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

2023-08-25 18:00

Madam President,

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

For some time now, tensions on the Korean Peninsula have been intensifying. The DPRK has conducted multiple launches, and certain parties including the U.S. have been continuously engaged in military activities. This state of affair is worrying and is something China does not wish to see.

While certain countries tend to pin all the blame on the DPRK as usual, it must be pointed out that the DPRK’s recent launches are closely linked to the military activities of certain relevant countries. Earlier this year, the DPRK did show restraints for a period of time and repeatedly appealed for the end of hostile acts, but their calls failed to be addressed seriously. I am not saying all this to attribute the deteriorating situation exclusively to one particular side, but rather to encourage the parties concerned to take a rational and a balanced perspective in the face of the current wave of tensions. The parties concerned should ask themselves: What went wrong? What to do next? What should the Council do?

First, the Peninsula issue is not simply an issue of nuclear and missile programs. In essence, it is a political and security issue as a legacy of the Cold War. At the heart of it is a deficit of mutual trust and absence of peace mechanism. And the key lies in whether we want peace or war. the U.S.has maintained a long-standing hostile policy towards the DPRK and continued to exert pressure on the country, which therefore feels increasingly insecure. Last month, the American strategic nuclear submarines, after a long hiatus for 40 years, showed up again on the Peninsula. And last week, the U.S., as President of the Council, insisted on scheduling a meeting to consider the DPRK’s human rights situation. In fact, as we speak, the U.S. and its allies’ Ulchi Freedom Shield joint military exercise is in full swing. These acts will not help with furthering mutual trust or building a peace mechanism on the Peninsula, but will only aggravate tensions, increase the risk of confrontation and conflict, or might even ultimately lead to war.

Second, the final resolution of the Peninsula issue depends on sound interactions among the major countries and a good regional environment. Looking back at history of the Peninsula issue, it is not difficult to realize that diplomatic efforts on the Peninsula issue can be effective only if the major regional countries keep generally stable and cooperative relations. In recent years, certain countries have used the Peninsula issue as a pretext to deliberately create tensions, incorporate the Peninsula into the Indo-Pacific strategy, strengthen alliances and partnerships, and significantly increase military presence in the region, thus gravely jeopardizing the strategic security interests of the Peninsula and the neighboring countries. Such practices, fraught with Cold War mentality, only works to provoke bloc confrontation and undermine mutual trust among parties, serve their own geopolitical interests, and go against the goal of maintaining peace and stability on the Peninsula and advancing its denuclearization.

Third, dialogue and negotiation are the only right way to help the Peninsula out of the security conundrum. Over the years, there were times when diplomatic efforts brought hopes to the Peninsula. The DPRK took a series of measure on the denuclearization. However, the changing policy of one of the countries concerned, its failure to implement an action-for-action principle and to deliver on commitments made in a dialogue resulted in the loss of these opportunities to resolve the issue. The situation has become increasingly more complex and tense. Under current circumstances, all parties should exercise restraint and stay cool-headed, avoid a mutual provocation, and try to do more for the resumption of dialogue and for peace and stability.

Fourth, the Security Council should play a constructive role for easing tensions and promoting a political settlement. The draft resolution on DPRK jointly proposed by China and Russia at the Council is aimed at releasing goodwill and positive signal to give an impetus to political settlement of the Peninsula issue. Regrettably, irrelevant countries have chosen to ignore the reasonable proposals of China, Russia and other countries, and are obsessed with the magical power of sanctions and pressurization. Just now, in her statement, the U.S. representative made groundless accusations against China and Russia's positions on the Peninsula issue. Given where we are, the Council needs unity, not fragmentation or confrontation, its actions should be of assistance, not a hindrance to the political settlement if the Peninsula issue. What these countries should really do is not to use the Council’s platform to intensify tension and escalate the situation, but to come up with practical actions and concrete proposals to respond to the DPRK’s legitimate concerns and to make efforts and create conditions for the relaunch of the dialogue.

In conclusion, I would like to reiterate that China's position remains unchanged, that is, we are committed to the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula, to denuclearization of the Peninsula, and to finding solutions through dialogue and consultation. We stand ready to continue close communication with the relevant parties and play a constructive role in finding a political solution to the Peninsula issue and in realizing the enduring peace and stability in Northeast Asia.

Thank you, Madam President.

The Second Round of Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at the UN Security Council Briefing on the Korean Peninsula Nuclear Issue

Madam President,

We will listen to the statements of the DPRK and ROK. I will not take much of your time. But I would like to make a quick response towards the statement of the U.S. colleague.

Just now in my statement, I pointed out that certain countries habitually push the responsibility to the DPRK, which is against the fact that the launching activities of DPRK is closely related to the intense military exercises of the United States and its allies. These military exercises are not what the United States delegates claim, the legitimate and defense in nature. It's not that simple. Recently, the scales and frequency of those  exercises is at a record level. And they've also use strategic bombers and nuclear submarines in the Peninsula. While the United States claims that they are open for the dialogue without conditions, we see that the pressures and the sanctions are on the rise. I would like to ask, in this context, how can the dialogue be reversed?

Everybody calls on the unity in Security Council. Of course, China hopes to see the unity in the Council. However, this kind of unity requires the efforts of all parties. China stands ready to maintain close communication with the parties concerned and to make our constructive efforts in promoting the political settlement of the Korean Peninsula issue.

Thank you.

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