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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the UN Security Council Briefing on the Situation of the Korean Peninsula

2022-11-05 17:00

Mr. President.

I have listened to the briefing by Assistant Secretary-General Khaled Khiari.

China pays close attention to the development of the Korean Peninsula and is deeply concerned about the escalating tensions. Amid the prevailing complex and volatile international situation, we hope that all parties concerned will remain calm, exercise restraint, be cautious in their words and deeds, and refrain from any action that may exacerbate tension or lead to miscalculation.

The turn of events and root causes that have led to the current situation on the peninsula are clear to all. The recent DPRK launches do not happen in isolation, and are directly linked to the words and deeds of relevant parties. The United States and relevant country, after a five-year hiatus, relaunched their large scale air drills with hundreds of warplanes involved. In the 2022 Nuclear Posture Review, the US Department of Defense envisages DPRK’s  use of nuclear weapons and claims that ending of the DPRK regime is one of the main goals of its nuclear strategy. The US has advanced its cooperation with other countries on nuclear submarines and said it will deploy strategic weapons in the region.

The US and others claim that the military exercises are defensive in nature, while the DPRK emphasizes that the development of its national defense building is for self-defense. If each side sticks to its argument and refuses to give way to each other, the situation on the peninsula will only fall into a vicious circle and be trapped in predicament. The evolution of the situation there since 2018 shows that only by resuming dialogue and consultation can tensions on the peninsula be eased, the vicious circle be broken, the mutual trust among all parties be built and relevant parties be able to get rid of the predicament completely. We call on the US to stop unilaterally strengthening confrontation, shoulder its responsibility with actions, and demonstrate sincerity by earnestly responding to the legitimate and reasonable concerns of the DPRK so as to create conditions for the resumption of meaningful dialogue.

The Security Council should play a constructive role rather than always stressing pressure. The relevant discussion in the Council should help maintain stability, prevent chaos on the peninsula, contribute to the resumption of dialogue and negotiation, and resolve the humanitarian and livelihood difficulties faced by the DPRK rather than creating obstacles for it. Under the current circumstances, the Council should, in particular, strive to mitigate confrontation, ease tensions and promote the political settlement. The draft resolution on the DPRK jointly tabled by China and the Russian Federation at the Council is aimed at alleviating the humanitarian situation, creating an atmosphere for all parties to enhance mutual trust and resume dialogue, and injecting impetus into the political settlement of the Korean Peninsula issue. The draft remains on the table and we hope it will be considered positively by all parties.

As a close neighbor of the Korean Peninsula, China is highly concerned about the situation there. China remains committed to maintaining peace and stability and achieving denuclearization on the peninsula and resolving issues through dialogue and consultation. We once again call on all parties concerned to face the root causes of the prolonged impasse on the peninsula issue, follow the dual track approach and the principle of phased and synchronized actions, keep the direction of political settlement, address each other's concerns in a balanced manner through dialogue and consultation, meet each other halfway and work hard to prevent the spiral escalation of the situation. China is willing to continue to play a constructive role to this end.   

I thank you Mr. President.

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