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UN chief calls for lowering risk of miscalculation concerning North Korea issue

Antonio Guterres emphasized the need to reopen and strengthen communication channels with North Korea
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres EPA/PETER SCHNEIDER
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres

UNITED NATIONS, April 28. /TASS/. There is a risk of military escalation on the Korean Peninsula, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said at a ministerial meeting of the UN Security Council.

"I am alarmed by the risk of a military escalation in the region, including by miscalculation or misunderstanding," he said. "I am particularly concerned by the possibility that efforts to offset the destabilizing activities of the DPRK could also result in increased arms competition and tensions, further impeding the ability of the international community to maintain unity and achieve a peaceful solution," Guterres added.

He pointed out that "the onus is on the DPRK to comply with its international obligations. At the same time, the international community must also step up its efforts to manage and reduce tensions."

The UN Secretary General called on North Korea for refraining "from further testing, complying with the relevant Security Council resolutions, and exploring the resumption of dialogue."

"The absence of communication channels with the DPRK could be dangerous. Armed conflict in Northeast Asia, which is home to one fifth of the world’s people and gross domestic product, would have global implications," he added. Guterres also emphasized the need to reopen and strengthen "communication channels, particularly military to military, to lower the risk of miscalculation or misunderstanding."

He noted that all the United Nations member states should implement the relevant Security Council resolutions.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula began to grow in early 2016 when North Korea conducted a nuclear test and after that launched a ballistic missile carrying a satellite. In September 2016, Pyongyang carried out another nuclear test, while more than 20 missiles were test-fired during the year. In 2017, the missile tests continue.

On April 20, the United Nations Security Council condemned a new missile launch, which had ended in a failure as the missile exploded almost immediately, and once again said that new sanctions could be imposed on Pyongyang.