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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the UN Security Council Briefing on the Korean Nuclear Issue

2023-07-14 17:04

Mr. President, 

I thank Assistant Secretary-General Khaled Khiari for his briefing, and also welcome the presence of the permanent representatives of the DPRK and ROK at this meeting. 

China's position on the Korean peninsula issue is very clear. We are committed to the denuclearization of the peninsula, the peace and stability on the peninsula, and the political settlement of the issue through dialogue. The current situation of the Korean peninsula continues to be tense and is getting more confrontational, which is not what China wishes to see. China has taken note of the DPRK’s recent launch. Meanwhile, we are concerned about the heightened military pressure and repeated dispatches of strategic weapons by a certain country to carry out military activities on the Korean peninsula. None of these accidents happened in isolation. Should this vicious circle persist, the peninsula issue will not only be intractable, but also risks further escalation. 

As a legacy of the Cold War, the peninsula issue drags on to this very day. It is in essence a political and security issue, and its crux lies in the absence of a peace mechanism. The US and other countries have long regarded the DPRK as a security threat and are obsessed with the sanctions and pressurization, which has put the DPRK under enormous security threat and existential pressure. The DPRK’s legitimate security concerns have never been addressed. In particular, since the beginning of this year, the US and others have carried out joint military exercises on the peninsula at unprecedentedly large scale featuring highly targeted and provocative drill items, issued the Washington. Declaration that intensifies the standard deterrence, and come further and further down the road of ministry pressurization. Such an approach will only intensify confrontation and tension, as responded by the reality. 

The history of the Korean peninsula issue since the 1990s clearly shows that dialogue and negotiation are the only correct and effective way to ease tensions on the peninsula and promote a political settlement. As long as the US and the DPRK resume dialogue and negotiation and meet each other halfway, the situation on the peninsula will remain stable, and there is hope for the political settlement. The US, rather than accusing others for preventing Council actions, should come up with practical plans and take meaningful actions to respond to DPRK’s concerns and translate its posture of “unconditional dialogue” into action. 

The point of departure for the Council's handling of the peninsula issue should be to ease the situation and promote long-term peace and stability, rather than simply imposing sanctions and exerting pressure, still less become a tool for certain countries to achieve their geopolitical interests. Promoting political solutions and standing in solidarity and mutual trust is the key to maintaining the prestige and authority of the Council. All parties should fully implement the DPRK-related to Security Council resolutions, especially the provisions relating to the resumption of dialogue and political settlement, which should not be selectively ignored. The starting point of the DPRK draft resolution jointly sponsored by China and Russia is to send a positive signal of goodwill, create conditions for resumption of dialogue and the turnaround of the situation, and promote the political settlement of the Korean peninsula issue. I call on countries that demand Council actions to seriously consider the this draft resolution.

Mr. President,

The Cold War has long before ended, but the specter of the Cold War mentality lingers. It has not only rendered the peninsula issue intractable, but also intensified antagonism and conflict around the world to this day. NATO as a product of the Cold War has been mired in this specter. The communique issued by the recent NATO Summit in Vilnius was as long-winded as it was harping the same old things full of the Cold War mentality and ideological prejudices. The communique disregards basic facts and makes far-fetched and unwarranted attacks and accusations against China. China firmly rejects such hypocrisy. 

In fact, it is NATO itself that really needs to do some serious soul searching. Contrary to its claim to be a regional organization, NATO breaks through its geographical scope stipulated by its own treaty and projects its power across the whole globe and advances eastward into the Asia Pacific, thus bringing more negative and destructive impacts to regional and even global security. NATO calls itself a defensive alliance. However, it encourages members to continuously increase military expenditure, carry out ministry activities around the world, and constantly expand their power across borders and provoke confrontation. They claim to defend the rules-based international order, but have repeatedly violated international law and basic norms governing international relations, interfered in other country's internal affairs, ignited multiple wars, bombed the diplomatic establishments, killed innocent civilians, and left a dirty trail travels. Some individual NATO members practice double standards, promoting nuclear sharing and nuclear allies, and further aggravating regional tensions. As tested by countless facts, the real troublemaker is none other than NATO. 

NATO's accusations against China are totally groundless. China is a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, and a defender of the international order. China firmly upholds the international system within the UN at its core, the international order underpinned by international law, and the basic norms governing international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. When it comes to peace and security, China has the best record of any major country. We have never invaded other countries, engaged in proxy wars, conducted military operations around the world, threatened other countries with force, exported ideology, or interfered in other country's internal affairs. I have to ask: Can NATO do any of these? China adheres to the policy of no first use of nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstances and unconditionally undertakes not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against the non nuclear weapon states or in nuclear weapon free zones. Can NATO make such pledges? I wish to point out one thing, and that is China does not cause trouble, nor does it fear trouble. We stand ready to respond firmly and forcefully to any act that violates China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, undermines China's development and security interests, and breaches the peace and stability in China's neighborhood. 

Mr. President, 

In the era of globalization, the world shares weal and woe. No one lives in a vacuum and no country enjoys absolute security. To achieve their own security, countries should not ignore the legitimate security concerns of other countries, should not base their own security on other countries’insecurity, should not erect their own security fences on the doorsteps of others, and should not give themselves the pass to set fires at will while preventing others from lighting lamps. Security is indivisible. This is a feature of our times and the starting point for achieving common security. China adheres as always to the concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security. The Global Security Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping is China's answer to the current international security dilemma and the guidance for promoting the realization of common security. China stands ready to work with the international community to build a balanced, effective, and sustainable security architecture through good faith and pragmatic dialogue and cooperation and promote lasting peace and common security. 

Thank you, Mr. President. 

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