DPRK: Letter to the President of the United Nations Security Council

July 6, 2003

On June 26, Paek Nam Sun, Foreign Minister of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) sent a letter to Sergey V. Lavrov, President of the United Nations Security Council. The letter said in part:

I would like to express hereby the viewpoint of the government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) with regard to the fact that one permanent member of the United Nations Security Council has started a diplomatic negotiation to bring before the Security Council the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula.

The United Nations Security Council assumes an important responsibility of safeguarding international peace and security in accordance with the United Nations charter. This task requires greatest impartiality.

In particular, since the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula is the one between a small country and a big country, only a fair approach of the Security Council would contribute to ensuring peace and security in the Korean peninsula and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region and to restoring the authority of the United Nations.

In this respect, I wish to draw your attention to the following several points to which I hope the Security Council will pay primary attention with regard to the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula.

First, the Security Council should define its view and express its position on the doctrine of "axis of evil" and "preemptive strike", as it is now the most fundamental issue that has a great impact on the international relations and global peace and security. Targets of the doctrine of "axis of evil" and "preemptive strike" insisted on and adopted as a policy by one permanent member of the security council are the member states of the United Nations.

As this policy is put into practice, it gives rise to complicated situations that jeopardize global peace and security. [including] the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula and the aggravated tensions in the region....

The Security Council should make due judgment on whether the said doctrine and the policy based on it conform to the spirit of the United Nations Charter.

Second, it is important that the Security Council has a good insight into the essence of the positions of the parties concerned on talks on the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula....

It is the stand of the government of the DPRK that bilateral, tripartite and multilateral or any other forms of talks proposed by the concerned parties and other countries concerned should be held in an appropriate order.

Since there were tripartite talks in Beijing in April, it would be beneficial to have next DPRK-USA bilateral talks and then tripartite or further expanded talks.

The United States, however, puts up a precondition that one form of talks is acceptable but other form of talks is not acceptable.

What we desire most with regard to the nuclear issue is to thoroughly eliminate the threats to the security of the DPRK, which have given rise to the nuclear issue.

The real dire threats do not come from the countries surrounding us, but from the United States.

This is the only reason why the DPRK attaches priority to the DPRK-USA bilateral talks.

It is my view that the Security Council should, if it wants to promote the resolution of the issue, clearly see what kind of position is really helpful to the resolution of an issue and encourage it.

Third, the United Nations Security Council should avoid giving any impression that it might apply double standards.

If the Security Council is truly interested in the extension of the scope of the NPT, it should ask all countries remaining outside the NPT to join it.

As is well known, the DPRK is not the only country remaining outside the NPT. Among Non-NPT state parties, Israel has been subject to greater suspicion of nuclear development for much longer period of time than the DPRK.

As for the DPRK's withdrawal from the NPT, it is an exercise of its sovereign rights recognized by the NPT itself and, therefore, does not in any way deserve condemnation.

Any condemnation by the Security Council of the rights exercised under article 10 of the NPT, which provides for withdrawal, will be tantamount to the condemnation by the United Nations of the NPT itself.

There is no reason whatsoever to apply such terminology as "non-compliance with the safeguards agreement" of the IAEA in the case of the DPRK.

According to the DPRK-USA Agreed Framework, we were supposed to fully implement the safeguards agreement only after all non-nuclear parts such as turbines and generators of light water reactor no. 1 had been delivered.

Unfortunately, however, the agreed phase did not come....

If the Security Council resorts to double standards in the interpretation and application of international instruments, any decision or measure it adopts will not be persuasive and will be hardly acceptable.

Fourth, the Security Council has a moral obligation to judge, in the light of the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, whether or not it would be justifiable for one member state of the United Nations to pressurize other member state.

At present, the United States pursues a policy of combining both "dialogue and pressure" towards the DPRK.

The United States is seeking to have in place a legal system aimed at check and control by other countries, based on its intelligence information, of the vessels and aircraft passing through their territorial waters and airspace. Japan, which is our neighbor, is already in action to realize it.

After all, we can say that this has originated from the doctrine of the United States, the world's largest arms seller, that its intelligence should serve as a standard to judge the legitimacy and illegitimacy of the international trade and as a basis to put pressure on any member state of the United Nations.

The war in Iraq constitutes a well-proven example that the intelligence gathered by the United States may be misused for political purposes in disregard of the principle of impartiality.

If this is allowed with the support or acquiescence of the Security Council, it will result in a negative change in the international order.

It can be said that now, the United Nations is at the crossroads of whether it will maintain the international order led by the United Nations or give way to the establishment of a dangerous world order led by an individual country.

It is the common view of the international community that under no circumstances can the Security Council be used as a cover-up to justify unilateralism and policy of pressure of a certain country.

Fifth, we consider that the Security Council should pay due attention, when considering the situation on the Korean peninsula, to the current status of the Korean Armistice Agreement with which the Security Council has a deep connection.

The United States has recently decided to bring into South Korea latest sophisticated weapons estimated at 11 billion U.S. dollars. This is a violation of paragraph 13, article two of the armistice agreement, which bans the introduction into Korea of reinforcing weapons.

The United States has also decided to redeploy its troops in South Korea and tries to shift the U.S. army responsibility for the control of the demilitarized zone on to the South Korean army. This is a violation of paragraph 10, article one of the armistice agreement which stipulates that the demilitarized zone be controlled by the Korean People's Army and the U.S. Army.

The sea and air blockade pursued by the United States against the DPRK through "inspection of vessels and aircraft" is a violation of paragraph 15, article two of the armistice agreement, which calls on the contracting parties "not to engage in blockade of any kind of Korea".

The seriousness of the issue lies in the fact that if the armistice agreement is abrogated by way of such violations as mentioned above, the Korean peninsula will go back to the warring situation.

It will be inevitable to a certain degree that when the confidence is lost in the power of the armistice agreement to deter war, the demand for other means of deterrence is raised.

I still wish to think that the Security Council is not yet away from its objectivity and impartiality.

In case the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula is debated in the Security Council, I look forward to its just and reasonable efforts for a peaceful solution of the nuclear issue in keeping with its noble mission and responsibility by taking into due consideration the aforementioned points.