and IAEA safeguards.

This is an important milestone in the world community's fight against proliferation of missiles and WMD. Today is a day that marks an important step forward in promoting peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia. And countries in the region must all work together following the spirit and letter of this important resolution.

Finally, I wish to thank you Mr. President, for guiding us through these difficult deliberations and thank all members of the Council, in particular the eight co-sponsors of our draft for their cooperation and unstinting support, in bringing days of hard work to fruition.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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