Address by H.E. Mr.Gleb

A.Ivashentsov Ambassador
of the Russian Federation

At the 2nd Hankyoreh-Busan
International Symposium

On the Peace on the Korean Peninsula

(Busan, November 25th, 2006)

 

 

Dear friends,

I am grateful to the Hankyoreh Foundation for Reunification and Culture for the invitation to take part in today’s symposium. It’s second round is devoted to the Peace on the Korean Peninsula. This is a very topical subject. As the developments on the Korean Peninsula where the decades-long confrontation has been complicated today by the aggravation of the nuclear problem are to much extent to influence the future of not only Northeast Asia and Asian Pacific Area as a whole but the world processes as well.

I think that you all well know the reaction of Russia to the DPRK’s nuclear test on October 9th. Russia denounced the test not just because it was conducted in the close proximity to out border at a distance of just 177 kilometers. The main reason is that it caused a great damage to the cause of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

We are to make our mind over what is to be done to defuse the crisis. As all the interested Parties admit, the accords reached at the Fourth round of the Six–party talks offered a settlement of the main issues which used to be stumbling blocks viz of the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula on one side and of serving the legitimate needs of the DPRK in the security and humanitarian spheres, on the other. By other words, the Joint Statement of September, 19th, 2005 provided a constructive basis for advancing to nor only the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula but to the future general normalization of the situation in the region as well, to the achievement of political and economic decisions which could turn the Northeast Asia into a region of peace, security and cooperation.

What do we mean?

The commitment by the DPRK to abandoning all nuclear weapons and exiting nuclear programs and returning, at an early date, to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to IAEA safeguards.

The affirmation by the United States that it has no nuclear weapons on the  Korean Peninsula and has no intention to attack or invade the DPRK with nuclear or conventional weapons.

The undertaking by the DPRK and the United States to respect each other’s sovereignty, exist peacefully together and take steps to normalize their relations subject to their respective bilateral policies.

The commitment of the Six Parties to joint efforts for lasting peace and stability in Northeast Asia.

The respect of the Parties to the Right of the DPRK to peaceful uses of nuclear energy and their agreement to discuss, at an appropriate time, the subject of the provision of light water reactor to the DPRK.

The agreement by the Six Parties to take coordinated steps to implement the afore-mentioned consensus in a phased manner in line with the principle of “commitment for commitment, action for action”.

All these accords, however, got suspended. Why did it happen? One of the reasons is obviously that not all of the Parties to the Talks were prepared to implement the accords achieved.

As Mr. Sergey Lavrov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, said, “the problem is that we should change the way of settling such issues in the world in general. We should move from the language of ultimatums and sanctions to the situation when the international affairs are ruled by the international law when each country, be it a big or a small, a strong or a weak one, could feel itself protected by the norms mandatory to all. Then we would be able to toughen our demands to these countries. But as long as they feel themselves infringed and insecure they behave in that way. It does not mean, however, that we should not react to that”.

Russia does not recognize North Korea as a nuclear power as this would have given an utterly undesirable example to other countries. In general the issue of access to nuclear technologies is becoming quite topical.

A situation is emerging in the world when many countries with their number increasing have started elaborating on the means to protect their security when the factor of force in the international relations has been growingly manifesting itself. Moreover it is happening along with a very serious ideologization of the international relations which bears a threat of a conflict between civilizations that must not be permitted.

Russia will do its best to stop such dangerous trends. But, I repeat, first of all the small states will abandon their strive for access to the sophisticated weapons to protect their security only in case a reliable system of international guarantees of this security is available. And, secondly, all states should be provided an equal non-discriminated access to the newest technologies, including nuclear ones.
For peaceful use, of course. Undoubtedly we all should toughen the non-proliferation regime. But it would be fair only when we provide the observance of the two afore-mentioned terms.

In case of North Korea all the work which was done and is still being done on settlement of the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula is carried in the content of providing security guarantees to North Korea as well as surely to the Republic of Korea, Japan and other countries of the region. Such guarantees should be solid and convincing ones so that Pyongyang has no suspicions in regard to security.
All that as I have already mentioned was provided by the Joint Statement on the results of the fourth round of the Six-Part
y Talks. The urgent task of today is to do all to make these talks to resume at the earliest. The UNSC Resolution 1718 has precisely listed the measures to be taken. They are directed exclusively to ban the supplies of technologies and equipment connected with nuclear weapons and means of their delivery to and from the DPRK. These are the only restrictions set by the UNSC.

At the same time the resolution sent a very serious signal to North Korea on the decisiveness and unity of the world community in regard of the need to resume the Six-Party Talks. And that signal, it seems, was correctly received in Pyongyang as it was confirmed by the accord achieved on October 31st in Beijing on the resumption of the talks.

At the same time it is important to avoid any action which could lead to aggravation of tension around Korea and the situation coming out of control. In this sense it is necessary to continue the efforts including offers of positive incentives to urge Pyongyang to take up a more reasonable behaviour and to facilitate not only the resumption of the Six-Parties Talks but also the implementation of the already achieved accords on securing the nuclear-free status of the Korean Peninsula and the DPRK returning to the NPT etc.

Russia appeals to all states concerned to display restraint and reason in implementation of the UNSC Resolution 1718 and objects to the unfoundedly broadened interpretation of the sanctions provided bearing in mind the motto of medicos  “nole necere” viz “do not cause harm”. Sanctions are a forced measure of precaution, not a punishment for Pyongyang.

In the present situation one should display realism and avoid radical un-compromised approaches. We in Moscow, for example proceed that the settlement of financial issues between the US and the DPRK could be of a great significance for the progress at the Six-Party Talks. We think also that any mutual tie-ups in this case are extremely dangerous. That issue came up independently of the Six-Party Talks. It should be settled also independently. That should be recognized both in Pyongyang and Washington. Persistence in “sticking to principle” in this case looks irresponsible. Flexibility is to be shown by both sides.

Russia intends to continuously work for success of the Six-Party Talks. The denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula is viewed by us as a starting point on the path of turning it in to a zone of peace, security and cooperation. We constantly stand on favour of building bridges between Seoul and Pyongyang and are prepared to contribute to the multilateral infrastructural and other economic projects on the Korean Peninsula. We think that the participation of the DPRK in such projects as construction of an international railway corridor between Europe and Korea as well as its joining programs of creating in Northeast Asia an integrated electric power grid and pipelines’ net would serve further development of mutually beneficial and good-neighbourly relations between two Korea States and help strengthening peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia as a whole.