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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at the UN General Assembly Meeting on the Korean Peninsula Nuclear Issue

2024-04-11 18:00

Mr. President,

For some time now, the situation on the Korean Peninsula has been increasingly tense with rising antagonism and confrontation between the parties, causing widespread concern in the international community. Looking around the world today, the Ukraine crisis is still dragging on, the conflict in Gaza has no end in sight yet, geopolitical tensions continue to grow, and their spillover effects are being felt. The world is turbulent enough and cannot afford more turmoil on the Peninsula. A peaceful and stable Korean Peninsula serves the common interests of the countries in the region and meets the expectations of the international community. The more tense, fragile, complex, and delicate the situation is, the more important it is for all sides to bear in mind the overall peace and stability on the Peninsula and the Northeast Asia, maintain calm and exercise restraint, avoid mutual provocation, take concrete measures, and make every effort to promote a political settlement of the Peninsula issue.

Mr. President,

The Peninsula issue, as a legacy of the Cold War, has dragged on for decades. In essence, it is a security issue. To resolve the Peninsula issue, it is imperative to uphold the vision of common security and bear in mind the principle of indivisible security of all countries. No party to the Peninsula issue shall pursue its own absolute security at the expense of the security of other countries. If the security concerns of parties, especially those of the DPRK, remain unaddressed, it will be difficult for the Peninsula to truly emerge from the security dilemma. The Global Security Initiative put forward by President Xi Jinping champions the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security and the peaceful settlement of differences and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultations. It offers a systematic way of thinking and a correct pathway for resolving the Peninsula issue. China calls on the relevant parties to work together in a constructive spirit through sincere and pragmatic dialogue and cooperation to promote the denuclearization of the Peninsula and the establishment of a peace mechanism on it, with a view to ultimately achieving lasting peace and common security in Northeast Asia.

First, to resolve the Peninsula issue, it is imperative to abandon the outdated approach of confrontation and pressure. The Korean War has long ended, but the Cold War mentality behind it is still lingering. An individual country has used the Peninsula issue to advance its own geopolitical strategies, strengthen military alliances, increase military presence, and stoke bloc confrontations, thus exposing the DPRK to great security and existential threats and seriously jeopardizing the security interests of the Peninsula and its neighboring countries. Such practice does not help solve the problem, but will only intensify antagonism and tensions, making the goal of denuclearization and peace and stability on the Peninsula even more elusive. The imperative now is to desist from acts of deterrence and applying pressure, and move out of the spiral of escalating confrontations.

Second, to resolve the Peninsula issue, it is imperative to remain committed to our political settlement. History and practice have repeatedly shown that as long as all parties were willing to engage in dialogue and negotiations and worked with each other towards the same direction, the situation on the Peninsula was eased, and progress made in the political process. By contrast, when the parties failed to adhere to the principle of action-for-action and failed to honor the commitments made in the relevant dialogues, the opportunities for a political settlement was missed, and the tensions returned to the Peninsula. The parties concerned should take a rational and pragmatic approach, resume engagement, build mutual trust, and restart dialogue as soon as possible. They should follow the dual track approach and the principle of phased and synchronized actions to promote the process of a political settlement.

Third, to resolve the Peninsula issue, it is imperative for the Security Council to play a constructive role. China supports the full and accurate implementation of Security Council sanctions against the DPRK, but it is China's consistent view that sanctions are not an end in themselves, and that sanctions so should not be carved in stone or be indefinite. China has always stressed that sanctions should serve the purpose of promoting the denuclearization of the Peninsula, dialogue and negotiations between the parties, and the ultimate political settlement of the Peninsula issue. Regretfully, over the past decade or so, harsh sanctions against the DPRK have not contributed to the realization of these goals. Instead, they have had a serious negative impact on the humanitarian situation and people's livelihood. The draft resolution jointly proposed by Russia and China in the Security Council is intended to invoke the reversible provisions, adjust the sanctions measures against the DPRK in humanitarian and the livelihood aspects, and use the humanitarian issue as an entry point to create conditions for enhancing mutual trust and promoting the assumption of dialogue. We hope that the draft resolution will be given positive consideration and be adopted.

Just now, the Russian Federation representative indicated in the statement their intention to submit a new draft resolution on the extension of the mandate of the panel of the DPRK Sanctions Committee. China appreciates such efforts. We hope that all parties will seize the time window to speed up dialogue and consultations, actively seek consensus, and work for proper solution to the issue of the extension of the mandate as soon as possible.

Mr. President,

China has always taken a responsible approach in its efforts to promote a political settlement of the Peninsula issue. China is committed to peace and stability on the Peninsula, to pursuing denuclearization and establishment of a peace mechanism in tandem, and to resolving the issue through dialogue and consultations. As a close neighbor of the Peninsula and a responsible major country, China will continue to work actively to maintain stability and facilitate talks and play a constructive role in promoting a political settlement the Peninsula issue, the earlier resumption of dialogues among the parties, and the realization of lasting peace and stability in Northeast Asia.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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