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

To the 58th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

New York, September 30, 2003

Mr. President,

On behalf of the delegation of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), I would like, first of all, to congratulate Your Excellency Mr. Julian Hunte, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Saint Lucia on your election to the Presidency of the 58 1h session of the UN General Assembly.

I would also like to appreciate the efforts made by the UN Secretary-General Mr. Kofi Annan for strengthening the functions and role of the United Nations as required by the prevailing situation.

Mr. President,

The political situation in today's world is as unstable as never before and the desire of the humankind for making the present century peaceful and prosperous is confronted with new challenges.

Countries are designated as "axis of evil" and the "targets of preemptive nuclear attacks" on the basis of extreme national chauvinism and hostility. Unilateral military attacks are openly perpetrated against sovereign states under the pretext of "war against terrorism" and "suspicion over the possession of weapons of mass destruction".

Owing to the neo-imperialist practices based on the supremacy of power, the principles of respect for sovereignty and sovereign equality are violated and the international relations plunged into ever more severe confrontation and antagonism.

As we are well aware, this situation is a product of unilateralism compelling countries to be subservient to the high-handedness and unreasonable demands of the superpower.

My delegation is of the view that the pressing common task before the UN member states is to reject unilateralism and build a new world in which all countries, big and small, co-exist peacefully.

Mr. President,

I wish to draw the attention of this forum to the principled position and sincere efforts of the DPRK government to ensure a fair solution of the nuclear issue between the DPRK and the United States, which now constitutes the focus of the international community.

I believe that it will be a positive contribution to the work of the current General Assembly.

The nuclear issue is, in its essence, an outcome of the hostile policy pursued by the United States to isolate and stifle the DPRK politically, economically and militarily. It originated from the deep-rooted hostility, which denies our system and refuses to co-exist with the DPRK.

It is the consistent position of the DPRK to resolve the nuclear issue peacefully through dialogue and negotiations.

Denuclearizing the Korean peninsula is the ultimate goal and the initiative of the DPRK as well as the earnest aspirations of the entire Korean nation.

Accordingly, at both tripartite and six-party talks on the nuclear issue, the DPRK advanced proposals aimed at achieving the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

The announcement of the DPRK-US Joint Statement on June 11, 1993 and the adoption of the DPRK-US Agreed Framework on October 21,1994 and the subsequent process of their implementation have clearly testified to our peace-loving stand and its justness.

The Korean people as well as the whole world welcomed the historic inter-Korean Summit Meeting in June 2000 and its resultant adoption of the June 15 North-South Joint Declaration. They also sincerely hoped that these developments would lead to peace and stability in the region.

However, the welcome atmosphere and the expectations for peace and stability heated up for a while faded away all of a sudden and acute confrontation has begun to be resumed by one party.

The DPRK has been singled out as part of an "axis of evil" and the "target of preemptive nuclear attack", and then it was adopted as a policy and put into action.

In particular, following the visit by the US presidential envoy to the DPRK in October 2002, the United States reversed black and white, alleging that the DPRK had admitted to have a secret nuclear weapons program. It also proceeded to unilaterally halt the supply of heavy fuel oil from November 2002 in violation of the DPRK-US Agreed Framework and eventually turned all the bilateral agreements into dead documents.

The United States even put pressure upon the DPRK to give up its nuclear program and accept nuclear inspection with an aim to disarm the DPRK, while openly attempting to overthrow the DPRK Government by force.

The peace now maintained on the Korean peninsula is entirely thanks to the powerful war deterrence, which has been built up by our policy of independence, the SONGUN policy.

The deterrence of ours is not to attack anyone, but to serve as a self-defensive means to safeguard our sovereignty in all intents and purposes.

Mr. President,

In order to resolve the nuclear issue peacefully through dialogue, the policy hostile to the DPRK should be changed fundamentally. This is a key to the solution of the nuclear issue.

At the six-party talks held in Beijing in late August, the DPRK set as the goal the abandonment by the United States of its policy hostile to the DPRK in exchange for renunciation of our nuclear program. To achieve that goal, the DPRK proposed to take all necessary measures in a mode of package deal and work towards their implementation on a step-by-step basis pursuant to the principle of simultaneous action.

Our proposal contains detailed account of the package deal and the order of simultaneous action for a comprehensive and fair solution of the nuclear issue such as abandonment of the policy hostile to the DPRK, the conclusion of the non-aggression treaty between the DPRK and the US, renunciation of the nuclear program and normalization of the bilateral relations.

Simultaneous action is a realistic way for denuclearizing the Korean peninsula, and any opposition to it is tantamount to the refusal of the denuclearization.

Other participating states of the Beijing talks also demanded for a package solution and simultaneous action, urging a peaceful settlement of the nuclear issue.

However, the United States alone repeated its unilateral call for the "DPRK's abandonment of nuclear weapons program first", with no reference to the change of its hostile policy which is a key to the solution of the nuclear issue. The United States even behaved imprudently, asserting that non-aggression treaty is neither appropriate nor necessary, and that she is not interested in such a treaty.

The United States went so far as to insist that if the bilateral relations are to be normalized even after DPRK scraps its nuclear program, a full range of other issues such as missiles, conventional weapons, human rights and etc, should be addressed.

In a word, the position of the United States is that she will discuss her steps only after the DPRK takes all actions first.

Under the present circumstance in which the DPRK and the United States are leveling guns at each other, asking the other party to put down the guns first dose not make any sense. This can be construed only as an ulterior intention to disarm and kill the DPRK.

The result of the six-party talks has convinced us once again that the United States is seeking to disarm the DPRK by means of pressure, still pursuing the hostile policy of stifling the DPRK.

Since it has been proven that the United States is only interested in turning the six party talks into a ground for completely disarming and killing the DPRK by all means instead of co-existing peacefully with the DPRK, we have been driven not to maintain any interest in or expectation on such a talks.

As stated clearly, we have never made any promises with regard to the next round of the six party talks.

All developments concerning the nuclear issue well prove that pressure can never be a means for settlement of the nuclear issue and multi-party talks can be fruitful only when the abandonment of the policy hostile to the DPRK is committed. Our demand is modest and simple. We just want both sides to drop guns simultaneously and co-exist peacefully.

Having reaffirmed the position of my Government, which I believe is the most reasonable and just in addressing the nuclear issue, I hope that Mr. President and the UN member states will have a correct understanding of our position and actively cooperate for a fair solution of the nuclear issue and for peace on the Korean peninsula and the region as a whole.

Mr. President,

The DPRK Government remains steadfast in its policy and determination to realize peace and reunification of Korea and thus contribute to peace and security in the region and the rest of the world.

Thanks to the ideas of national independence and great national unity of the Great Leader General KIM JONG IL, the inter-Korean Summit Meeting was held in Pyongyang for the first time since the national division and the North-South Joint Declaration made public on June 15, 2000. These marked a turning point in accelerating the national reunification through concerted efforts of the entire Korean nation itself.

Despite ups and downs in recent years, active efforts are being made for realizing independent and peaceful reunification of the Korean peninsula under the banner of the June 15 North-South Joint Declaration.

This year alone, a series of the north-south ministerial level talks were held and a ground-breaking ceremony to re-link interrupted railways and roads took place. And the reunions of separated families and relatives were realized and various economic exchanges are now under way.

On August 15, the independence day, a splendid national meeting for peace and reunification was held in Pyongyang demonstrating once again the aspirations and determination of all Korean nationals in the north, the south and overseas for reunification.

The Government and people of the DPRK will achieve national reconciliation, unity and reunification and contribute to security in the region and the rest of the world by fully implementing the June 15 North-South Joint Declaration upholding the great idea of the respected General KIM JONG IL.

Mr. President,

The important task before the UN member states at present is to establish a just and equitable international order and relations in line with the aspirations and desire of the entire humankind.

To this end, it is important, among others, to ensure that the principle of respect for sovereignty and equality is fully observed in the international relations.

Unilateralism and high-handedness should be totally rejected and opposed, as they are in contravention of the UN Charter and principles of international law.

For the establishment of just international relations, it is also a prerequisite to enhance the functions and role of the United Nations and particularly, democratize the United Nations.

Democratizing the United Nations means enhancing decisively the authority of the General Assembly and reforming the Security Council.

The General Assembly should be empowered to review resolutions of the Security Council on such issues as sanctions and use of force directly affecting the international peace and security and to submit its relevant recommendations.

With regard to the Security Council reform, we believe that priority should be given to ensuring full representation of the non-aligned and other developing countries constituting an overwhelming majority of the UN membership.

Mr. President,

Our people graciously celebrated the 55th anniversary of the founding of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on September 9, thus demonstrating the dignity and the might of the KIM IL SUNG Nation firmly united single-heartedly around the Great Leader General KIM JONG IL.

The Government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea will continue, on the basis of independence, peace and friendship, the fundamental ideals of its foreign policy, to make active contributions to the international efforts for a just, equitable and new world order by further intensifying cooperation with all the UN member states.

Thank you.