UN Warns of Military Conflict in Korean Peninsula

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré (file)
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré (file)

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said Friday he is deeply concerned over the risk of military confrontation on the Korean Peninsula, “including as a result of miscalculation.”

Describing the situation on the Korean Peninsula as “the most tense and dangerous peace and security issue in the world today,” he warned: “Any military action would have devastating and unpredictable consequences.”

In his briefing, Mr. Guterres said that unity of the Security Council is essential to achieve the goal of denuclearization 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.

Mr. Guterres also noted the need to disassociate the peace and security situation in North Korea a.k.a. Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) from the humanitarian needs in the country.

Meanwhile, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has stated that people’s rights are violated in “almost every aspect” of their lives in North Korea.

Zeid told the Security Council that security tensions on the Korean Peninsula should not negate concerns about the situation of ordinary people there.

It is said that 70% of the country’s population is affected by food insecurity and 40% are malnourished and some $114 million is needed to meet urgent requirements.

However, according to the UN, the 2017 DPRK Humanitarian Needs and Priorities appeal is only 30% funded.

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