The North Korean Ambassador to the UN warned that tensions with the US have escalated so far that there is a realistic potential for a nuclear conflict. The head of the UN, Antonio Guterres, expressed concern that nuclear tension between several states risks a catastrophe of “epic proportions.”
Kim Song, Pyongyang’s representative at the UN, delivered an address to the General Assembly on Tuesday. “Owing to the reckless and continued hysteria of nuclear showdown on the part of the US and its following forces, the year 2023 has been recorded as an extremely dangerous year that the military security situation in and around the Korean peninsula was driven closer to the brink of a nuclear war,” he said. “Due to [Seoul’s] sycophantic and humiliating policy of depending on outside forces, the Korean peninsula is in a hair-trigger situation with imminent danger of nuclear war.”
Kim blamed Washington for attempting to create an “Asian NATO” that will bring a “new Cold War structure to northeast Asia.”
Since taking office, President Joe Biden has repeatedly provoked North Korea by deploying more military assets to the Korean Peninsula. Of particular concern to Pyongyang is Washington sending strategic assets, including bombers and submarines, to South Korea.
Additionally, the White House has worked to mend the relationship between Japan and South Korea. During a summit at Camp David, Biden signed an agreement with Tokyo and Seoul vowing to increase military ties between the three nations.
UN Secretary-General Guterres also expressed his concern that global tensions could lead to a nuclear war. “Any use of a nuclear weapon – anytime, anywhere and in any context – would unleash a humanitarian catastrophe of epic proportions,” he said to the General Assembly.
Guterres stressed that nations must uphold their commitments never to use nuclear weapons and work towards eliminating strategic arms. “We reaffirm our commitment to a world free of nuclear weapons and the humanitarian catastrophe their use would unleash.” He continued, “This means nuclear-weapon States leading the way by meeting their disarmament obligations, and committing to never use nuclear weapons under any circumstances.”