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 You are in: Under Secretary for Political Affairs > Bureau of International Organization Affairs > Reports to Congress, U.S. Votes, Fact Sheets, Testimony > Other Remarks > 2006 International Organization Affairs Speeches/Remarks

Briefing on North Koreaís Announcement to Conduct Nuclear Tests in the Future

Ambassador John R. Bolton, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Remarks to the media following a Security Council Stakeout
New York City
October 3, 2006


Ambassador Bolton: (Inaudible) to raise this morning in our opening consultations the threat made by the government of North Korea to test nuclear weapons. We talk a lot in the Security Council and here in New York about preventative diplomacy, but it seems to me if there were a possible test case for the Council to engage in preventative diplomacy considering this threat by North Korea would be an excellent example. I want to raise it in Council this morning -- obviously this all has just happened in the past few hours -- and urge that member governments consult with their capitals. I think itís important that if we embark on something here that we do it seriously and not simply issue statements for the sake of issuing statements. But given the very strong action by the Council in July condemning the North Korean ballistic missile tests, I think itís important that weíre prepared to follow-up here. Obviously, the ballistic missiles, if mated with nuclear weapons, would be a very grave threat to international peace and security. Given that this has been developing very rapidly, itís my intention to raise it. I have spoken with Ambassador Oshima, the Security Council president. I have spoken with Ambassador Choi of South Korea, I have spoken with a number of other permanent representatives as well and weíll see what develops.

Reporter: At what level do you foresee initial action: a resolution, a PRST -

Ambassador Bolton: This is the wrong question. The wrong question is "well, do you issue a press statement, etc." No. The right question is "what approach does the Security Council take if it determines to exercise preventative diplomacy to stop the North Koreans from conducting a test of a nuclear device?" I think we need to think that through -- so letís get out of the process here and get into the strategy. Thatís what I am going to raise within the Council this morning. And I expect there will be a fair amount of support to take this very seriously.

Reporter: Have you been in contact with your Russian and Chinese counterparts -- is it kind of the onus on them to prevent this from happening?

Ambassador Bolton: I am sure we will be in touch with them here in a few minutes, and I think as participants in the Six Party talks, in particular, they have a major responsibility to play.

Reporter: I know you donít like to interpret their motives, but does this mean the resolution did not have enough teeth? What do you think the impact of the statement is?

Ambassador Bolton: I donít know what the rational in Pyongyang is, but I think it is a test of the Security Council. I think itís a test of how the Council responds. Thatís why I intend to raise it at the first available meeting weíre going to have, which will be here in a few minutes.

Reporter: Do you think a response by the Council is necessary? I imagine it would go to Chapter & --

Ambassador Bolton: Again, I want to have a discussion where we might actually think through an entire coherent strategy about how to approach this threat and thatís what we will be discussing this morning.

Reporter: Do you think the leaders in North Korea and the leaders in Iran are getting encouragement from each other, maybe counting on inaction by the international community?

Ambassador Bolton: I canít really judge that either but I know thatís why they were two thirds of the access of evil.

Released on October 3, 2006

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