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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at the UN Security Council Briefing on the Korean Nuclear Issue

2023-03-20 18:00

Mr. President

I thank Assistant Secretary-General Miroslav Jenča for his briefing.

Tensions and confrontations are on the rise on the Korean Peninsula. China is concerned about this.

We have taken note of the launching activity by the DPRK, as well as the recent continued military operations by relevant countries in this region. The priority is for all parties to exercise calm and restraint, and avoid alternating show of force, so as to prevent the situation from further escalating or even getting out of control.

The current situation on the Peninsula is by no means the result of an accident. Back in 2018, the DPRK took the positive initiative of giving up its nuclear weapons program in return for security. However, the U.S. failed to respond with goodwill in accordance with the action-for-action principle, missing an important opportunity for achieving denuclearization on the Peninsula. Since the start of this year, the U.S. and others have continued their unprecedented large-scale joint military exercise on the Peninsula and in its surrounding areas, as well as planning to expand the deployment of strategic weapons. This tactic of deterrence and pressuring has further entrenched the DPRK’s sense of insecurity, leading the situation to this elevated tension. The recent statement by the Foreign Ministry of the DPRK also stressed that the DPRK’s action was a countermeasure to the U.S. histility.

Mr. President,

The international community must face the crux of the Peninsula issue, draw lessons from history, and remain committed to a political solution. I wish to make the following three points.

First, all parties should exercise restraint, demonstrate goodwill, seek a solution in a calm, cool-headed and stable manner, and foster beneficial interaction leading to gradual build-up of mutual trust. The U.S. Representative just said that they are devoted to diplomacy and are seeking to have a dialogue with the DPRK. However, while the U.S. has been saying this, it has also been creating tensions. This is nothing short of dangerous and hypocritical. The U.S. should demonstrate sincerity, take the initiative by offering practical proposals, and directly respond to the legitimate concerns of the DPRK, so as to create favorable conditions for the improvement in the situation.

Second, China supports the Security Council in playing a constructive role in promoting a political solution. The discussions to be had and actions to be taken by the Council should be for the purpose of easing tensions, restoring dialogue, and promoting unity. It should not do anything just for the purpose of highlighting its existence. That China has expressed reservations on a Council Resolution or a PRST is precisely because we do not think this is constructive. We are, on the contrary, afraid that it will add elements of irritance to the situation. If the U.S. is keen in its desire to have a breakthrough in the situation, it should have a positive response to the joint draft resolution sponsered by China and Russia, so as to send some positive signals to encourage the DPRK to resume dialogue and to create conditions for the easing of tensions.

Third, the U.S. Representative said that we must maintain the authority and the credibility of the Security Council. However, it is precisely the U.S. that has been calling for the DPRK to renounce its nuclear weapons program under the banner of non-proliferation, all the while transferring tons of weapon-grade enriched uranium to a non-nuclear-weapon state. This is a textbook case of double standard. It is precisely this practice of double standard that seriously undermines the credibility of the Council. The nuclear submarine cooperation by the U.S. and its allies undermines the international non-proliferation regime, spurs arms race, and threatens regional peace and security. Furthermore, it is not conducive for the international community to persuade the DPRK to abandon its nuclear weapons program and promote denuclearization of the Peninsula.

China calls upon certain countries to heed the calls of international community and regional countries, abandon the Cold War mentality and bloc politics, stop political maneuvering, implement non-proliferation obligations in an earnest manner by repealing the decision on the nuclear submarine cooperation, and set a right path for resolving the Peninsula issue through concrete actions.

Mr. President,

China calls on all parties to adhere to a vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security, shoulder each other’s due responsibility, and through meaningful dialogue accommodate each other’s legitimate concerns in the balanced manner, so as to achieve common security. China will continue to pursue a dual track and phased and synchronous approach and play its part in finding a political solution for the Peninsula issue.

Thank you Mr. President.


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