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Statement by Ambassador WU Haitao at the Security Council Briefing on Non-proliferation/DPRK

2017/12/15

China would like to thank Secretary-General Guterres for his briefing.

China firmly opposes the development by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, which are in violation of the relevant Security Council resolutions. China urges the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to abide by relevant resolutions.

Since the beginning of 2017, the situation on the Korean Peninsula has been one of constant tension. On the one hand, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea has continued to conduct nuclear tests and missile launches, in defiance of the universal opposition by the international community. On the other hand, the parties concerned have continued to expand military exercises and scale up response capabilities by force. The escalation of tension or the risk of the situation spiraling out of control on the Korean Peninsula is not in the interests of any parties.

The Korean Peninsula nuclear issue has lasted for over two decades. It has deep historical causes and takes place within a grave and complex context. Reviewing the evolution of he Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, when the parties concerned have tried to meet each other halfway and respect one another's concerns, it has been possible to achieve results. On the other hand, when the parties have taken stubborn stances and disregarded the security of the other side, it has led to the deterioration of the situation.

The current situation on the Korean Peninsula is mired in a vicious cycle of tough posturing and confrontation, which is hardly a cause for optimism about the future. However, the hope for peace is not totally lost. The prospect of negotiations still exists. The option of resorting to the use of force is unacceptable. China believes that all of the parties concerned should keep in mind the broader goal of maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, judge the situation calmly, make wise choices and take practical steps.

First, it is necessary to put an immediate end to rhetoric and actions that are unfavorable to denuclearization and the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula. It is also necessary to ease the situation as soon as possible. The tough positions that have been taken interactively by the parties concerned serve only to escalate tensions, deepen divisions and decrease mutual trust. Therefore, such positions are not helpful to the security of all parties. The parties concerned should keep calm and exercise restraint in order to prevent the situation on the Korean Peninsula from worsening and getting out of control. They should create the necessary conditions for turning the situation around.

Secondly, it is necessary to act in accordance with the provisions and spirit of the Security Council resolutions relating to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and push for an appropriate settlement of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula. Since 2016, the Council has unanimously adopted a series of resolutions on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Those resolutions represent the common will of the international community and constitute international obligations that must be observed by all parties. All parties must comprehensively implement the resolutions relating to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in their entirety; through strengthening non-proliferation measures in order to curb the nuclear and missile programs of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea; as well as actively pushing for a peaceful settlement through diplomatic and political means. At the same time, there is a need to avoid negatively impacting the livelihoods of the people of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the humanitarian assistance activities that are taking place in the country. Unilateral sanctions measures without the authorization of the Security Council undermine the unity of the Council and hurt the legitimate rights and interests of other countries. Therefore, such actions should be abandoned.

Thirdly, it is necessary for all sides to shoulder their respective responsibilities and fulfill their incumbent obligations in earnest. The current situation on the Korean Peninsula has not been caused by any individual party alone. Nor should any party be asked to take all responsibilities for resolving the issue. The parties concerned should try to meet each other halfway instead of engaging in mutual blaming, let alone shifting responsibilities onto others. The United States has committed to not seeking regime change, not pursuing the overthrow of the Government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, not accelerating the reunification of the Korean Peninsula and not moving its troops beyond the thirty-eighth parallel. We hope that the United States will turn those four commitments into concrete actions.

Fourthly, it is necessary to remain committed to the direction of peacefully settling the situation and resuming dialogue and negotiations as soon as possible. Security is at the core of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue. As such, the fundamental solution lies in addressing the security concerns of all parties, including the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, in a balanced manner. There is no military option with respect to the settlement of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue. Resorting to force will only bring about disastrous consequences for the Peninsula. Sanctions are a means, not an end. History shows that dialogue and negotiations are a fundamental way to ease tensions and advance the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The parties concerned should endeavor to turn the pressure of sanctions into the driving force behind the resumption of dialogue and negotiations. They should get the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula back on the right track of peaceful settlement through dialogue and negotiations at an early date.

As a close neighbor of the Korean Peninsula, China has persisted in realizing the denuclearization of the Peninsula, maintaining peace and stability on the Peninsula and seeking a settlement to the situation through dialogue and negotiations. China is opposed to conflicts and chaos on the Korean Peninsula. China has always supported and comprehensively and strictly implemented Security Council resolutions relating to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. By doing so, China has made greater efforts and paid a higher price than anyone else. It is irresponsible to doubt or challenge what China has done. In view of the current situation on the Peninsula, China has put forward the “suspension-for-suspension” proposal, which calls for the suspension by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea of its nuclear and missile activities and the suspension by the United States and the Republic of Korea of large-scale military exercises, and the “dual-track” approach, which aims to promote parallel progress in denuclearization efforts and the establishment of a peace mechanism on the Peninsula. The Russian Federation has also put forward the step-by-step conception to the settlement of the issues of the Korean Peninsula. On the basis of those proposals, China and the Russian Federation issued a joint statement on 4 July that proposed a road map for the settlement of the problems on the Korean Peninsula. The joint proposal of China and Russia is practical and feasible and is aimed at promoting the peaceful settlement of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and the maintenance of peace and stability on the Peninsula. As such, we hope that the proposal will elicit responses and support from the parties concerned.

Due to historical reasons, the Korean Peninsula is still under the shadow of the Cold War. That is the root cause of the protracted nature of, and lack of settlement for, the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue. The parties concerned must reject Cold War mentality in all its forms, establish a concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and seek a peaceful settlement to the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue through political and diplomatic means, so as to realize, at an early date, the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the long-term security and tranquility of North-East Asia for the benefit of the people of the countries in the region. China stands ready to work together with the parties concerned and the international community to continue to play a positive and constructive role for the realization of this goal.

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