|Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the UN Security Council Briefing on the Situation of the Korean Peninsula
At present, the tension side of the situation on the Korean peninsula tends to be prominent, and the prospect of a spiraling escalation is worrying. China calls on all parties to maintain calm and restraint. adhere to the right direction of dialogue and consultation, and avoid any action that may aggravate tensions or lead to miscalculation. We sincerely support the improvement of relations between the DPRK and the ROK, and the promotion of reconciliation and cooperation. We look forward to the situation on the Peninsula moving towards detente and positive development.
The issue of the Korean Peninsula should be looked at historically and comprehensively, so as to understand the causes and consequences of the matter at hand. After 2018, there had been a general de-escalation of the situation on the Peninsula. The DPRK took a series of measures to denuclearize and de-escalate the situation. The leaders of the DPRK and the US met face to face in Singapore, and reached an important consensus on establishing a new type of DPRK-US relations, building a peace mechanism on the Peninsula, and advancing the denuclearization process on the Peninsula. Regrettably, the US side later reneged on its position, and did not reciprocate the DPRK’s positive initiatives in accordance with the action-for-action principle, leading to an intractable impasse in the DPRK-US dialogue, adding to the mutual distrust between the two countries, and stalling the denuclearization process on the Peninsula.
Dialogue and consultation is the only correct way to resolve the Peninsula issue. The US is a direct party to the Peninsula issue, and holds the key to breaking the deadlock. As such, it should take concrete actions to respond positively to the reasonable concerns of the DPRK side, and create conditions for an early resumption of dialogue. Although the US side verbally claims to be willing to engage in unconditional dialogue, when it comes to actions, it is continuing to tighten sanctions and exert pressure. This is clearly not constructive. The new draft resolution proposed by the US, evoking Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, is centered on furthering sanctions, which is not an appropriate way to address the current situation on the Peninsula. The Security Council, over the years, has adopted numerous resolutions on the Peninsula issue, which, while authorizing sanctions, have also stressed the need for a peaceful, political, and diplomatic solution to the nuclear issue on the Peninsula. All these deserve our equal attention. Sanctions are but a means to an end, and should always serve the overall goal of political settlement. Equating sanctions to or replacing diplomatic efforts is completely putting the cart before the horse, and will not achieve the desired result. Despite the fact that sanctions have already had a negative humanitarian impact and collateral damages to other countries, the countries concerned are still in total denial, which is inconsistent with the conclusions of various international humanitarian agencies and the 1718 Committee’s panel of experts.
In fact, in response to the latest situation, China and a number of Council members have all put forward reasonable proposals to explore ways to take strong actions and promote the political solution to the Peninsula issue, in a way that best garners the consensus of Council members. The draft resolution tabled by China and Russia is also for this very purpose. Regrettably, the US has turned a blind eye to the reasonable proposals of China and other relevant Council members, and remains enamored superstitiously with the magic power of sanctions. We believe that if the United States changes its negative attitude, it is possible for Council members to reach a consensus. We hope that the Council members will give serious consideration to the joint China-Russia draft resolution.
As a close neighbor of the Peninsula, China is highly concerned about the situation on the Peninsula, and has always insisted on maintaining peace and stability on the Peninsula, denuclearizing the Peninsula, and resolving problems through dialogue and consultation. We advocate that all parties concerned should prioritize the overall peace and stability on the Peninsula, adhere to the direction of dialogue and consultation, meet each other halfway, resume meaningful dialogue at an early date, and explore effective ways to resolve each other’s legitimate concerns in a balanced manner. China is seriously concerned about some recent negative developments.
Some countries are calling for the denuclearization of the DPRK, while they themselves are promoting cooperation on nuclear submarines, which carries serious risks of nuclear proliferation. Some countries profess their concerns about the DPRK’s military development, while at the same time developing with much fanfare their own offensive weapons system such as hyper-sonic weapons. A certain politician in a certain country concerned even went so far as to openly advocate discussing nuclear sharing under the pretext of addressing security threats. China’s Global Security Initiative is an important guide to resolving the issue of the Peninsula. Security is indivisible. The security of one country cannot be based on the insecurity of another country. Such a concept works anywhere, anytime. China once again calls all parties concerned to jointly cherish and maintain peace and stability on the Peninsula, work together to promote the establishment of a peace mechanism and denuclearization process on the Peninsula, and play a constructive role to this end.
Thank you, Madam President.