Statement by Chinese Ambassador ZhangYan on DPRK Nuclear Issue
IAEA Board of Governor Meeting 2004-6-16
The Chinese government always attaches great importance to the DPRK nuclear issue and has been maintaining unremitting efforts toward its peaceful resolution. From 12-15 of May, the first meeting of working group of the 6-party talks was held in Beijing, which was another positive step taken by the various parities to move the DPRK nuclear issue toward a peaceful solution and deepen the six-party talks. In general terms, the 1st meeting of the WG was candid, pragmatic and constructive; it increases mutual understanding and marked continued headway in the talks. Despite substantive differences that still exist, some positive progress has been made in the meeting.
First, the relevant elements of consensus on solving the nuclear issue have been further clarified and consolidated. The various parties have identified the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula as the ultimate objective of solving the DPRK nuclear issue; implementation of a nuclear freeze and corresponding measures for it is the first step towards complete nuclear abandonment; and parallel to solving the nuclear issue, DPRK's legitimate security concerns should be addressed. All the parts agreed to a phased and peaceful solution of issue under the principle of verbal to verbal, commitment to commitment or action to action.
Second, to implement the above consensus, the parties had in–depth discussions, cleared up some basic concept, one another's views and position, and put forward some new ideas and proposals. There were some new elements on how to initiate the first step in the process of nuclear abandonment.
Third, the peace-talks mechanism has been further consolidated. Preparations, both in procedural and substantive terms, have been made for the 3rd round. All the parties have agreed to hold the 2nd meeting of the WG from 21-22 and the 3rd round of the talks on June 23-26.
China has always supported denuclearization of and maintaining peace and stability on the Korean peninsula, and advocated solving the DPRK nuclear issue peacefully through dialog and consultation and maintained that DPRK's legitimate security concerns should be met. We are pleased to note that after over a year's efforts, the process of bringing the DPRK nuclear issue to a peaceful resolution has progressed steadily from tripartite talks to two rounds of the 6-party talks and then to the launching of WG. However, we are also clearly aware, that the DPRK nuclear issue is extremely complex and substantial differences still exist among various parties on certain issues. On how to dismantle DPRK's nuclear program and whether the dismantlement should cover DPRK's peaceful nuclear program, the parties concerned still have divergent views. And there is still long way to go before the issue is ultimately resolved peacefully. We hope that the various parties will continue to show a firm political will, demonstrate diplomatic wisdom, make sustained efforts, take a constructive attitude, display maximum flexibility on issues such as the scope of abandonment, the concept of denuclearization, and energy assistance to the DPRK, continually seek and broaden common ground, narrow differences, and search for a proper solution positively.
We are the view that the international community, this board included, should cherish the progress already achieved on the issue, remain patient and exercise restraint all along to create a harmonious atmosphere and environment for advancing the peace-talks process. At present, China is actively preparing for the 3rd round of talks and the 2nd WG meeting that precedes it. China will promote the peace talks as always and play its role in achieving a fruitful outcome from the 3rd round of the talks. My delegation hopes that the Board's routine consideration of this issue at this meeting will contribute to a sound environment for the talks.