UN chief advises steps to de-escalate tensions on Korean Peninsula

UN chief advises steps to de-escalate tensions on Korean Peninsula

New York, United States (APP): UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed his deep concern over the escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula, his spokesman said Monday, calling on all to return to “dialogue on denuclearization” and work towards implementation of Security Council resolutions.

“We call on all to redouble their diplomatic efforts,” the secretary-general’s spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said minutes after a senior North Korean diplomat, speaking to reporters at UN, accused the US of turning the Korean peninsula into “the world’s biggest hotspot” and creating “a dangerous situation in which a thermonuclear war may break out at any moment”.

North Korea’s Deputy UN Ambassador, Kim In-ryong, described US-South Korean military exercises as the largest ever “aggressive war drill” and said his country was “ready to react to any mode of war desired by the US”.

Spokesman Dujarric said, “We are obviously deeply concerned about the rising tensions that we’ve seen in the Korean Peninsula.”

Meanwhile, he stated that the launch of a missile over the weekend from Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) was “troubling.”

Dujarric said, “We call on the DPRK to take all the steps necessary to de-escalate the situation and return to dialogue on denuclearization.”

He further stated, “All Security Council resolutions must be fully implemented and we note that the Security Council has consistently stated its commitment to peaceful, diplomatic and political solution.”

The Security Council has passed more than 20 resolutions imposing ever-tightening sanctions on the DPRK because of its nuclear and missile programmes.

Pyongyang maintains its nuclear programme, and development of missiles carrying nuclear weapons, is designed to meet threats from the United States and South Korea. It also says it does not recognize the UN resolutions.

This month, Washington holds the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council and in that capacity has scheduled a ministerial-level meeting on April 28 on the subject of nuclear non-proliferation at which DPRK’s nuclear programme will be spotlighted.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is expected to chair the session.