DPRK tells UN of its need to ‘urgently build up self-defence capabilities’

North Korean ambassador reports on the difficulties faced and overcome by people’s Korea and challenges the UN to live up to its supposed role.

Despite having to devote considerable resources to defending itself against ever more aggressive and escalatory nuclear threats, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea nevertheless continues to score victories in modernisation of agriculture and industry and in improving the lives of its people on every front. The DPRK, with its small territory but united population, is living proof of the superiority of a planned economy, which has enabled the country to overcome huge obstacles despite the genocidal military and economic actions of the imperialists, who have tried everything to crush this bastion of socialist development for 75 years.

The following keynote address was delivered to the UN general assembly in September by DPRK ambassador Kim Sung.


Peace, prosperity, progress and development are the main purposes of the foundation of the United Nations and they remain an invariable desire of humankind.

Thanks to the joint efforts of the international community, the global public health emergency has been dealt with. However, the world has yet to be freed from the sociopolitical instability incurred by the malignant pandemic crisis, Covid-19.

This year, disaster-prone abnormal climate activity such as El Niño caused extreme high temperature, drought, destructive forest fires and heavy rains in many countries and regions around the world, resulting in enormous human and material losses. This once again reminds us of the fact that climate change is a pressing issue to which we should no longer remain indifferent.

To make matters worse, some UN member states are instigating confrontation between camps, and forming blocs in pursuance of hegemony and profit. Because of their prejudiced behaviour, conflict and bloodshed among nations, forces, ethnic groups and religious sects are continuing unabated in the international arena.

In order for humanity to successfully achieve the goals of the 2030 sustainable development agenda, braving through all these crises and challenges, we should seek correct ways and means to solve the problems of the world whilst defending multilateralism in the UN, and promoting unity and cooperation among countries on the basis of international law and the fundamental principles governing international relations.

This year, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) celebrated its 75th founding anniversary.

Recollecting their country’s 75-year history, which has firmly safeguarded the dignity and sovereignty of the country and nation and has laid a solid foundation for self-respect and prosperity even in the face of manifold trials and challenges, our people are firmly convinced that it will continue to thrive and develop.

Challenges and trials of various kinds faced by the world in recent years have created innumerable hardships and difficulties for the DPRK.

But the government achieved encouraging, progressive and proud successes one after another in all sectors, including economic construction and the improvement of people’s living standards.

As Covid mutates into new variants with high transmission and immunity evasion, continuing to threaten the existence and development of humankind, the DPRK is controlling and managing the situation in a stable manner, relying on a scientific and transparent anti-epidemic policy and on the strong unity in voluntary action of our entire people.

The DPRK is also accelerating the building of the state’s anti-epidemic capacity so as to successfully counter any future health crisis in a proactive manner.

Our country has put considerable efforts into developing all sectors in a simultaneous and balanced way. Thus, all sectors of economic construction are showing a clear trend of growth and the agricultural sector has opened up a prospect for increased stable production even under unfavourable weather conditions.

Providing the people with affluent and civilised living conditions is the supreme principle that governs the activities of the Workers Party of Korea and the DPRK government.

Their people-first policy has ensured that modern houses are distributed to ordinary workers free of charge. This year, as last year, all children in nurseries and kindergartens are given dairy products on a daily basis at the state’s expense.

The DPRK government has made dynamic efforts to cope with worsening climate change and disaster-prone abnormal weather conditions. As a result, the protection and improvement of the country’s land and ecological environment are powerfully promoted on a nationwide scale, and the material and technical bases needed for building state resilience against natural disasters in the long term are now in place.

The achievement made in the nation’s economic development and the subsequent improvement of the people’s livelihood even amidst these harsh conditions is the result of the patriotic and devoted efforts of the entire Korean people, striving to bring a happy future for themselves and for posterity by dint of self-reliance and self-development.

For the Korean people aspiring to a perfect and substantial attainment of the grand objective of overall national prosperity, it is the first and foremost requirement for them today to defend their national security.

However, the high-handed and arbitrary practices of some UN member states have created an unhappy situation on the Korean peninsula, which runs counter to the theme of the current UN session oriented towards “peace, prosperity and progress for all”.

Owing to the reckless and continued hysteria of nuclear showdown on the part of the USA and its followers, the year 2023 has been recorded as an extremely dangerous year in terms of military security in and around the Korean peninsula, driving us closer to the brink of a nuclear war.

From the beginning of the year, the USA and the ‘Republic of Korea’ made hysterical remarks of confrontation, threatening the “end of the regime” and the “occupation of Pyongyang”, in flagrant violation of the principles and purposes of the UN charter. They staged the largest joint military exercises, of a clearly aggressive nature, one after another on the DPRK’s doorstep, including ‘Freedom Shield’, ‘Sangryong’, ‘Combined Joint Fire Annihilation Drill’ and ‘Ulchi Freedom Shield’.

After fabricating the so-called ‘Nuclear Consultative Group’ in April, committed to the planning, operation and execution of a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the DPRK, the USA is now moving on to the practical stage of its sinister intention to provoke a nuclear war. It frequently dispatches strategic nuclear submarines and strategic nuclear bombers, carrying nuclear weapons, in and around the Korean peninsula – for the first time in decades.

The formation of the tripartite military alliance between the USA, Japan and the ‘ROK’ has also put into practice its long-sought ambition of creating an ‘Asian version of Nato’, thus introducing a ‘new cold war’ structure to northeast Asia.

The current dangerous situation on the Korean peninsula is attributable to the USA in its attempt to realise its ambition for hegemony by any means possible. But due responsibility also lies with the incumbent ‘ROK’ ruling class, which tries to impose the scourge of a nuclear war on the nation, obsessed with submitting to the USA.

Only a few days ago, at this very place, the south Korean president Yoon Suk-yeol unreasonably denounced the DPRK’s just and legitimate measures to enhance its national defence capabilities, and even went so far as to make provocative remarks about the normal development of cooperative relations among our friendly neighbours.

The development of equal and reciprocal relations between and among independent sovereign states is not an issue the ‘ROK’ concerns itself with, since it is nothing more than a colony of the USA. Ever since the current puppet ‘government’ came to power, the whole area of the ‘ROK’ was literally turned into a military colony of the USA, a powder keg of war, a military outpost, due to its sycophantic and humiliating policy of depending on outside forces. The Korean peninsula is in a hair-trigger situation with an imminent danger that nuclear war could break out.

The reckless acts of the USA and its following forces are exerting an irreversibly destructive impact on the regional political-military situation in Korea. The USA is driving the Korean peninsula into an armed conflict. Given the prevailing circumstances, the DPRK is urgently required to further accelerate the build-up of its self-defence capabilities in order to defend itself.

Put simply, it is only natural that the more reckless are the military moves and provocations made by the hostile forces – threatening the sovereignty and security of the DPRK – the more will the DPRK endeavour to enhance its national defence capabilities in direct proportion.

The DPRK remains steadfast and unchanged in its determination to firmly defend its national sovereignty, its security interests and the wellbeing of its people against hostile external threats.

The USA and its followers should reflect on the consequences of the hostilities they have committed thus far, including their tarnishing of the image of the DPRK and their infringment of the DPRK’s security interests, and make the right choice in judging what the end result of this will be.

Comrade Kim Jong Un, president of the state affairs of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, said: “We should not tolerate the imperialists’ moves for aggression and war against sovereign nations; instead, we should struggle to ward off the danger of war and defend global peace and security.”

Now the USA is arbitrarily judging other countries and imposing a confrontation upon them, creating deep division and conflict amongst states.

As the USA seeks a political-military collusion on an unprecedented scale to allegedly cement its alliance with other countries, thus and reviving and expanding worldwide aggressive military blocs like Nato, whose days are numbered, the world is now faced with the worst security crisis since the second world war.

No country or region in the world can be said to be secure as long as there exist high-handed acts of dominationist forces that pose a threat to other nations’ security, scheming and inciting bloody confrontations, coup d’états and war in different parts of the planet in pursuit of their hegemony and expansion.

The current reality urgently demands that the UN should strictly adhere to its principles of impartiality and objectivity and responsibly fulfil the mission and role enshrined in the UN Charter, in keeping with its mission to save the present and the future of humanity from the scourge of war and to realise international justice.

The issue to be addressed before anything else in the UN’s activities is to ensure that the security council is not allowed to be used as an instrument by certain forces for pursuing their specific geopolitical purposes, but instead strictly adheres to the principles of objectivity, impartiality and equity, which is the only way to manage its heavy responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.

It was only a month ago that the UN security council (UNSC) disgracefully convened meetings to debate the right of the DPRK to launch satellites and the “human rights issue” of the DPRK, a fully-fledged UN member state(!)

It is nothing more than an insult to the spirit of the UN charter and deliberate negligence of its mission that the UNSC put on the table the just and independent right of a sovereign state and groundlessly took issue with the human rights situation of an individual country.

This has no relevance at all to its mandate of maintaining international peace and security. On the contrary, the UNSC has never expressed concern over the USA and its followers’ nefarious nuclear war exercises against the DPRK and the continued deployment of strategic assets, which clearly constitute a threat to the peace and security of the Korean peninsula and the rest of the world.

In defiance of the strong protests and criticism of the international community, Japan discharged nuclear-contaminated water into the ocean, causing irrevocable damage to the safety of humanity and the marine ecological environment. Nevertheless, the security council is staying silent on this issue.

The failure of the security council to carry out its inherent duty and responsibility of defending global peace and security has its root cause in the unfair and hypocritical behaviour of the USA and some UN member states obedient to it.

If the security council does not observe the principles of sovereign equality and respect for sovereignty enshrined in the UN charter, it will never live up to its role of representing the general will of the UN member states, and instead will only earn the shameful reputation of being the ‘inner room’ of the USA.

In order to prevent the high-handedness and arbitrariness of specific forces including the USA in the security council, it is essential to reform the west-led irrational structure of its membership and, to this end, expand and strengthen the representation of developing countries – which make up the absolute majority of the United Nations.

The security council should also put an end to the practice of discrediting sovereign states, interfering in their domestic affairs and fomenting confrontation and division by tabling issues detrimental to its mission and mandate.

The delegation of the DPRK avails itself of this opportunity to extend full support to Cuba, keeping up the banner of socialism in the face of the heinous sanctions and blockade and subversive schemes by the USA.

We also strongly reject and condemn the USA’s economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba, the decades-long economic genocide, and its designation as a state sponsor of terrorism, and demand their immediate withdrawal.

At the same time, we call for the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of all coercive and unjustifiable measures against Syria, Venezuela, Iran and other independent countries. We also express our invariable support for and solidarity with the Palestinian people in their righteous cause to regain their legitimate national rights, including the establishment of an independent state with East Quds as its capital.

Independence, peace and friendship are the foreign policy ideas consistently maintained by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The DPRK will in the future, too, forge unity and cooperation with all countries and nations that aspire to independence and love justice, while opposing and rejecting aggression, intervention, domination and subordination, regardless of differences in ideas and systems. We will expand and develop diversified exchanges and cooperation with capitalist countries as well – those that respect our country and are friendly to us.