The main political committee of the United Nations General Assembly opened debate on Wednesday (November 14) on the Korean question.
GV Members seatau
SV South Korean delegate speaks
"Mr. Chairman, distinguished delegates, I have presented our case hers for your consideration. You are discussing a vital question which has a direct bearing on the future of the fifty million Koreans and on the question of war or peace in the Korean peninsula. As I remarked earlier, the greatest impediment to solving the Korean problem is above all a deep-rooted mistrust and hostility. It has been aggravated since the outbreak of the Korean War. The boundary had become a virtually solid wall between South and North. As time went on, the consequences of this division have been detrimental to the unity of the Korean people in both parts of Korea. Until the pervasive air of mutual antagonism and suspicion resulting from this division is dissipated, there can be no peaceful unification."
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Background: The main political committee of the United Nations General Assembly opened debate on Wednesday (November 14) on the Korean question. It was the first such debate in three years, and was hold for the first time in the presence of delegates from both Korean states.
Among the main questions being considered is whether the United Nations should maintain its military presence in South Korea, or pull out of the peninsula entirely.
Both South and North Korea submitted their proposal before the opening of the current session of the General Assembly. South Korea supported the United Nations presence, while North Korea wanted it terminated.
But in the first two days of the debate, no basically new proposals were put before the 135-member political committee. The United States representative, Ambassador John Scali, said the present armistice structure "may not be the ideal one to preserve peace and foster reconciliation in Korea, but it would be fool-hardy to impair its operation before a better alternative has put in its place."
The South Korean delegation is led by Dr. Yong Skik Kim. The North Korean delegation by Li John Mok.
Talks between North and South Korea, through the United Nations North-South Coordinating Committee, were suspended in August, when North Korea demanded the removal of the chief South Korean negotiator, Lee Hu-Rak, head of the South Korean Central Intelligence Agency. However, there have been moves from both sides to re-open the talks, while the current General Assembly debate continued.
A transcript of part of a speech by South Korean delegate, Yong Skik Kim follows;