Seoul brings back CVID terminology at the UN
Seoul's ambassador to the United Nations condemned Pyongyang's recent missile tests in an open meeting of the Security Council in New York on Wednesday and urged North Korea to commit to "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization," marking the phrase's comeback to South Korean diplomacy.
“We urge North Korea to respond to our efforts to build sustainable peace on the Korean Peninsula through complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization,” Ambassador Cho Hyun said in his remarks to the Security Council. “North Korea should realize that it has nothing to gain from committing provocations.”
The use of the phrase “complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization,” abbreviated as CVID, marks a shift of tone for South Korean policy towards the North’s nuclear program. The administration of former President Moon Jae-in called for trust-building measures to induce the North to incrementally dismantle its nuclear weapons arsenal and fissile material processing facilities.
Under Moon, the South Korean government used the term “complete denuclearization” to describe its objective regarding the North’s nuclear program. CVID was considered too harsh.
Similarly, “verifiable” and “irreversible” were omitted from the Panmunjom Declaration signed by Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during the inter-Korean summit of April 2018.
Seoul’s Foreign Ministry also stuck to the phrase “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” in press releases and documents related to talks that took place at the time.
Ambassador Cho Hyun’s remarks signaled a stiffening of South Korea’s stance regarding the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula after the inauguration of the President Yoon Sun-yeol, who also mentioned CVID in an interview with Voice of America (VOA) on Saturday.
In that interview, Yoon said South Korea would offer economic aid to the North if it accepts nuclear inspections and undertakes irreversible measures to dismantle its decades-long nuclear weapons research program.
Cho also called for a joint Security Council response, stressing that peace on the Korean Peninsula faces a real threat due to North Korea's nuclear capabilities. “North Korea should pay for its actions,” Cho said.
The meeting was convened at the request of South Korea, the United States and Japan to discuss North Korea’s two ballistic missile tests earlier this month and explore additional sanctions against the regime in response to its test of an intercontinental ballistic missile in March.
Under successive Security Council resolutions, the North is barred from any tests involving ballistic missile technology.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield stressed the need for additional sanctions against North Korea, saying at the meeting, “We cannot wait until the DPRK conducts additional provocative, illegal, dangerous acts — like a nuclear test.”
While the U.S. proposed a draft resolution on additional sanctions against North Korea to halve the North’s permission to import crude and refined oil at a public meeting of the Security Council the day after North Korea launched an ICBM in March, that resolution has idled for over 50 days as China and Russia, also permanent members of the Security Council, exercised their veto power the adoption of the resolution has been idling for about 50 days.
BY MICHAEL LEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]