N Korea demands no UN Command

WAR MACHINE::The US-led UN Command in South Korea is a tool of war and has to go if there is ever to be peace on the Korean Peninsula, North Korea’s UN envoy said


Sun, Jun 23, 2013 - Page 4

North Korea’s UN envoy demanded the dissolution of the UN Command in South Korea on Friday, accusing the US of using the force to prepare for war against the North and build an Asian version of NATO to realize US President Barack Obama’s pivot to Asia.

North Korean Ambassador to the UN Sin Son-ho told reporters at a rare news conference that the most pressing issue in northeast Asia today is the hostile relations between North Korea and the US “which can lead to a new war at any moment.”

He reiterated North Korea’s surprise offer on Saturday last week of wide-ranging senior-level talks with the US “to defuse tension on the Korean Peninsula and ensure peace and security in the region.”

The proposed talks followed months of rising tensions and anti-US rhetoric by North Korea, and the collapse earlier this month of proposed high-level talks between North and South Korea, amid bickering over who would lead the two delegations.

Sin stressed that the deteriorating situation on the Korean Peninsula “is not caused by the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea].”

“All deteriorations and intensified situations [are] entirely caused by the United States of America,” he insisted on several occasions.

Sin said US-North Korea talks should include replacing the armistice agreement that ended the 1950-1953 Korean War — and one of the “prerequisite requirements” for establishing “a peace mechanism” to replace the armistice is the dissolution of the US-led UN Command.

The ambassador said the talks could include “a world without nuclear weapons,” which the US has already proposed.

However, he warned that North Korea will not give up its nuclear “self-defense deterrent” unless the US “fundamentally and irreversibly abandons its hostile policy and nuclear threat” toward the North and dissolves the UN Command, and as long as there are nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula.

The Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty, and left the Korean Peninsula divided by a heavily fortified border monitored by the UN Command. Washington also stations 28,500 US troops in South Korea to protect its ally against North Korean aggression.

In a lengthy statement, Sin claimed the UN Command “was a tool of war for aggression which was organized by the US” and “has nothing to do with the UN.”

“The UN Command is the US command, in essence,” he said, and if necessary the DPRK would submit the issue to the UN General Assembly to dissolve it.

Sin said all the facts show that the US is gradually transforming the UN Command into a multinational military alliance “which would serve as a matrix of the Asian version of NATO” and “a stepping stone for the US armed forces for aggression toward the DPRK and the realization of ... America’s pivot to Asia strategy.”

The US aim, he said, is to make South Korea “a forward base for domination of [the] Asia-Pacific region and hold fast to it as a cannon fodder for an aggressive war.”

As a result, he said, “the situation on the Korean Peninsula this year has reached to the full-scale nuclear showdown and to the brink of war between the DPRK and the US.”