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Stay Committed to the Goal of Denuclearization and Uphold Peace and Stability on the Peninsula
2017/07/20

--Statement by Foreign Minister Wang Yi At the UN Security Council Ministerial Session On the Nuclear Issue on the Korean Peninsula

New York, 28 April 2017

Mr. President,

The continued escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula in the recent period has been a source of deep concern for the international community. If the issue of the Peninsula cannot be put under effective control, and should unintended incidents occur, the situation is highly likely to take a drastic turn and spiral out of control. There is no lack of such painful lessons in history. We must sound the alarm now. In view of this, today's Session at the Security Council is indeed necessary. We hope it will lead to consensus on more strictly and fully implementing DPRK-related Security Council resolutions, intensifying efforts to promote dialogue for peace, and bringing the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula back to the track of negotiated resolution.

China's position regarding the nuclear issue on the Peninsula is clear-cut. No matter how the situation may evolve, we must work steadfastly in the following two basic directions.

First, we must stay committed to the long-held goal of denuclearization. Denuclearization is the basic precondition for long-term peace and stability on the Peninsula and a natural step for safeguarding the international nuclear non-proliferation regime. No matter what happens, we should never waver in our commitment to this goal.

To this end, China resolutely opposes the DPRK's research, development and possession of nuclear weapons, and firmly implements all DPRK-related Security Council resolutions. We urge the DPRK to stop its nuclear and missile development activities, come back to its denuclearization commitment and honor its denuclearization obligations. Meanwhile, we call on other parties concerned to demonstrate political wisdom, make the political decision and join hands in working constructively toward the denuclearization of the Peninsula.

Second, we must stay committed to the path of dialogue and negotiation. The use of force does not resolve differences, and will only lead to bigger disasters. Dialogue and negotiation is the only viable means for a solution. It is also the best option for all parties. Our past experience of tackling the nuclear issue on the Peninsula shows, whenever there were dialogue and negotiation, the situation on the Peninsula would maintain overall stability and progress in denuclearization would be possible.

During the five years between 2003 and 2007 when the parties were engaged in dialogue and negotiation, three joint documents were agreed. In particular, the September 19th Joint Statement of 2005 set out the roadmap for the DPRK's abandonment of all nuclear programs and the realization of peace on the Peninsula. The Joint Statement has remained a milestone agreement to this day, and has been acknowledged and reaffirmed by all DPRK-related resolutions of the Security Council.

In contrast, since dialogue and negotiation broke off in 2008, the situation on the Peninsula has been mired in a downward spiral, and the DPRK has accelerated its nuclear and missile development process by successively conducting four nuclear tests and dozens of missile launches. In view of this, we hope all parties could dedicate greater efforts to seeking a political settlement through dialogue and consultation as required by the Security Council resolutions.

Mr. President,

China is not a focal point in the Peninsula issue. The key to solving the nuclear issue on the Peninsula does not lie in the hands of the Chinese side. That said, as a close neighbor to the Peninsula and well aware of its responsibilities for peace on the Peninsula and stability in the wider region, China has over the years made unremitting efforts and played a unique role in promoting a negotiated solution of the issue. It was through China's efforts and the support of all parties that the Three-Party Talks on the Peninsula nuclear issue was expanded to the Six-Party Talks. Under the current circumstances, China is still ready to work with all parties to make new contribution to the resolution of the nuclear issue on the Peninsula.

In view of recent developments on the Peninsula, China has put forward the proposal of "suspension for suspension", which builds on the "dual-track" approach we proposed earlier. The "dual-track" approach aims to promote parallel progress in denuclearization and the establishment of a peace mechanism on the Peninsula in a synchronized and reciprocal manner, ultimately achieving both goals simultaneously. The "suspension for suspension" proposal, which calls for the suspension of nuclear and missile activities by the DPRK and the suspension of massive military exercises by the US and the ROK, seeks to bring the two sides back to the negotiating table, thus initiating the first step of the "dual-track" approach.

China's above-mentioned proposals help to promote short-term and long-term goals in a complementary and mutually reinforcing way. While they are designed to address the most pressing concerns of the parties, they also help pave the way for denuclearization. They are consistent with the requirement of the Security Council resolutions and the fundamental interests of all parties, including the US and the DPRK. The proposals are objective, fair, reasonable and feasible, and are gaining understanding and support from more and more countries.

Some countries may still have doubts about these proposals. Yet the point I want to make is this: The most urgent task at hand is to halt the DPRK's nuclear and missile programs; To achieve this, it is worthwhile to put aside the contention over who should take the first step and who is right, who is wrong. Rather, we should start from reaching for low-hanging fruits, defuse any flashpoint endangering peace on the Peninsula and create conditions for stability in the region.

I also want to stress here that the current state of the Peninsula issue cannot be blamed on any single party. Nor should any party be asked to take all responsibilities for resolving the issue. As President Xi Jinping stated, only with all parties shouldering their due responsibilities and working in the same direction, will there be an early solution to the nuclear issue on the Peninsula. We call on all parties, especially the DPRK and the US as directly concerned parties in the Peninsula nuclear issue, to demonstrate sincerity for dialogue and restart the dialogue process. We also look to the Security Council to build up consensus and convey a more unified message in this regard. In the meantime, China will be open to all useful proposals from the parties. All ideas conducive to resuming dialogue and negotiation, to denuclearization and peace and stability on the Peninsula can be explored and discussed.

Colleagues,

As we meet for this Ministerial Session, China calls on all parties to make concerted efforts to address two urgent tasks.

First, we must cool down tensions on the Peninsula as quickly as possible. Given the grave situation there, China strongly urges all parties to remain cool-headed and exercise restraint, and avoid provocative rhetoric or actions that would lead to miscalculation. I want to stress that, there isn't and should not be any double standard in this regard. We ask the DPRK to observe the Security Council resolutions and stop advancing its nuclear and missile development. At the same time, we ask the US, the ROK and other parties to refrain from conducting or even expanding military exercises and deployment against the DPRK.

Second, all parties should observe and implement DPRK-related Security Council resolutions in their entirety. In addition to imposing sanctions on the DPRK, the resolutions adopted to date also call for the resumption of the Six-Party Talks, avoidance of escalating tensions and commitment to resolution through dialogue. In other words, carrying out sanctions and promoting resumption of talks are both part of the Security Council resolutions, which should not be implemented in a partial or selective way as one sees fit.

As a response to the accelerated progress of DPRK's nuclear and missile development, the international community needs to step up non-proliferation efforts. Likewise, to prevent the escalation of tensions on the Peninsula, the parties should step up efforts to promote dialogue for peace. Stepping up efforts on both fronts will help facilitate the peaceful settlement of the nuclear issue on the Peninsula. The Chinese word for "crisis" contains two characters meaning "danger" and "opportunity". It shows if one can seize the opportunity amidst danger, a crisis may be turned into an opportunity. In China's view, now is the time to seriously consider resuming talks.

Last but certainly not least, I want to reiterate China's firm opposition to the US deployment of THAAD anti-missile system in the ROK. Such a move seriously undermines the strategic security of China and other countries in the region, and damages the trust and cooperation among the parties on the Peninsula issue. It is neither helpful for achieving denuclearization nor conducive to long-term stability on the Peninsula. China once again urges the relevant parties to immediately stop the deployment process. Let us make joint efforts to promote denuclearization and uphold peace on the Peninsula on the basis of mutual respect and mutual trust.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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