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Republic of Korea: Russia providing weapons tech to DPRK ‘will be a direct provocation’

In his address to the UN General Assembly’s annual debate, President Yoon referred to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent visit to the DPRK and underscored that any deal struck between those two countries will “threaten the peace and security of not only Ukraine, but also the Republic of Korea.” 

It is paradoxical, he said, that Russia, “a permanent member of the UN Security Council, entrusted as the ultimate guardian of world peace, would wage war by invading another sovereign nation and receive arms and ammunition from a regime that blatantly violates UN Security Council resolutions.”

Against this background, “the call for reform of the Security Council should receive broad support,” President Yoon stated.

Ongoing crises; geopolitical divides

Reminding UN Member states that the world is faced with multifaceted global crises of an unprecedented scale, Mr. Yoon said divides among countries are expanding across various areas, including security, economy, technology, health, environment and culture. 

He added: “The war in Ukraine that has been going on for two years has deepened the division in values and ideologies within the international community.” 

Additionally, the economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic have been exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, causing a contraction in the global economy and leading to food and energy crises in many parts of the world.

According to Mr. Yoon, “In difficult times, it is the vulnerable who suffer more.”

Our ‘boiling Earth’

On what he referred to as the “climate divide”, which connected to climate change as another challenge that has worsened the economic divide between nations, and impeded humanity’s sustainable development. 

The President’s remarks come just a couple of months after most countries experienced the hottest summer ever recorded on Earth.

“On this ‘boiling earth’, extreme weather events such as heatwaves, torrential rains, and typhoons have become the norm. Climate change is causing geopolitical shifts in agriculture and fisheries, worsening the crises in countries vulnerable to food shortages, “Mr. Yoon warned. 

To assist countries vulnerable to climate change in reducing their carbon emissions and accelerating their transition to clean energy, the Korean president said his country will contribute an additional 300 million dollars to the Green Climate Fund (GCF). 

Rules to govern AI

On the issue of the digital divide, Mr. Yoon said his country plans to play a leading role in bridging the digital divide and utilizing strengths in information and communications technologies (ICT).

“The digital divide is a major cause of the economic divide. Therefore, bridging the digital divide will be a positive attribute in resolving the challenges faced by the Global South, Mr. Yoon explained. 

He proposed the establishment of an international organization under the UN to discuss and set forth rules regarding digital ethics. 

“If we fail to curb the spread of fake news resulting from the misuse of AI and digital technologies, our freedom will be at risk; the market economy anchored in liberal democracy will be in peril; and our very future will be under threat,” Mr. Yoon warned. 

Full statement available here.

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