Saturday, December 16, 2017

UN chief warns against military action on Korean Peninsula

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday expressed concern over risk of military confrontation on the Korean Peninsula and warned against any military action.

"Any military action would have devastating and unpredictable consequences," he told the Security Council.

"The situation on the Korean Peninsula is the most tense and dangerous peace and security issue in the world today. I am deeply concerned by the risk of military confrontation, including as a result of unintended escalation or miscalculation," he said.

While all concerned seek to avoid an accidental escalation leading to conflict, the risk is being multiplied by "misplaced over-confidence," dangerous narratives and rhetoric, and the lack of communication channels, he warned.

"It is time to immediately re-establish and strengthen communication channels, including inter-Korean and military-to-military channels. This is critical to lower the risk of miscalculation or misunderstanding and reduce tensions in the region."

Diplomatic engagement is the only pathway to sustainable peace and de-nuclearization, said Guterres.

"We must do everything we can to reach that objective -- and avoid a level of danger that would be unpredictable in its trajectory and catastrophic in its consequences."

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