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

2023-06-02 22:10

Mr. President, 

At present, the Korean Peninsula is experiencing increasing tensions and rising confrontation, about which China expresses its concern. The situation on the Peninsula as of today does not happen without a reason. All parties should look at not only its symptoms, but also its crux, not only what happens today, but also what happened yesterday, not only the actions of the DPRK, but also the words and actions of all parties.

The Korean Peninsula issue, as a remnant of the Cold War, has been protracted for decades, and its crux and context are crystal-clear. For decades, the peace mechanism has been missing on the Peninsula, the legitimate security concerns of the DPRK have long remained unresolved, the mutual trust between the DPRK and the US has been seriously lacking, and the two sides have repeatedly fallen into the weird circle featuring dialogue, deescalation, stalemate, confrontation, and escalation of tensions. 

There were moments of hope on the issue, including DPRK-US Nuclear Agreed Framework in 1994, the Joint Statement made by the six parties on September 19, 2005, and the Joint Statement of the Singapore Summite in 2018. For those times, the DPRK actively engaged in dialogue with the US and generally complied with the agreements. In contrast, the US failed to abide by the principles of commitment for commitment and action for action, and reverted to its old path of sanctions and pressure on the DPRK, which led to the reversal and deterioration of the situation and the missing of opportunities to resolve the issue. 

In recent years, by incorporating the Peninsula into its Indo-Pacific Strategy, the US has continued its military activities and significantly increased its military presence both on the Peninsula and in its surrounding areas, seriously undermining the strategic security interests of the Peninsula and its neighboring countries. Just over a month ago, the US and the ROK issued the Washington Declaration, expressing their intention to strengthen extended deterrence and even planning to send strategic nuclear submarines to the Peninsula. The US approach represents a disregard for the concerns of other countries, and is totally driven by its geopolitical self-interest, through which it has bent on exploiting the issue to create tensions on the Peninsula. Such practices by the US are filled with Cold War mentality. They only serve to provoke bloc confrontation and undermine the strategic security interests of other countries, and run counter to the goal of maintaining peace and stability and promoting the denuclearization of the Peninsula. 

Mr. President,

The current situation on the Peninsula is fraught with tension, fragility, complexity, and sensitivity. The more so, the more important it is for all parties to maintain calm and restraint, avoid mutual provocation, and prevent the situation from escalating or even getting out of control. The more so, the more important it is for all parties to stay committed to diplomatic efforts and political settlement, and strive to address their legitimate concerns through resumption of meaningful dialogue. The more so, the more important it is for all parties to focus on the big picture and the long term, and promote the denuclearization of the Peninsula and the establishment of a peace mechanism on the Peninsula in a synchronized manner based on the dual track approach.

Some countries have repeatedly indicated that the Security Council must not remain indifferent to the status quo of the Peninsula, but should play a constructive role. China shares this view. How can the Security Council play a constructive role? Is it constructive to point the finger at one party and to put all the blame on one party? Obviously not. This will only exacerbate conflicts and provocations and inject new uncertainties into the already tense situation on the Peninsula. The constructive role of the Council should be demonstrated by its efforts to promote deescalation, mutual trust, and unity. The starting point for the draft resolution on the DPRK co-sponsored by China and Russia in the Council is to resolve people's livelihood difficulties in the DPRK, demonstrate goodwill and positive signals, create conditions for resuming dialogue and turning the situation around, and promote a political solution to the Peninsula issue, which we hope all parties will consider positively. 

Finally, I need to point out that on the one hand, the US calls for denuclearization of the Peninsula under the pretext of non-proliferation. On the other hand, it is upgrading its nuclear umbrella, cooperating with some other countries on nuclear submarines and transferring tons of weapon-grade enriched uranium to non-nuclear-weapon state, which is a typical example of double standard. Such cooperation does nothing but undermine the global non-proliferation regime, stoke arms race, threaten regional peace and security, and adversely affect the denuclearization process of the Peninsula, and thus must be stopped.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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

Madam President, 

As the US representative has already made one, I need to make a response. 

First, as I have mentioned in my previous statement, there are reasons behind the development of the situation on the Peninsula to what it is today. It is not simple as what the US said. It’s not like all the problems and responsibilities are on the other side. We need to effectively and comprehensively solve the particular issue. We need to see the essence of the problem, that is, the peace mechanism has been missing, the DPRK’s legitimate security concern has not been resolved, and there has been long-standing mistrust between the two countries. 

Second, I have also mentioned in the statement that there have been some brighter moments in the past. The reason why we had this is dependent on the display of political commitments and diplomacy, and taking real actions. Now the US has been saying that the door of diplomacy is open, but at the same time, they have been consistently doing military activities in the Peninsula and surrounding areas. Under this circumstance, how do they demonstrate their political will in solving this problem? 

Third, regarding the Washington Declaration. The extended deterrence measures of the US and its allies, the planned visit of the strategic nuclear submarine to the Peninsula after 42 years in particular, have seriously reinforced the DPRK’s sense of insecurity. The DPRK has also made its position clear on this. I think we all know if the US continues on this path, this will inevitably provoke the DPRK even further and raise even more tensions on the Peninsula. 

At last, I again remind the US representative to have a comprehensive and calm assessment of the current situation, display political will, demonstrate a certain level of flexibility, adopt real actions to relaunch dialogues, push for a political solution, and make efforts and create conditions for that. 

Thank you.

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