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Statement by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the Security Council Open Briefing on Discussing the Korean Peninsula Situation

(From Chinese Mission to the United Nations)

2019/12/11

Madam President,

Since the beginning of 2018, thanks to the concerted efforts of the parties concerned, there have been positive changes in the situation on the Korean Peninsula and the Peninsula issue has been steered back to the right track towards a negotiated solution through dialogue. Earlier this year, the DPRK and the United States held leaders' meetings in Hanoi and Panmunjom, as well as working-level consultations in Stockholm, which are positive for greater mutual understanding between the two parties. At the same time, the DPRK made good on its promise to suspend nuclear tests and ICBM test launches and declared on multiple occasions its commitment to the denuclearization of the Peninsula. The DPRK and the United States, as the main parties to the Peninsula issue, should cherish the hard-won relaxation of the Peninsula's situation achieved through dialogue and work together in a practical effort to achieve the denuclearization of, and lasting peace on, the Korean Peninsula.

The situation on the Korean Peninsula has recently taken a twist, leading to renewed tensions between the DPRK and the United States and bringing the Peninsula's situation to yet another critical juncture. China has noted that on 7 December, the DPRK conducted a test and, in relation to it, made a public statement. So far, the details of the DPRK's test -- what it involved, as well as other specifics -- have yet to be established, in which case the Security Council should not jump to hasty conclusions. The DPRK has taken a series of positive steps on denuclearization, but its legitimate concerns and aspirations in respect of security and development have not been given such attention as is commensurate with its effort, and remain unanswered. This is an important reason behind the current deadlock in dialogue and the tensing up of the situation.

Both the DPRK and the United States – especially the United States - should seize the hard-earned window of opportunity; take on board and respect each other's concerns in good faith; genuinely demonstrate flexibility and goodwill; act on the consensus contained in the Singapore Joint Statement, and, by taking the phased and synchronized approach, break the deadlock and resume dialogue and engagement as soon as possible, to prevent the dialogue process from "derailing" or "backpedalling".

The international community, in particular the main parties to the Peninsula issue, must take an objective and impartial position, act in the service of long-term interests and the greater good and make more efforts that contribute to the relaxation of the situation, to the DPRK-US dialogue and consultation and to the Peninsula's political process, so that the Peninsula will not be plunged once again into tensions and confrontations.

Madam President,

The Security Council resolutions concerning the DPRK should be implemented in a comprehensive, complete and accurate manner. Sanctions are only a means to an end, not an end in themselves. Enforcing the sanctions is required by Council resolutions; pushing for a political solution is also required by Council resolutions. At present, there is a greater urgency to a political settlement of the Peninsula issue. Advancing the denuclearization of the Peninsula in parallel with creating a peace mechanism on the Peninsula is the only realistic and feasible way to solve the Peninsula issue politically.

It is the Security Council's important responsibility to maintain peace and stability on the Peninsula and advance its denuclearization process. In the current context, the top priority is to maintain the international consensus and momentum for a political solution to the Peninsula issue, support and urge the United States and the DPRK to meet each other halfway, and do everything we can to head off a dramatic reversal of the Peninsula's situation.

It is imperative that the Security Council take action and invoke the reversible provisions in the DPRK-related resolutions as soon as possible in the light of the evolving situation on the Peninsula, and make necessary adjustments to the sanctions measures prescribed in those resolutions, especially in areas where the DPRK people's livelihood is at stake. This is in line with the spirit of the resolutions, conducive to the easing of the humanitarian and livelihood-related situation in the DPRK, conducive to creating a favourable atmosphere for dialogue, conducive to encouraging the DPRK to take greater strides in the direction of denuclearization and conducive to creating conditions and lending impetus to the political settlement of the Peninsula issue.

Madam President,

China has been consistent in its commitment to the denuclearization of the Peninsula, to the maintenance of peace and stability on the Peninsula and to the settlement of any issues through dialogue and consultation. Approaching the matter with a responsible attitude, China has been playing a constructive role by maintaining close communication and coordination with the parties concerned and encouraging peace talks between them. When it comes to implementing the Council resolutions on the DPRK, China has unfailingly and conscientiously performed its international obligations and sustained huge losses and tremendous pressures in the process of implementing the sanctions. China maintains that the Security Council's sanctions against the DPRK should not impact humanitarian activities negatively.

China calls on the Security Council to remain united, discharge its historical responsibility and speak unequivocally with one voice in support of a political solution. China stands ready to continue working, along with all parties concerned, towards the Peninsula's denuclearization and its lasting peace and stability.

Thank you, Madam President.

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