UN Security Council Meeting on North Korea

Remarks at the United Nations Security Council Ministerial Session on D.P.R.K.

Rex W. Tillerson, Secretary of State
United Nations, New York City
April 28, 2017

SECRETARY TILLERSON: I shall now make a further statement in my capacity as Secretary of State of the United States. First, I appreciate all of the statements that have been made by you, and I have received those statements in the constructive spirit in which I know they’ve been offered. I also want to acknowledge the presence of a large number of ambassadors with us today. Your presence gives strength to the importance of this issue. It is a visible demonstration of the importance of this issue to the international community, and I welcome you, and I appreciate you being here.

It has been stressed repeatedly in many of your statements today North Korea has failed to honor its commitments of the past. It has made promises which it has broken. Had this body fully enforced and stood behind resolutions it had enacted in the past, vigorously enforcing sanctions with full compliance, perhaps we would not have found ourselves confronted with the high level of tension that we face today.

We will not negotiate our way back to the negotiating table with North Korea. We will not reward their violations of past resolutions. We will not reward their bad behavior with talks. We will only engage in talks with North Korea when they exhibit a good-faith commitment to abiding by the Security Council resolutions and their past promises to end their nuclear programs.

And that is why we must have full and complete compliance by every country to the resolutions that have been enacted by this body in the past – no relaxation in the vigorous implementation of sanctions. And we have called for those sanctions to be extended to other areas as well on a voluntary basis, and we’re calling globally for all countries to participate in exerting pressure on North Korea – this is the way you make your voice heard, is through action. Any failure to take action diminishes your vote for these resolutions of the past, and diminishes your vote for future resolutions, and it de-values your seat at this council. We must have full, complete compliance by all members of the council.

I thank you.