North Korea has criticized UN Secretary-General over his remarks in support of Pyongyang’s complete denuclearization.
Antonio Guterres, in a meeting with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, said he fully supports efforts to completely denuclearize North Korea.
Kim Son Gyong, vice minister for international organizations of North Korea’s foreign ministry, said the North's nuclear program is its “inevitable choice” to defend its own security, the country's state news agency (KCNA) reported on Sunday.
“I cannot but express deep regret over the 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 the issue of the Korean peninsula,” he said in a statement.
Kim called on Guterres to be careful in making such dangerous words and deeds as “pouring gasoline on flames” at a time of the “extremely acute situation” on the Korean Peninsula.
“The so-called CVID (complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization), touted by the US and its vassal forces, is just an infringement upon the sovereignty of the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) as it demands the unilateral disarmament,” the vice foreign minister added.
The Secretary-General Guterres perhaps knows well that the DPRK has “totally rejected CVID without any toleration,” he added.
Kim added that the UN secretary-general should not request or accept orders from the government of a specific country but refrain from doing any act that may impair his or her position as an international official who is liable only to the UN.
Guterres, who arrived in Seoul on Thursday following a trip to Japan, expressed his “clear commitment” to North Korea’s denuclearization, calling it a “fundamental objective to bring peace, security and stability to the whole region.”
During his two-day visit, Guterres also met with South Korean Foreign Minster Park Jin, and pledged support for diplomatic efforts to persuade North Korea to surrender its nuclear weapons.
“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,” Guterres said.
His comments come as North Korea has test fired a record number of missiles this year, and officials in Seoul and Washington say that it appears to be preparing to test a nuclear weapon for the first time since 2017, amid stalled denuclearization talks.
North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test in September 2017. However, during inconclusive negotiations later with the US, it dismantled a nuclear facility and has not conducted any other nuclear tests since then.
The United States has warned that it would push for additional sanctions if Pyongyang conducted a seventh nuclear test.
Last month, the North’s leader Kim Jong-un said his country was “ready to mobilize” its nuclear deterrent in any future military conflict with the United States and Seoul.
Tensions have flared between the two Koreas as Pyongyang has blamed Seoul for a COVID-19 outbreak in the North and threatened to “wipe out” Seoul’s authorities.
On Thursday, Kim Yo-jong, the powerful sister of North Korean leader, blamed South Korea for spreading COVID into the North by sending anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border, calling those activities a “crime against humanity,” KCNA news agency reported.