NEW YORK, APRIL 28 – Facing the “urgency” of the North Korean crisis, Italy will continue to fully support the implementation of an effective sanctions regime, as a tool to produce a change of behaviour in the DPRK leadership. “We are also ready to reinforce this sanctions regime in case of additional nuclear test or if necessary to reach the objective of a peaceful and comprehensive solution of the issue”, the Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Benedetto Della Vedova told a ministerial meeting of the UN Security Council chaired by the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
“As stated by Secretary Tillerson, our collective actions are not targeted against the North Korea population but towards a regime that should put its population interest and wellbeing above any consideration of military power”, Della Vedova said, sending a clear message to Pyongyang: “The DPRK illegal nuclear and missile programs cause a deplorable diversion of crucial resources that should be devoted to primary needs of the people of North Korea. We believe that the DPRK, by immediately repealing its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, would create the conditions for its reintegration in the international community and generate opportunities to improve its economy and the standards of living of its people”.
Preventing armed conflict in north-east Asia is the international community’s collective priority while the onus is also on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to refrain from further nuclear testing and explore the path of dialogue, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres told the Security Council.
“Armed conflict in north-east Asia, which is home to one fifth of the world’s people and gross domestic product, would have global implications,” warned Mr. Guterres at a ministerial-level meeting to discuss the DPRK’s accelerated nuclear and ballistic missile activities. The meeting was chaired by Rex Tilerson, Secretary of State of the United States, which holds the Council’s presidency for the month.
Della Vedova mentioned Italy’s role as President of the North Korea sanctions committee: “We strongly believe that a consistent and full implementation of the sanctions is the only way to make them effective in the framework of a comprehensive strategy for long-term peace and security”, he said quoting from the latest report of the Panel of Experts. To this end, an open briefing was held in February, and since March Italy has been organizing a set of outreach meetings with UN regional groups in cooperation with the Panel of Experts. Two meetings – with Latin America and Eastern Europe – have already taken place. The meeting with the African Group will be held on May 1st, while those with WEOG and Asian Group will take place by the end of May.
In this speech to the Council, Secretary of State Tillerson called on the world community to drastically increase pressure on North Korea, warning that failure to do so could be “catastrophic” and that the US is prepared to take military action against the rogue regime if necessary.
“All options for responding to future provocations must remain on the table,” Tillerson said. “Diplomatic and financial leverage or power will be backed up by willingness to counteract North Korean aggression with military action, if necessary.” The US Secretary of State called on member countries to take three immediate steps, singling out China as he did so and warning that countries that don’t comply may face consequences.
He urged nations to fully enforce existing sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, suspend or downgrade diplomatic relations with the already isolated country and increase its financial isolation by targeting countries and individuals that support its nuclear and ballistic missile program.
To read DFM Della Vedova’s speech click here.
To read Secretary of State Tillerson’s speech, click here. (@OnuItalia)