Republic of Korea, at UN, calls on world to roll back DPR Korea’s nuclear programme

Yun Byung-se, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea. UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

27 September 2013 – Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se of the Republic of Korea today called on the international community to roll back the nuclear weapons programmes of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to prevent the advent of another nuclear-armed State, offering aid to his country’s northern neighbour if it changes course.

“I must draw your attention to the seriousness of DPRK’s ongoing WMD [weapons of mass destruction] programmes,” he told the United Nations General Assembly’s annual General Debate. “Despite a series of Security Council resolutions, North Korea launched long-range missiles and conducted nuclear tests as recently as early this year, in blatant violation of its international obligations.”

Mr. Yun cited Syria’s recent agreement to surrender its chemical weapons as an example for the course of action in the case of the DPRK.

“Like with Syria, the international community should forge united efforts to roll back DPRK’s nuclear weapons programmes to prevent the advent of another nuclear-armed State,” he said.

“However, if the DPRK decides to give up its so-called parallel pursuit of economic development and nuclear armament, and in turn embarks on a path of genuine change through concrete actions, the Republic of Korea stands ready to help.”

Mr. Yun noted his country’s proposal to create a World Peace Park in the world’s most heavily armed demilitarized zone separating the two States, transforming a lasting legacy of the Cold War and a divided Korea into a new space of peace and harmony.

“It is my hope that the UN and the two Koreas will work together to bring this proposal to realization, thereby contributing greatly to the building of trust in the Korean Peninsula,” he declared.

Turning to the overall world situation, he stressed that the role of the UN was more important than ever. “The deepening global interdependence has led to the rise of challenges requiring a common response,” he said.

“The expectation for the role of the UN is now higher than ever before. Indeed, the UN has made great contributions as the centre of global cooperation, and it is expected to continue this noble endeavour.”

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