Security Council: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

Note: A complete summary of today’s Security Council meeting on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea will be made available after its conclusion.


KHALED KHIARI, Assistant Secretary-General for Middle East, Asia and the Pacific in the United Nations Departments of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations, said the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea launched its Hwasong-18 intercontinental ballistic missile on 12 July, its second firing of its new solid-fuel type, which does not need to undergo fuelling prior to launch and thus can be launched more quickly than the liquid-fuel type. The missile is reported to have flown for 1,001.2 kilometres to an altitude of 6,648.4 kilometres before falling into the sea, inside the Russian Federation’s exclusive economic zone. The flight was reportedly around 74 minutes, potentially making it the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s longest ballistic missile flight duration. The systems Pyongyang tested on 12 July, 13 April, 16 March, 18 February this year, as well as on five occasions last year, “can reach most points on Earth”, he said.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea did not issue airspace or maritime safety notifications for this launch, he noted, cautioning that the unannounced launches represent a serious risk to international civil aviation and maritime traffic. He then called on Pyongyang to fully comply with its international obligations under all relevant Security Council resolutions and resume dialogue without preconditions towards sustainable peace and the complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea significantly increased its missile launch activities in 2022 and 2023, including more than 90 launches using ballistic-missile technology. It also attempted to launch its first military satellite with what it described as a “new-type carrier rocket” using ballistic-missile technology on 31 May. While it is the right of any sovereign State to launch a satellite and benefit from peaceful space activities, the relevant Council resolutions expressly prohibit Pyongyang from conducting any launches using ballistic-missile technology.

Welcoming the Council’s commitment, as expressed in resolution 2397 (2017), to a peaceful, comprehensive, diplomatic and political solution to the situation on the Korean Peninsula, he pointed out that the lack of unity and action in the Council does little to slow the negative trajectory. In a fortnight, the seventieth anniversary of the Korean War Armistice Agreement will be observed. “It is a tragic reality that tensions persist and remain unresolved even after seven decades,” he said, outlining several practical measures that can be taken, including re-establishing communication channels, particularly those between military entities to avoid an unintended escalation. Turning to the humanitarian situation in that country, he expressed the United Nations’ readiness to assist Pyongyang in addressing basic needs of its vulnerable populations. Given that COVID-19 is no longer a public health emergency, he urged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to allow the unimpeded re-entry and rotation of the international community, including United Nations staff and the United Nations Resident Coordinator.

/Public Release. View in full here.