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Statement by Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu at Security Council Meeting on Korean Peninsula Nuclear Issue


Madam President,

I thank Under Secretary General Rosemary DiCarlo for her briefing.

Since the beginning of this year, thanks to the joint efforts of various parties concerned, the situation on the Korean Peninsula has undergone positive changes. The issue of the Peninsula has returned to the right track towards a settlement through dialogue and consultation. The leaders of the United States and DPRK held a meeting, marking an important step towards a political settlement of the Peninsula nuclear issue. China supports US-DPRK dialogue and consultation to resolve the nuclear issue on the Peninsula and wishes to see both countries implement, properly, the outcome of the said summit, in a continuous push for a political solution of the Peninsula issue. China supports the DPRK and the ROK in maintaining dialogue and engagement and pressing ahead with reconciliation and cooperation in a sustained manner. We hope that the DPRK-ROK summit in Pyongyang will be held smoothly and that it will yield positive results. China commends the important efforts from the DPRK to achieve the denuclearization of the Peninsula and to maintain peace on the Peninsula. We hope that all parties concerned will work in synergy to consolidate the momentum of dialogue and detente on the Peninsula, jointly move forward the peace process on the Peninsula and achieve lasting peace and stability in the region.

Looking back on the evolution of events, from several rounds of escalation of tensions on the Peninsula since 2016 to a series of positive changes observed in the Peninsula’s situation this year, we can learn three things:

First, we must remain committed to the goal of denuclearization. Making the Peninsula nuclear free is essential to lasting peace and stability on the Peninsula. It is also an imperative for safeguarding the international nuclear non-proliferation regime. The measures taken on the part of DPRK, such as cessation of nuclear and missile tests and abandonment of nuclear test sites, demonstrate its goodwill to push for the denuclearization of the Peninsula and build mutual trust with the relevant parties. This is helpful to the political settlement of the Peninsula issue. We hope all parties concerned will let political wisdom prevail and work together in a tangible manner for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.

Second, we must remain committed to maintaining peace and stability on the Peninsula. Central to the Peninsula issue is the issue of security. Therefore, it is imperative to address the legitimate security concerns of the parties concerned in a proper, balanced manner, to safeguard peace and stability on the Peninsula in real earnest. There is no military solution to the Peninsula issue and confrontation is a dead end. Resorting to force would bring nothing but disastrous consequences to the Peninsula. Suspending the US-ROK joint military exercises will help ease the situation on the Peninsula. The parties concerned should continue to make a sensible choice.

Third, we must remain committed to solving problems through dialogue and consultation. History tells us that dialogue and negotiation are the essential means with which to promote the denuclearization of the Peninsula and to ensure regional peace and stability. The positive progress in the dialogue and exchange between the North and the South on the Peninsula and the US-DPRK summit bear ample testimony to the necessity and effectiveness of dialogue and consultation.

Madam President,

China has always been committed to the denuclearization of the Peninsula, to the maintenance of peace and stability on the Peninsula and to resolving issues through dialogue and consultation. This position of ours remains unchanged and will never change. As a close neighbour of the Peninsula, China has maintained close communication and coordination with the parties concerned in a responsible manner, promoting peace talks and working tirelessly for the settlement of the Peninsula nuclear issue through negotiation. We have been playing a constructive role.

In the light of the evolving situation on the Peninsula, China proposed the “dual track” approach and the “suspension for suspension” initiative. The former refers to denuclearization of the Peninsula in parallel to the creation of a peace mechanism for the Peninsula, while “suspension for suspension” refers to the DPRK’s suspension of nuclear and ballistic missile activities and the United States and ROK’s suspension of large-scale military exercises. China and Russia have also come up with a road map for settling the Peninsula issue.

As regards the implementation of the Council resolutions concerning the DPRK, China has consistently and conscientiously fulfilled its international obligations. Each time the Security Council passed a resolution on the DPRK, the Chinese authorities concerned would issue, in a timely manner, a notice for the implementation of the prescribed measures on the ground. As for provisions of the resolution, China would submit the implementation report, again in a timely manner, and regularly report the crude oil supplied and refined petroleum products exported to the DPRK for the record. China has been actively participating in the work of the Security Council's DPRK Sanctions Committee. Under no circumstances would China allow any Chinese citizens or enterprises to engage in any activities that violate Council resolutions. China would, under the applicable legal and regulatory provisions, deal with any acts that are found to have violated the Council resolutions and broken Chinese laws and regulations. China’s serious attitude towards the implementation of the Council resolutions on the DPRK and the high cost it has paid are obvious to all.

Facts have proved that China’s proposed approach and initiative represent the right direction and the results so achieved are significant. They are also in the common interests of all parties concerned. China has always been a positive, constructive force in promoting the denuclearization of the Peninsula. China shall work with all parties concerned to build a nuclear-free, stable and prosperous Korean Peninsula.

Madam President,

What faces the Peninsula right now is two-fold: There is an opportunity, a rare historic one; there are also challenges. The parties concerned should make efforts in the following areas:

First, to push for progress in dialogue and negotiation. In accordance with the approach of moving in phases, with synchronized steps and as a package solution, the process of denuclearization of the Peninsula should be coherently linked and coordinated with the process of establishing a peace mechanism, to achieve early harvest as soon as possible.

Second, the overarching direction toward political settlement should be maintained. We hope that the US and the DPRK will continue to maintain the momentum of dialogue and that they will settle their differences properly on the basis of existing consensus, meet each other halfway, accommodate each other’s concerns, keep building up mutual trust and persevere with the negotiation process until it yields results, until it secures peace.

Third, to implement the Council resolutions in a comprehensive, complete and accurate manner. Not only must we step up non-proliferation measures to promote the denuclearization of the Peninsula, we must also actively promote the political and diplomatic approach to solve the issue peacefully, while avoiding adversely affecting the humanitarian and livelihood needs of the DPRK people. China is ready to continue providing necessary support and assistance to humanitarian aid activities in the DPRK. The Security Council resolutions clearly stipulate that in light of the DPRK’s denuclearization progress, the reversible provision should be considered and corresponding actions taken at the appropriate time. This complies with the spirit of the resolutions and facilitates the denuclearization process.

Madam President,

In the current context, this Council should stay united, honour its responsibility entrusted by history, and push for the Peninsula’s denuclearization and lasting peace and stability in Northeast Asia. China stands ready to work with various parties concerned in the international community and continue to play a positive, constructive role for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, in the interests of peace and stability on the Peninsula.

Lastly, Madam President, USG DiCarlo made a reference to the so-called “UN Command” in her briefing. China would like to make known its position on this issue. China is of the view that the so-called “UN Command” was a product of the cold-war era. It is not what its name suggests; it has no legitimacy; and it is replete with overtones of military confrontation. The so-called “UN Command” has long been anachronistic and should not become an obstacle to reconciliation and cooperation between the South and the North on the Peninsula.

I thank you, Madam President.

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