Denuclearization vital for peace on Korean Peninsula, General Assembly hears

23 September 2009
President of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Lee Myung-bak

The President of the Republic of Korea (ROK) told the General Assembly today that denuclearization is essential to achieving peace on the Korean Peninsula, calling for cooperation by the world’s nations to achieve broader disarmament goals.

Peace across North-East Asia hinges on a nuclear weapons-free Korean Peninsula, Lee Myung-bak said at the 192-member Assembly’s annual high-level debate.

“Denuclearization is a prerequisite to paving a path toward genuine reconciliation and unification in the Korean Peninsula, which is the only remaining divided region in the world,” he said.

The ROK, Mr. Lee said, will play an active part in global efforts to dismantle the nuclear programme of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), urging the country to return to the Six-Party Talks, also involving Japan, China, Russia and the United States.

The 1992 Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula – by which dialogue and exchanges are increased between the two nations – must continue to be the blueprint, he stressed.

“I want to make it clear that now is the time for the DPRK to make the decisions to achieve genuine peace on the Korean Peninsula and for its own sake as well,” the ROK leader said.

In June, the Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution condemning the DPRK’s 25 May nuclear test conducted in “violation and flagrant disregard” of relevant Council resolutions, a move that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sent a “clear and strong” message to Pyongyang.

The June resolution also demanded that the DPRK “not conduct any further nuclear test or any launch using ballistic missile technology.”

Global peace and security – which form the basis for the stability and prosperity of all mankind – are threatened by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, Mr. Lee said today.

To this end, he emphasized that “strong determination and cooperation among all countries are essential in strengthening the international non-proliferation regime, including the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).”


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