North Korea cannot win nuke state status: Seoul official
- PUBLISHED :March 04, 2015 - 20:57
- UPDATED :March 04, 2015 - 21:43
North Korea's hope to win recognition as a nuclear state will never be realized as Pyongyang is the most "blatant" case of nuclear proliferation, a ranking Seoul diplomat said Wednesday.
The remarks by South Korean Vice Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul came as North Korea seeks to advance its nuclear capability amid the long-stalled multilateral denuclearization talks.
"The international community will never grant any status (of a nuclear-weapon state) whatsoever to the country known for the most blatant case of nuclear proliferation," Cho said in a keynote speech for the Conference on Disarmament (CD) now being held in Geneva.
Cho has been in Geneva this week to attend the high-level meetings of the United Nations Human Rights Council and the U.N.-backed CD.
This year's meetings have been in the spotlight as North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su-yong also delivered a speech to defend the North's stance over its dismal human rights record and possession of nuclear weapons.
A day earlier, Ri made his speech at the CD, warning that Pyongyang has the power to deter nuclear threats by Washington with a "pre-emptive" strike if needed.
The North's top diplomat also slammed Seoul and Washington for conducting annual joint military drills that kicked off Monday, calling the nature of the exercises "unprecedentedly provocative."Cho said that Ri's choice of the CD as a forum for his speech was not understandable as the conference has been drawn up to achieve peace through disarmament, not armament.
"It is not without a certain sense of irony that a state posing a clear and existing nuclear threat calls an annual defensive exercise a 'nuclear war exercise' against itself," he added.
The Seoul official also urged North Korea to return to the six-party talks on its denuclearization with sincerity.
"We hope that North Korea promptly returns to meaningful negotiations on denuclearization with a sincere attitude in response to the repeated calls from the international community,"
North Korea has conducted three nuclear tests, in 2006, 2009 and 2013. Since its latest nuclear test, North Korea has demanded that the six-party talks should be resumed without any preconditions. But Seoul and Washington stressed that Pyongyang should first demonstrate its willingness to denuclearize.
Established in 1979, the Conference on Disarmament is a multilateral forum to negotiate arms control and disarmament. This year's conference kicked off on Jan. 19 and will run until March 27. (Yonhap)