Denuclearization of Korean Peninsula hinges on US moves, DPR Korea tells UN

28 September 2009

Denuclearization is the ultimate aim of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), but achieving a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula depends on whether the United States adjusts its policies, a top official from the East Asian nation told the General Assembly today.

“We have never denied the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the rest of the world,” Pak Kil Yon, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, told the 192-member body’s high-level debate.

Further, the DPRK has done “everything it could to realize the peaceful reunification of the country, remove nuclear threats and sources of war, and secure peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula,” he said.

But the US wants to prevent the region from shedding its nuclear weapons as part of its own Asian strategy, Mr. Pak said.

To realize the Peninsula’s denuclearization, he stressed that the US must “discard the old concept of confrontation and show the ‘change’ in practice.”

The official emphasized that the DPRK’s possesses nuclear weapons to deter war, but stressed that the country will “act in a responsible manner in management, use and non-proliferation” of the arms.

In his address to the Assembly last week, President Lee Myung-bak of the Republic of Korea (ROK) said that peace across North-East Asia hinges on a nuclear weapons-free Korean Peninsula.

“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 DPRK’s nuclear programme, urging the country to return to the Six-Party Talks, also involving Japan, China, Russia and the US.

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 stated.

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.”

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