Statement by Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yan On Item 5b Concerning the DPRK Nuclear Issue
The Chinese delegation would like to take the opportunity of this session to share with all in this room the latest development concerning the DPRK nuclear issue and brief China’s position on this matter.
Thanks to the joint efforts of China and other parties concerned, the six-party talks have achieved important progress since their launch: the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free Korean peninsula has been established; the direction of the peaceful talks has been agreed, and the principle of “verbal to verbal, action to action” has been affirmed. All these have laid a basis for further in-depth talks and should be cherished by all. China always believes that the continuation of the six-party talks aimed at achieving the goal for denuclearization through peaceful and diplomatic efforts is the wise choice that conforms to the interests of all parties concerned and the international community as a whole.
The declaration of DPRK’s Foreign Ministry on 10 February has brought about broad concern among the international community. For the sake of maintaining the momentum of diplomatic efforts to solve the DPRK nuclear issue by peaceful means, China initiated active mission of good offices. Through various channels, China reiterated to the DPRK side its persistent position that the DPRK nuclear issue should be resolved through peaceful means and made it clear that a nuclear-weapon-free peninsula is in the best interests of the DPRK. Minister Wang Jiarui, who led a high-level Chinese delegation visiting the DPRK recently, conveyed a verbal message from President Hu Jingtao to Mr. Kim Jong Il, the General Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, explicitly stating that China sticks to the position of denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and maintenance of its peace and stability, calling for the continuation of the six-party talks and hoping that the DPRK will return to the negotiations. The DPRK side stated that it is not opposed to the six-party talks, nor does it intend to withdraw from the process. DPRK also made it clear that its position for a Korean peninsula free of nuclear weapons and resolving the issue through peaceful dialogue remains unchanged, and it is willing to return to the negotiation table at any time once concerted efforts by parties concerned result in mature conditions for the six-party talks. The position of DPRK as stated above indicates that it is still in favor of, and attaches great importance to, the solution of the DPRK nuclear issue in a peaceful manner through dialogue and negotiations, and that the door to negotiations is still open.
In the meantime, China has kept in close contact with other parties--the United States, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Korea and Japan-- through exchange of messages between Heads of State or telephone calls between foreign ministers. All the above countries explicitly affirmed their commitment to the efforts of resolving the DPRK nuclear issue through the six-party talks and support of the earliest possible resumption of the talks. China expressed its hope that these countries will create, in a constructive spirit, an atmosphere and conditions favorable for the early resumption of the six-party talks, and the United States in particular will demonstrate further necessary flexibility in addressing DPRK’s concerns.
In light of the above mentioned development, the resumption of the six-party talks process is possible. But at the same time, we are also aware that the DPRK nuclear issue is complicated. The fundamental cause for the twists and turns of the process lies in the deep rooted hostility and mistrust between the United States and the DPRK. At present, the six-party talk is a most realistic and effective approach to the resolution of the DPRK nuclear issue. Only through dialogue, can confrontation be reduced, understanding enhanced and compromise reached, hence the creation of necessary conditions for the eventual solution of the issue. An early resumption of and progress in the six-party talks is the joint responsibility of all parties concerned, and depends on their joint efforts.
It is China’s hope that all parties concerned will continue to demonstrate patience and sincerity. On our part, we will continue to make efforts jointly with others towards early resumption of and progress in the six-party talks. It is also our hope that the Board of Governors could play a constructive role in facilitating the realization of this objective.
Thank you, Madam Chairperson.