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Remarks by Ambassador Dai Bing at the UN Security Council Briefing on the Korean Nuclear Issue

2023-02-20 21:42

Madam President, 

China has been closely following the development of the situation on the Korean peninsula, in which tensions and confrontations have once again become prominent and may escalate in an upward spiral. This does not serve the interests of any party, nor is it something China wishes to see. We call on all relevant parties to remain calm, exercise restraint, and stay committed to the right direction of political settlement, while refraining from any action that may further aggravate tension and cause miscalculation. 

Madam President,

To bring the Korean Peninsula issue out of the predicament, we should first focus on the crux of the issue, which in essence is about security. Before the transition from armistice to a peace mechanism on the Peninsula, the DPRK has long been facing enormous security pressure, challenges, and threats. Since the beginning of this year, the US and its allies have stepped up joint military activities around the Peninsula targeting the DPRK. The US announced joint military exercises on a higher level and a bigger scale and timely deployment of strategic assets. NATO Secretary General paid a high profile visit to countries in the region, where he promoted the Cold War mentality and bloc confrontation. Such moves are highly provocative to the DPRK and aggravate its sense of insecurity. Relevant countries should seriously reflect on the relevant causality. 

China calls on all relevant parties to squarely face up to the history and reality of the Peninsula issue, draw lessons from past experiences, and stay committed to the right direction of dialogue and consultation. Under the current circumstances, it is even more imperative to prevent a vicious cycle of repeated escalation, pushing the situation out of control. Certain countries, in particular, should give up their geopolitical manipulation, stop the clamor about war, and refrain from resorting to pressurization at every turn through military exercises and sections, among others, in order to create an appropriate environment for political settlement. Since the US has repeatedly expressed its willingness to unconditionally engage in dialogue with the DPRK, it should take tangible steps to start and maintain the dialogue. 

To bring the Peninsula issue out of the predicament, the Security Council should play a constructive role. Given that the current situation on the Peninsula is highly sensitive and complex, the actions and discussions of this Council should help ease the situation and enhance mutual trust. The words and deeds of Council members should help maintain stability and prevent chaos on the Peninsula, help restart dialogue and negotiation, and solve the real humanitarian difficulties and those concerning livelihood facing the DPRK. Regrettably, some Council members, in the absence of consensus, have continuously pushed for meetings on the DPRK nuclear issue recently, and continued calling for more sanctions and pressure on the DPRK. This neither embodies the constructive role of easing the situation, nor brings new ideas conducive for solving the problem. The DPRK also issued a statement expressing its strong dissatisfaction. 

I wish to reiterate that Council resolutions on the DPRK are an integrated whole, which not only provide for sanctions against the DPRK, but also clearly call for resuming the Six-Party Talks, avoiding escalation of tensions, and promoting solutions through political means and dialogue. Implementing sanctions and promoting the resumption of talks are both ways of implementing Council resolutions. One should not weigh over or replace the other, nor can they be implemented only selectively. Exclusively pursuing and piling on sanctions will only lead to a dead end. 

To bring the Korean Peninsula issue out of the predicament, all parties should adopt the right approach to non-proliferation, and avoid double standards. The US and relevant countries push for discussing the DPRK nuclear issue, while shirking their responsibilities by blatantly engaging in nuclear cooperation in the Asia Pacific region that contravenes the purposes and objects of the NPT and will lead to the proliferation of weapon-grade nuclear materials, or even by attempting to replicate nuclear sharing in the region. Are such acts not out and out nuclear proliferation? Such selective approach to non-proliferation will not only cause a serious and negative impact on denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, but will also significantly exacerbate the risk of triggering military conflicts in the region, for which we should be highly vigilant. 

Madam President, 

As the peninsula lies right on China’s doorstep, China genuinely hopes for stability rather than chaos on the Peninsula, and does not wish to see the Peninsula issue fall into a vicious cycle. On this issue, China has always stood for maintaining peace and stability on the Peninsula, achieving the denuclearization of the Peninsula, and resolving the issue through dialogue and consultation. China calls on all parties to remain cool-headed and restraint, keep in mind the bigger picture of maintaining regional peace and stability, follow the dual-track approach and phased and synchronized principle, and jointly facilitate the process of resolving the Peninsula issue politically, for which China stands ready to play a constructive role. 

I thank you, Madam President.

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