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UN ready to become intermediary in talks with North Korea — secretary-general

December 15, 2017, 20:45 updated at: December 15, 2017, 21:30 UTC+3

Earlier, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson first said about the readiness to start a dialogue with Pyongyang

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UN, December 15. /TASS/. The UN is ready to become an intermediary in talks to settle the crisis on the Korean Peninsula, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Friday at a meeting of the UN Security Council.

He reiterated that in the last resolution on North Korea the Security Council stressed its intention to strive for "peaceful and diplomatic solutions" to the situation on the Korean Peninsula and also welcomed the independent efforts of the states to find ways to overcome the crisis. "The Secretariat and I are your partner in this effort. My good offices remain always available," the UN head said.

The involvement of the UN would add "strategic value" in three key areas, he said. "First, impartiality. Second, the voice and norms, values and principles for peaceful and diplomatic solutions, in line with international law. Third, offering channels of communication with all parties," Guterres noted.

He stressed that the UN is a platform that represents all six participants of the talks on denuclearization that were cut off in 2009: Russia, China, North Korea, the US, South Korea and Japan. He also stressed that unanimity among the Security Council members is needed to launch a dialogue through the mediation of the UN.

Earlier, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson first said about the readiness to start a dialogue with Pyongyang without pre-conditions. Speaking at Washington’s Atlantic Council think tank on December 12, the US secretary of state offered North Korea’s authorities to "just meet" and "talk about the weather." Tillerson also said about full military readiness of the US due to persistent provocations from Pyongyang, but affirmed that the diplomatic efforts will continue "until the first bomb drops."

Guterres called on Friday for communication channels between North Korea and South Korea to be restored, as well as between the military in the region, in order to lower the risk of misapprehensions that may lead to a conflict.

Speaking at a UN Security Council meeting on Friday, the secretary-general noted that he is deeply concerned by "the risk of military confrontation, including as a result of unintended escalation or miscalculation." He warned that any military action on the Korean Peninsula will have "devastating and unpredictable consequences."

"It is time to re-establish and strengthen communication channels, including inter-Korean and military to military channels. This is critical to lower the risk of miscalculation or misunderstanding and reduce tensions in the region," the UN administrative head said.

The situation on the Korean Peninsula currently poses the highest threat to the international peace and stability, he said. The secretary-general reiterated that since the beginning of the year North Korea carried out 20 ballistic missile launches and one nuclear test. "The DPRK remains the only country to continue to break the norm against nuclear testing," Guterres noted.

The UN secretary-general stressed that Pyongyang’s "actions show blatant disregard for the will and resolutions of the Security Council and undermines the international norm against nuclear testing and the nuclear non-proliferation regime." He again demanded that North Korea’s authorities should observe the Security Council resolutions that prohibit North Korea to develop nuclear weapons and delivery equipment and called on it to provide the possibility to renew talks on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

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