Media Statement

23 March 2016

South African Government expresses concern over satellite launch by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)

The South African Government has noted with concern the reported launch of a ballistic missile by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on 18 March 2016.  This event follows the nuclear weapons test conducted by the DPRK on 6 January 2016 and another launch on 7 February 2016, both of which were widely condemned by the international community.

The reported launch on 18 March 2016 violates the obligations of the DPRK under various UN Security Council resolutions, including the measures adopted by the Council on 2 March 2016 through Resolution 2270 (2016).

South Africa shares the concerns of the international community regarding the nuclear weapon- and delivery system-related activities of the DPRK.

The South African Government believes that the Security Council’s resolutions on the DPRK are tools to encourage the country to dismantle its nuclear weapons and associated delivery system programmes in a transparent, verifiable and irreversible manner.  We therefore urge the DPRK to adhere fully to its Security Council-mandated obligations, to return to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and to fulfil its safeguards obligations to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

In doing so, the DPRK will pave the way to restore international confidence in its peaceful nuclear and space-related activities needed for its development.

South Africa supports a negotiated solution that addresses the issues of the Korean Peninsula in a holistic manner and urges the DPRK to fulfil its commitments under the Six-Party Talks with a view to achieving the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula in a peaceful manner.  We strongly urge the DPRK and all States involved to refrain from any action which may undermine the pursuit of such a negotiated solution or that could further increase tensions in the North East Asia region and beyond.

Enquiries: Clayson Monyela, 082 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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