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Statement by Ambassador Hu Xiaodi, Head of the Chinese Delegation, on Nuclear Issue on the Korean Peninsula at the 3rd Session of the PrepCom for the 2005 NPT Review Conference

2004-05-03 00:00

Mr. Chairman,

Preventing proliferation of nuclear weapons and maintaining world peace and stability serve the common interests of the international community. Proceeding from this position, China has always supported a Korean Peninsula free from nuclear weapons and stood for maintaining the peace and stability on the Peninsula and peacefully resolving the nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiation. China is not in favour of the DPRK developing nuclear weapons. Meanwhile we find it necessary to address the DPRK's legitimate and reasonable security concerns.

We are glad to see that with the concerted efforts of China and the international community, the nuclear issue has been brought to the track to peaceful solution and registered some progress.

The second round of Six-Party Talks was held in Beijing last February. The talks achieved positive progress with respect to starting discussions on some substantive issues and institutionalising the talks. Through the talks the goal of nuclear-weapon-free for security is more clear and definite. Parties agree to take coordinated steps to address the nuclear issue and other concerns and resolve the question of security assurance in a way acceptable to all. The parties also accepted in principle DPRK's proposition of making a freeze of its nuclear program as the starting point.

Admittedly, the parties concerned still have differences on some issues. However, these differences can be narrowed down and common understandings can be expanded as long as we continue the process of talks. Solution to the nuclear issue requires patience and a sense of urgency as well. The lack of trust between the United States and DPRK and the complexity of the nuclear issue itself make it impossible to find a solution in a short time. Nevertheless, it must be realized that a procrastinating process will do favour to neither party. The longer it drags on, the higher level of mistrust between the DPRK and the US would be there and the more likely that situation would escalate and get out of control.

The first meeting of the Working Group of Six-Party Talks will be held on May 12th. At present, China is co-ordinating with parties concerned with a view to facilitate substantive progress.

The DPRK nuclear issue has also provoked thinking on international non-proliferation effort. The proliferation of nuclear weapons should be addressed with both short-term remedies and long-term solutions. The international community should, while strengthening and improving the international non-proliferation regime, commit themselves to a new security concept centring on mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation and create an international environment of cooperation and trust.

Mr. Chairman,

China will work together with other parties concerned for a peaceful solution to the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula. We believe that a peaceful solution to the issue will contribute to strengthening international non-proliferation regime and promoting peace and stability in Northeast Asia and the world at large.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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