UN Secretary-General António Guterres says he is deeply concerned about the risk of military confrontation on the Korean Peninsula, “as a result of miscalculation”.
He raised the concerns at the UN Security Council’s ministerial-level meeting convened by Japan on challenges posed by North Korea to international peace and security.
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.”
Describing the situation on the Korean Peninsula as “the most tensed and dangerous peace and security issue in the world today,” he warned that “military action would have devastating and unpredictable consequences.”
Guterres said that unity of the Security Council was essential to achieve the goal of denuclearisation in a peaceful manner and underscored that communication channels, including military-to-military ones have to be re-established and strengthened to reduce tensions in the region.
He stressed the need to “avoid a level of danger that would be unpredictable in its trajectory and catastrophic in its consequences.”
The ministerial-level meeting was convened by Japan in its capacity as the President of the 15-member Council for the month of December and chaired by Taro Kono, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan.
Ministers from other Security Council member States, including Sweden (Margot Wallström), Ukraine (Pavlo Klimkin), the United Kingdom (Mark Field), and the United States (Rex Tillerson) were also present at the meeting.