Democratic People's Republic of Korea

H.E. Mr. Choe Su Hon
Vice Foreign Minister of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea

At the 57th session of the United Nations General Assembly
New York, 17 September 2002

Mr. President,

I would like to congratulate you on your election as President of the 57th session of the United Nations General Assembly and expect that your able stewardship will lead the work of this session to a tangible progress.

I would also appreciate the effort of Secretary General Kofi Annan for international peace and sustainable development.

Mr. President,

I am going to contribute to the work of the General Assembly by presenting a perspective view on the situation of the Korean peninsula, which as yet remains a major concern of world peace and security.

More than 50 years have elapsed since the division of Korea by the outside force.

As the Korean people undergo immeasurable pains and misfortunes due to the division of the country and the nation, the world realizes that, as long as the homogeneous Korean nation remains artificially divided, Korea could never be peaceful, nor could peace and security be expected there.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea put forward reunification as the supreme national task from the first day of the division and has since adhered to the stand on achieving the reunification independently through dialogue and negotiation between the north and the south of Korea.

The fatherly leader President KIM IL SUNG of our people set forth already long ago the principles and programmes for reunifying the country independently, peacefully and through great national unity and advanced the proposal on achieving reunification by means of federation system under the circumstances where different ideas and systems continue to exist in the north and the south. He devoted all his efforts to national reunification until the last moment of his life.

The respected General KIM JONG IL defined as three main charters for national reunification the three principles of national reunification, 10-point Programme for the Great Unity of the Whole Nation and the proposal on founding the Democratic Federal Republic of Koryo put forward by the fatherly leader, thus having provided firm mainstay for the country's reunification.

It is thanks to the ideas of national independence and great national unity of the respected General KIM JONG IL that the historic inter-Korean summit meeting took place in Pyongyang in June 2000 and the North-South Joint Declaration was adopted, which served as a turning point in the efforts of the Korean people for the country's reunification.

The June 15 North-South Joint Declaration is a declaration of national independence and peaceful reunification calling for opposing foreign interference and achieving reunification by the concerted efforts of the Korean nation.

After the publication of the North-South Joint Declaration, the north and the south held talks and contacts in various fields, seeking ways and means for reconciliation and unity and taking measures for cooperation and exchanges and relaxation of tension in Korea, and thus the spirit of reunification on the Korean peninsula became strongest.

However, the positive development in the inter-Korean relations was frustrated by the interference of external forces and accordingly, the implementation of the North-South Joint Declaration was confronted with big obstacles.

It is fortunate, indeed, that the inter-Korean relations have now been placed on track again and the dialogues and contacts for implementing the Joint Declaration held in recent months by the initiative of the Government of the DPRK.

The Ministerial-level talks was resumed, dialogues and contacts in other fields are underway and the national reunification meeting of the compatriots from the north, the south and overseas was held successfully on the occasion of the August 15 Korean Restoration Day.

The north and the south have jointly introduced the item entitled "Peace, Security and Reunification on the Korean Peninsula" at the current session of the General Assembly and agreed to draw up and submit a draft resolution under this item.

Governments and peoples of many countries are supporting and welcoming the emerging detente on the Korean peninsula as well as the trend towards reconciliation and cooperation between the north and the south.

The history of division for over 50 years gives a serious lesson to all Korean people.

If the reunification of the country is to be achieved, the north and the south should, above all, reject foreign interference which is a main obstacle in the way of reunification and join efforts on the basis of ideas of national independence and great national unity.

Modern history of Korea serves as a clear illustration of big sacrifices and high price to be made at the cost of succumbing to foreign intervention and relying on outside forces.

The division of Korea was imposed by the outside forces after the Second World War. It was neither a will nor a requirement of the Korean people. It is none other than those foreign forces that continue to shadow inter-Korean relations at every stage of its favorable development and undermine interests of the Korean nation. Recourse to foreign forces and complicity with them against the fellow countrymen are inevitably destined to lead the inter-Korean relations to mistrust and confrontation.

We are firmly convinced that we can resolve any problems in the interests of the Korean nation by transcending the differences in ideologies and systems existing in the north and the south, if the north and the south sit together in the spirit of national independence and the love for country and people.

The DPRK will, in the future, too, make every effort to achieve independent reunification by means of federation system through united strength of the entire Korean nation in the spirit of the North-South Joint Declaration.

In order to ensure peace and security on the Korean peninsula and realize reunification, the hostile policy of the United States against the DPRK should be abolished.

The United States defines the DPRK as its "prime enemy" that poses "threat" to the US. It also designates us as "axis of evil" and "target of preemptive nuclear strike" by putting up "anti-terrorism", thus further aggravating the situation.

It is quite unreasonable that the United States antagonizes and threatens us by means of force for the only reason that the DPRK firmly adheres to independent policy and holds different values and ideas. It also contravenes the UN Charter and the norms of international relations.

It is entirely as a result of consistent peace-loving policy and efforts of the DPRK that peace is maintained on the Korean peninsula.

Our position on the DPRK-US relations is ever principled and consistent. If the United States respects our system and sovereignty and takes a goodwill attitude toward us, we can develop relations with the United States on the principle of equality and mutual benefit.

The DPRK considers that it is most reasonable to solve pending issues between the DPRK and the US through dialogues and negotiations.

Proceeding from this position, we had already given agreement to the US suggestion that it would send a special envoy with a view to briefing its stand on the resumption of dialogue, and at the contact between our Foreign Minister and US Secretary of State during the 9th meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum in July, we welcomed again the US willingness to send its special envoy to Pyongyang.

The point is that trustful dialogue can be resumed only when the United States refrains from its hostile policy against the DPRK and holds position on equality with us.

If the United States intends to have substantial dialogue with us on the principle of sovereign equality, we will respond to it accordingly, and this will facilitate confidence-building between the DPRK and the US and open up prospect for hammering out a fair solution to their pending issues.

The United Nations should also do its due part for peace and security of Korea. In this regard, I wish to remind that immeasurable sufferings and misfortune had been imposed on the Korean peninsula under the name and flag of the United Nations. It is highly expected that the United Nations will soon redress the abnormal circumstances under which its name has been abused for over 50 years.

Mr. President,

We take pride in contributing positively to peace and security of the Korean peninsula, the Northeast Asian region and the world in general, even under the constant threat and face-to-face confrontation persisting for more than 50 years.

Our great leader General KIN JONG IL wisely leads our people with his army-based politics to defend the country and build the powerful nation and also provides for favorable environment for peace and reunification in Korea with his energetic untiring external activities.

The respected General KIM JONG IL had a meeting with President Putin at the Far Eastern region of the Russian Federation in August this year and held talks with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi of Japan in Pyongyang today, 17 September. These serve as turning points in the development of the DPRK-Russian relations and the normalization of the DPRK-Japan relations and also a great contribution to world peace and security and to the creation of a new and just world structure.

Our people will, in the future, too, firmly defend the socialist system of our style and realize peace and reunification of the Korean peninsula under the outstanding army-based leadership of the respected General KIM JONG IL, thus fulfilling their mission for peace and security of the world.

Mr. President,

Radical changes have taken place on the international arena since the "September 11 incident".

Attempt to expand the "war against terrorism" without justifiable reasons continues and the supremacy of power emerges, openly advocating the theory of preemptive nuclear attack beyond the doctrine of nuclear deterrence, thus further challenging world peace and security.

Hunger, poverty and external debts become deteriorated and the inequality in international economic and trade relations and the gap between the rich and the poor further widened.

All these acts and phenomena in international relations entirely contravene the spirit of the UN Charter.

My delegation considers that the most pressing task before the UN members today is to respect and uphold the spirit enshrined in the UN Charter.

Above all, sovereignty and equality of all countries should be respected.

Use of force, application of coercive measures and, in particular, unilateral acts should not be allowed in international relations.

To this end, the power of the UN General Assembly should be decisively enhanced. The General Assembly should be empowered to review the issues concerning international peace and security and to approve major decisions of the Security Council in this regard. At present, the General Assembly is not properly carrying out even its intrinsic power stipulated in the UN Charter.

International issues such as conflict, disarmament, terrorism and sustainable development should be discussed and decided with full participation of all UN members in conformity with the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

It is also important that democracy and impartiality are ensured in all UN activities and, particularly reform work of the Security Council is undertaken true to its main purpose.

The Security Council should be reformed in such a way as to properly reflect the present reality, where almost all countries have become UN members, and to fully ensure impartiality and democracy.

In order to achieve the purposes of the United Nations, fair international economic and trade relations should be established and the right to development respected. Unless the present unfair international economic system is redressed, poverty cannot be eliminated, the gap between the rich and the poor removed and sustainable development for all ensured.

Mr. President,

The DPRK will as ever make all efforts to uphold and achieve the purposes and principles of the United Nations on the basis of the ideas of independence, peace and friendship.

Thank you.