Republic of Korea

H.E. Mr. Yoon Suk Yeol, President

20 September 2022

Statement Summary: 

YOON SUK YEOL, President of the Republic of Korea, underscored that, due to attempts to alter the status quo by force and nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, the global community is once again witnessing its citizens’ freedom and peace being put into jeopardy.  Such threats must be overcome through solidarity and commitment to the framework of universal global norms consolidated over the years within the United Nations system.  Genuine freedom and peace can turn into reality when the world is free from disease and hunger, free from illiteracy and free from want of energy and culture.

Further, the United Nations must play a central role in bringing the community of nations together to decisively step up support to countries with limited fiscal and technical resources, he said.  Countries with leading environmental technologies must work to share new and renewable energy technologies with others.  Describing the task of narrowing the digital divide as one of the urgent tasks for the international community, he emphasized that countries at the forefront of digital innovation must offer broader assistance in digital education, technology transfer and investment.

He then emphasized that his country has scaled up support for those who are in need, including by providing more assistance in his country and increasing the official development assistance (ODA) budget with a vision to achieve a more inclusive development globally.  He outlined his country’s efforts in accelerating research and development for COVID-19 therapeutics and vaccine, pledging $300 million towards the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator initiative and $30 million to the Financial Intermediary Fund of the World Bank. 

He also said his country was ensuring a more effective response to future infectious disease outbreak by hosting a ministerial meeting of the Global Health Security Agenda in Seoul this November, as well as taking part in negotiations to reach a “pandemic accord” under the World Health Organization.  Turning to the topic of climate change, he said that his country will scale up its “green ODA” to help developing countries transition to a low-carbon future.  His country has transferred and shared its “e-government” digital technology with developing countries and is pushing forward with its plan to transform the Government into a digital platform Government. 

“As we seek answers to the global crisis we are faced with, the viability of the UN system and the universal global norms architecture is under test,” he said.  The international community must resolve to stand firmly in solidarity to share the universal value of freedom and work together to uphold and spread freedom.  “Any attempt to turn away from the United Nations system and universal norms will divide the global community into blocs, further compounding the crisis and turmoil,” he said.


Right of Reply

First Declaration (26 September 2022)

The representative of the Republic of Korea, in response to the statement made by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on the security situation in the Korean peninsula, recalled the latter’s actions.  It is the only country, he pointed out, to have conducted nuclear tests in the twenty-first century and has launched a total of 32 ballistic missiles this year, the most recent on 25 September 2022.  Reminding the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea of its obligation to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner, he highlighted the unlawful and serious threat to peace and stability in the region.  The international community will not recognize any of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s justifications for its position and potential use of a nuclear weapon.

In response to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s threats, the Republic of Korea and the United States have conducted joint defence and deterrence exercises.  Such measures, he explained, arise from their duty as responsible Governments.  He then stated that the development of nuclear weapons and missiles is not inevitable, adding that “it is a choice that cannot be justified.”  The Republic of Korea strongly urges the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to comply with Security Council resolutions to stop all kinds of provocation and return to denuclearization talks.

Source: GA/12452



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