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North Korea: Pyongyang criticizes UN chief for pledging support for denuclearization

stephan / Wikimedia Commons

The North Korean foreign ministry criticized United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres over the weekend over his pledge to support North Korea’s denuclearization. Pyongyang said Guterres’ comments were biased.

North Korean state news outlet KCNA reported Sunday a statement released by the country’s foreign ministry in response to Guterres’ comments Friday last week, throwing his support towards the isolated nation’s denuclearization. Guterres made the comments when he visited South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol.

“I cannot but express deep regret over the said remarks of the UN secretary-general that grossly lack impartiality and fairness and go against the obligations of his duty, specified in the UN charter, as regards to the issue of the Korean peninsula,” said Kim Son-gyong, the vice minister for international organizations of the North’s foreign ministry.

Kim also said that the UN chief should not accept or request orders from any specific government and refrain from taking actions that would impair their position as an international official that is only liable to the United Nations.

North Korea’s “complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization” is an “infringement of upon the sovereignty of the DPRK,” said Kim, referring to North Korea by the initials of its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Kim said that Guterres must be aware that North Korea has rejected his comments, warning that Guterres should be “careful” when making such comments amidst the tensions in the peninsula.

South Korea and the United States have expressed concerns that North Korea may attempt to undergo a nuclear test this year, the first since 2017, after multiple weapons tests in the past several months.

Friday last week, Guterres met with Yoon during his visit to South Korea, saying that North Korea’s denuclearization is important in order to achieve regional security as well as peace and stability.

Yoon, who took office in May, has pledged to pursue diplomacy but has also vowed strong military measures in order to deter North Korea.

Guterres also pledged his support for diplomatic efforts to persuade Pyongyang to surrender its nuclear weapons during his meeting with South Korean foreign minister Park Jin.

“Everything that can be done to launch a process of dialogue, aiming at the denuclearization, it will be very much welcome and will have the full support of the United Nations,” said Guterres.

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