by H.E.Mr. Gleb A.Ivashentsov
Ambassador of the
at the International Symposium on Establishment of Peace Regime
(Seoul, May 30th, 2007)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am grateful to Mr.Lee Hae-chan, Chairman, Northeast Asia Peace Committee, The Uri Party, and Mr.Yoo Jay-Kun, President, Uri Party Foundation for the invitation to the International Symposium on Establishment of a Peace Regime on the Korean Peninsula.
This is a very topical issue for my country, Russia, as the decades old military stand off on the Korean Peninsula aggravated by the nuclear problem is the main threat to peace and security in the Northeast Asia.
Russia has been and will ever be an integral part of the Northeast Asia. To tell you more, in no other region are our internal and external interests so interconnected as in the Northeast Asia. For it is necessary to guarantee external security for the economic development of Siberia and the Far East. And the national security of Russia can be guaranteed only by forming military, political and strategic relations with our neighbors in the region based on the “security through partnership and co-development” principle.
The unsettled nuclear problem of the Korean Peninsula is of a direct concern to Russia as the DPRK conducted the nuclear test on October 9th 2006 at a site which is located at a distance of just 177 kilometers to our border, which is less than the distance from there to the DMZ between North and South Korea. We do not like such a situation. We need neither nuclear and missile tests at our border, nor a saber rattling by anyone.
Therefore we in Russia sincerely welcomed the resumption of the Beijing Six-Party talks on the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula and the accords of the February 13th. My country is continuously working in favour of the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and the DPRK’s return to the NPT as we think that the settlement of that issue should become a kind of starting point in turning the whole of the Northeast Asia into a zone of peace, security and cooperation.
The nuclear problem of the Korean Peninsula should not be viewed in isolation from the general world situation. In the conditions when the factor of force in the international relations is getting more and more manifested and the language of ultimatums and sanctions is widely used, certain countries feel themselves infringed and try to protect their security by all means including radical ones.
It does not mean however that the international community should not react to such behavior. Russia does not recognize the DPRK as a nuclear power as that would have given an utterly undesirable example to other countries. At the same time we are confident that all work on settlement of the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula should be done in the context of providing security guarantees to all countries of the region viz. the DPRK, the Republic of Korea, Japan etc. Such guarantees are to be solid and convincing ones so that no one would have suspicions in regard to security. It is very important to avoid any actions that could lead to aggravation of tension around Korea and the situation coming out of control.
In addition to the settlement of the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula Russia is prepared to make her contribution to the inter-Korean normalization as well. We constantly stand in favour of building bridges between Seoul and Pyongyang and are prepared to promote the multilateral infrastructural and other economic projects on the Korean Peninsula.
We think that the participation of the DPRK in such projects as 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 Korean States and help strengthening peace and security on the Korean Peninsula.
The developments on the Korean Peninsula will to much extent determine the future of not only the Northeast Asia but the whole of the Asia Pacific Area and the world processes. I would like to single out two major moments.
On one hand the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula could create a precedent for settling similar problems in other regions of the world and could become thereby an important contribution to the strengthening of the nuclear weapons non-proliferation regime in general.
On the other hand the Six-Party talks represent a case of a multilateral decision-making on a hottest international issue which is utterly important in the present world conditions. It is on such basis only and not by one-sided forceful reactions that we could today stabilize the disbalanced system of international relations and help its deideologization and demilitarization.
I with success to the work of symposium!