UN chief calls for “dial up” in diplomacy to resolve Korean crisis

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UN Secretary-General António Guterres speaks to journalists at a press encounter. UN Photo/Mark Garten

The solution to the crisis on the Korean peninsula must be political, the UN Secretary-General said on Wednesday, stressing the importance of diplomacy and dialogue.

António Guterres was speaking to reporters at UN Headquarters in New York.

Dianne Penn reports.

The UN chief noted that tensions on the Korean peninsula "are at levels not seen in decades."

He remembered the suffering caused by the Korean War nearly 70 years ago, and called for the international community to learn from the lessons of history and not repeat the mistakes.

Earlier this month, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution imposing stronger sanctions on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in response to its latest ballistic missile tests.

Mr Guterres said it "sends an unambiguous message" about the country's peace and security obligations.

"But all concerned parties should also recognize that the unified adoption of resolution 2371 represents an opportunity for diplomatic engagement and renewed dialogue to solve this crisis.  There are many possible avenues for this dialogue – from various bilateral formations to the six-party talks.  As tensions rise, so does the risk of misunderstanding, miscalculation or escalation.  That is why it is so important to dial down rhetoric and to dial up diplomacy."

The Secretary-General said he supports the call made by the Republic of Korea to the DPRK to engage in a credible and meaningful dialogue.

He stated that the solution to the crisis must be political as "the potential consequences of military action are too horrific to even contemplate."

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’39″




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