Remarks by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield at the United Nations Security Council meeting following consultations on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
United States Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
February 4, 2022
QUESTION: Mr. Ambassador, your Chinese colleagues have said that the United States needs to do more, and he specifically referred to the Hanoi summit and the Singapore summit, which President Trump had with Supreme Leader Kim. So, is it time for President Biden to get directly involved in diplomacy?
AMBASSADOR LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD: The United States has made it clear that it is willing to meet with the North Koreans without preconditions. But before we can commit our president to meet, we need to have a better idea of what needs to be done.
I cannot comment on what the Trump administration has achieved. We’ve had ballistic missile tests for the past four years – that’s never stopped it – so we have to keep the pressure on.
QUESTION: If they engage, it could lead to a meeting with President Biden – if the North Koreans engage in diplomacy – is that something you don’t rule out?
AMBASSADOR THOMAS-GREENFIELD: If the conditions are there, certainly, we would look at that. But we, at the moment, we are in a situation where we have not been able to bring them to the diplomatic table for any discussion whatsoever.
QUESTION: Ambassador, are we talking about the resolution that China and Russia tabled on “gel for gel”? Is it doable in any way?
AMBASSADOR THOMAS-GREENFIELD: This resolution rewards the DPRK for its bad behavior. And there’s no reason for this Council to reward them for nine ballistics tests, nine tests in one month – almost as many the year before. They didn’t deserve this. We care about the humanitarian situation on the ground there. We have worked to provide humanitarian support in every way possible. But spending millions of dollars on military testing while your people are starving, I think, indicates that this country doesn’t care about its own people.
QUESTION: Ambassador, do you expect Russia and China to accept your statement? Did they give any indication?
AMBASSADOR THOMAS-GREENFIELD: We are still working on that. We were told that the Chinese sent their statement to Beijing – I think you spoke to him – so you heard it today.