Below is the full transcript of Mr. RI YONG HO, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea at the General Debate of the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, New York, 23rd September 2017
First of all, allow me to congratulate Your Excellency Mr. Miroslav Lajcak on your election as the President of the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
I look forward to successful outcome of the present session under your able guidance.
Before going into the main points in my debate, I feel forced to make comments on the speech uttered 4 days ago by someone called the U.S. president that rendered this sacred UN arena tainted.
Since Trump uttered such reckless and violent words provoking the supreme dignity of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) at this very platform, I think it is fair enough for me to make a response in the corresponding tone.
D.P.R. Korea denounces US President’s ‘reckless and violent’ comments (Source: United Nations)
During his 8 months in power, he has turned the White House into a noisy marketing place full of crackling sounds of abacus beads and now he has tried to turn the UN arena into a gangsters’ nest where money is respected and bloodshed is the order of the day.
The absurd reality that the person like Trump, a mentally deranged person full of megalomania and complacency, the person who is chastised even by American people as “Commander in Grief, “Lyin King”, “President Evil” is holding the seat of the U.S. President, and the dangerous reality that the gambler who grew old using threats, frauds and all other schemes to acquire a patch of land holds the nuclear button; these are what constitute the gravest threat to the international peace and security today.
Due to his lacking of basic common knowledge and proper sentiment, he tried to insult the supreme dignity of my country by referring it to a rocket. By doing so, however, he committed an irreversible mistake of making our rockets’ visit to the entire U.S. mainland inevitable all the more.
None other than Trump himself is on a suicide mission.
In case innocent lives of the U.S. are lost because of this suicide attack. Trump will be held totally responsible.
The respected supreme leader Comrade Kim Jong Un stated : as a man representing the DPRX and on behalf of the dignity and honor of my state and people and on my own, I will make the man holding the prerogative of the supreme command in the U.S. pay dearly for his speech calling for totally destroying the DPRK.
Trump might not have been aware what is uttered from his mouth but we will make sure that he bears consequences far beyond his words, far beyond the scope of what he can handle even if he is ready to do so.
Focusing on people: striving for peace and a decent life for all on a sustainable planet; this is the theme of the current session.
For all countries and people to enjoy peace and a decent life, it is imperative to realize genuine international justice before anything else.
Realizing international justice is one of the main missions of the United Nations.
Article 1 of the Charter of the United Nations stipulates “to bring about by peaceful means and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace”.
Due to high-handedness and arbitrariness of one particular big power however, at present the purpose and principles of the UN Charter and other established basic principles of international relations are now wantonly ignored in the UN arena.
Abnormal acts of justifying and legitimizing high-handedness and arbitrariness and the acts of violating truth and justice are connived at or tolerated. The most rampant violation of international justice can be seen on the Korean peninsula.
Unprecedented acts of injustice such as imposing harsh sanctions on a victim for the reason that the victim chose to stand up to the offender are openly committed in the name of the UN.
The essence of the situation of the Korean peninsula is a confrontation between the DPRK and the U.S. where the former tries to defend its national dignity and sovereignty against the latter’s hostile policy and nuclear threats.
The United States is the country that first produced nuclear weapons and the only country that actually used it, massacring hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.
It is the U.S. that threatened to use nuclear weapon against the DPRK during the Korean War in 1950s and first introduced nuclear weapons into the Korean peninsula after the war.
The U.S. started large-scale joint military exercises against the DPRK during the Cold War period and further increased their scope and aggressive nature after the Cold War, staging the exercises several times a year by mobilizing more of nuclear strategic assets.
What else could be a bigger threat than the violent remarks such as pouring “fire and fury”, “total destruction” coming from the top authority of the world’s biggest nuclear power.
The very reason the DPRK had to possess nuclear weapons is because of the U.S. and it had to strengthen and develop its nuclear force onto the current level to cope with the U.S.
The U.S. hostile policy and nuclear threats have continued over 70 years and these have led the situation on the Korean peninsula to a touch-and-go point. But in the United Nations, unjustifiable resolutions which illegalize justice as injustice are randomly adopted due to the high-handedness of,the U.S.
The respected Supreme Leader Comrade Kim Jong Un, chairman of the State Affairs Commission of,the DPRK said: International justice is never achieved by itself; it can only be achieved when the anti-imperialist independent countries are strong enough.
Unless true international justice is realized, the only valid philosophical principle is that force must be dealt with force and nuclear weapons of tyranny must be dealt with nuclear hammer of justice.
The possession of nuclear deterrence by the DPRK is a righteous self-defensive measure taken as an ultimate option, pursuant to this principle.
Recently, the DPRK has successfully conducted ICBM-mountable H-bomb test as a part of the efforts to achieve the goal of completing the state nuclear force.
With this, the DPRK has entered a phase of completing the state nuclear force in accordance with its line of simultaneous development of the economy and the nuclear force.
Our national nuclear force is, to all intents and purposes, a war deterrent for putting an end to nuclear threat of the U.S. and for preventing its military invasion; and our ultimate goal is to establish the balance of power with the U.S.
Distinguished delegates of all countries attending this session are aware of the fact that the DPRK, unlike other nuclear weapon states, made public every time to the world the test process and its result in all stages of the development and advancement of its nuclear force.
Since the war deterrent for safeguarding peace and security of the Korean peninsula and the region is strengthened enough, the United States and its followers must now think twice before launching military provocation against the DPRK.
Although they talk about “fire and fury”, “total destruction” and whatever, every time they have to add various conditions such as “hopefully this will not be necessary”, “that is not our first option” and so on.
Accordingly, we are convinced that peace and security of the northeast Asia and the region as a whole have been as much consolidated.
We do not need anyone’s recognition of our status as a nuclear weapon state and our capability of nuclear strike.
The ICBM marked with sacred name of the DPRK flew over the universe above the endless blue sky, the warhead of our rocket left its trace on the blue waves of the Pacific Ocean and the tremendous explosion and vibration of the hydrogen bomb were recorded by this planet.
Although our decision to possess nuclear weapons was an inevitable option forced by the United States, it resulted in our country achieving the status of a nuclear weapon state and a rocket power, and this prestige has now become an immortal destiny of the DPRK.
The failure of the United Nations in fulfilling its role in realizing genuine international justice is primarily related to the undemocratic old practices of the Security Council.
It is none other than the Security Council which disregards the UN Charter from the very first Article and only acts in pursuit of the will and interest of its permanent member states.
It is not incidental that the issue on reform of the Security Council had already been decided in 1992 by resolution 47/62 at the 47th Session of UNGA.
Since then, the UNSC reform issue has been discussed at UNGA every year during the past 25 years but without any progress at all. This fact itself clearly shows how deeply the current permanent members are obsessed in their anachronistic vested interests.
One permanent member alone can veto the general will of over 190 UN member states. Such an undemocratic UN organ is the Security Council.
At this forum, I would like to once again remind all the distinguished delegates of the unjust and unfair nature of the “resolutions” adopted by the Security Council against the DPRK.
First, the Security Council fabricated illegal and double-standard “resolutions” which only prohibit the satellite launch of the DPRK in violation of the international law prescribing peaceful use of outer space as a sovereign right of every state and without taking any issue with all other satellite launching countries.
Second, the Security Council cooked up illegal and double-standard “resolutions” which arbitrarily prohibit only the nuclear tests of the DPRK, although nuclear test strictly belongs to the sovereignty of every state since the international law on prohibition of nuclear test has not yet entered into force and there are countries that conducted many more nuclear tests.
Third, the Security Council condemned the development of nuclear weapons by the DPRK as a “threat to international peace and security” and, on that basis, fabricated illegal and double-standard “resolutions” in contravention of Article 51 of the UN Charter which recognizes the right to self-defense of every state and without calling into question the other countries that keep on developing latest nuclear weapons of various kinds.
The reason these unjust and unfair resolutions continue to be adopted is that the permanent members of the Security Council, all nuclear powers, have common interest in maintaining their monopolistic nuclear status.
The permanent members of UNSC are talking much about non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. Viewed from the aspect of nuclear non-proliferation, the DPRK’s possession of nuclear weapons is a righteous self-defensive measure.
Actually, the international agreement on nuclear non-proliferation was possible because the nuclear weapon states had made the promise not to threaten non-nuclear weapon states with the nuclear weapons.
Article 10 of NPT stipulates that each Party shall have the right to withdraw from the Treaty if it decides that its supreme interests have been jeopardized. This Article recognizes that supreme interests ofstates are above the nuclear non-proliferation.
After all, the U.S. itself impeded the international efforts for nuclear non-proliferation by not giving up the nuclear threat against the DPRK, but rather compelling the latter to possess nuclear weapons.
This eloquently shows that the anti-DPRK “resolutions” are not based on any established principles and that they are nothing less than the products of undemocratic old practice of the Security Council and the conspiracy and collusion of the forces obsessed only in their vested interests.
The U.S. claims that the DPRK’s possession of H-bomb and ICBM constitutes a “global threat” even at the UN arena. But such claim is a big lie which is just tantamount to the notorious “big lie” faked up by the U.S. in 2003 about the existence in Iraq of weapons of mass destruction in order to invade that country.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is a responsible nuclear weapon state.
We will take preventive measures by merciless preemptive action in case the U.S. and its vassal forces show any sign of conducting a kind of “decapitating” operation on our headquarters or military attack against our country. However, we do not have any intention at all to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against the countries that do not join in the U.S. military actions against the DPRK.
The U.S. is resorting to an intrigue of condemning the DPRK’s nuclear possession as “a global threat” in order to find a pretext for coercing other UN member states into implementing the anti-DPRK “sanctions resolutions”.
This is a sneaky and selfish attempt by the U.S. to avoid its responsibility for the nuclear issue of the Korean peninsula and to pursue its own interests by using and sacrificing other countries that have nothing to do with the issue.
The government of the DPRK made a request to the UN Secretariat that a forum of international law experts be organized to assess legal grounds and lawfulness of the UNSC “resolutions”, but we have not heard anything from the Secretariat for 9 months already.
Same is true of the fact that the DPRK made repeated requests to the UNSC to discuss the serious threat to international peace and security posed by the aggressive and provocative U.S.-south Korea large-scale joint military exercises, but these requests were never put on the UNSC agenda, rather turned down every time.
The UN Charter stipulates that the members of the United Nations accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council.
If the “resolutions” on the DPRK adopted at the Security Council are truly lawful and fair, there will be no need that all U.S. ambassadors abroad and even the President and the State Secretary turn out to coerce other countries into implementing the “resolutions”. Furthermore, there will be no need for the U.S. to bring its stooges like south Korea and Japan into this.
The UN member states should not yield in to pressure of an individual big power in dealing with the UNSC resolutions but make an independent judgment on lawfulness, impartiality and morality of the resolutions and contribute to promoting reform of the UNSC by further raising their voices against high-handedness and arbitrariness.
The U.S. had put sanctions against our country from the very first day of its foundation and the over 70-year long history of the DPRK can be said in a sense a history of struggle, persevering along the road of self-development under the harshest sanctions in the world.
Through such a prolonged and arduous struggle, now we are finally only a few steps away from the final gate of completion of the state nuclear force. It is only a forlorn hope to consider any chance that the DPRK would be shaken an inch or change its stance due to the harsher sanctions by the hostile forces.
The day will certainly come in near future when we settle all damages inflicted to our peaceful economic development and improvement of the people’s livelihood and all the sufferings imposed on our innocent women, children and elderly by the heinous and barbaric sanctions against our Republic.
The DPRK already organized a national damage investigation committee to make comprehensive study of total damages inflicted on our Republic by all kinds of sanctions.
This committee will thoroughly investigate and compile all physical and moral damages imposed upon the DPRK by the U.S., its followers and also those countries that submitted to the U.S. coercion.
When this racket of sanctions and pressure reaches a critical point, thus driving the Korean peninsula into an uncontrollable situation, investigation results of this committee will have a huge effect in holding those accountable.
My delegation takes this opportunity to extend strong support to and solidarity with the Cuban government and people who are fighting to defend national sovereignty and realize international justice against the high-handedness, arbitrariness and unilateral embargo of the U.S.
We also express strong support to and solidarity with the government and people of Venezuela who are fighting to defend the national sovereignty and the cause of socialism.
The unjust and contemptible acts such as turning a blind eye to the heinous acts of Israel while condemning in every manner only the Syrian government fighting to protect its national sovereignty and security should not be tolerated any longer.
The DPRK government will certainly defend peace and security of the country with its powerful nuclear deterrence and also contribute to safeguarding world peace and security.
Thank you, Mr. President.
Featured image is from un.org.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.