Remarks on the Presidential Statement Concerning North Korea

Susan E. Rice
Permanent Representative to the United Nations 
Remarks to the media following a Security Council Stakeout
New York City
April 13, 2009

April 13, 2009

Ambassador Rice: Good afternoon. I’m grateful to our colleague, Ambassador Heller, for his able leadership of the Council and the United States is very pleased that the Council today issued a strong, unanimous statement, clearly and unequivocally condemning the launch of April 5; making it plain that that launch was in contravention of Security Council Resolution 1718; and making it clear that any such future launches would also be in contravention or violation existing Security Council resolutions. It clearly demands that there will be no further such launches, and through the mechanism of the existing sanctions regime under 1718 allows for the substantial strengthening and augmentation of that regime.

Each of these elements were of importance to many members on the Council, of course, including my own government. And we’re very pleased that a great deal of hard work, cooperation and collaboration among the members of the Council and critically important, of course, Japan and South Korea, came together to enable this very strong and we believe positive outcome.

So with that I will take a couple of questions.

Reporter: Ambassador, there seems to be some debate as to whether there’s any legally binding items in this presidential statement. We talked to one party and they say, “no.” Your saying, “yes”.

Ambassador Rice: First of all the United States views presidential statements, broadly speaking, as binding. In this instance, it is more than binding in that it adds to an existing Chapter 7 sanctions regime. So in our view, there is no doubt that the measures that will be imposed as a consequence of this presidential statement by the 24 or 30 of April will occur and will be binding.

Reporter: What is the US plan in terms of submitting a list of (inaudible) and goods to the sanctions committee? Do you have it ready? What’s going to be on it, broadly speaking?

Ambassador Rice: Thanks, Bill. We have already compiled a U.S. list, a proposed list, of goods and entities. We may, in fact, add to that list and we look very much forward to the recommendations and proposals that will come from other member states. Those will all be reviewed by the sanctions committee. And we will agree which of those in total will constitute the addenda to those annexes under paragraph 8 of 1718.

Reporter: Why isn’t there the reference to the missile launch or the satellite, what does this signify?

Ambassador Rice: It clearly refers to the launch that occurred on April 5. We are very satisfied with that language, recognizing that we are talking about a launch in our view that used ballistic missile technology, therefore violated 1718. The U.S. view is that what likely was on top of that missile with ballistic missile technology was a failed satellite. I think most members of the Council have come to the same conclusion. In any case, one of the elements of the Presidential Statement that we are most appreciative of is the clear-cut clarification that any such future launches, including launches that employ satellite or space launch vehicles, are prohibited.

Thank you very much.