As athletes and fans gather in the South Korean city of Pyeongchang for the Winter Olympics, the words of Pierre du Coubertin, the father of the modern Olympic Games, have a particular resonance that goes far beyond the sporting arena: “L’important, c’est du participer,” — “It’s the taking part that counts.”
在运动员和体育爱好者齐聚韩国平昌参加和观看冬奥会(Winter Olympics)之际，“现代奥运之父”皮埃尔?顾拜旦(Pierre de Coubertin)的那句名言——“重在参与”——引起了特别的共鸣，包括在竞技场以外的地方。
North and South Korean athletes will march together in the opening ceremony under a neutral banner called the Korean Peninsula Flag and a joint women’s ice hockey team will compete in the games. This symbolic gesture of reconciliation and joint teamwork is powerful in itself, but it also offers a unique chance for meaningful progress behind the scenes to help resolve the nuclear tensions on the Korean peninsula.
North Korea’s decision to send Kim Jong Un’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, to the opening ceremony, together with Kim Yong-nam, the chair of the Supreme People’s Assembly, is encouraging for hopes of diplomatic engagement and rapprochement.
朝鲜决定派出金正恩(Kim Jong Un)的妹妹金与正(Kim Yo Jong)以及朝鲜最高人民会议(Supreme People’s Assembly)常任委员会委员长金永南(Kim Yong Nam)参加冬奥会开幕式，这使人们不由得期待两国能够实现外交接触与和解。
The need could not be more acute. For the past quarter of a century, the focus of the international community’s efforts has been on preventing North Korea becoming a nuclear-armed state. But it may now be the case that the north has entered the final stage of completing the ICBM technology that can reach and hit the continental US loaded with a miniaturised nuclear warhead.
The objective is unchanged; achieving complete, verifiable, irreversible dismantlement of North Korean nuclear weapons and programmes. But the immediate challenge is to achieve that objective in a way that avoids conflict and further nuclear proliferation in the region and beyond. There is also a longer-term need for a new, regional security framework in North-East Asia to replace the fragile, temporary peacekeeping arrangements that have existed since the end of the Korean war.
Diplomats and security experts worldwide warn that the risk of a devastating war is unprecedented. Last month, the Doomsday Clock was reset at two minutes to midnight — the closest to midnight it has been in 65 years.
We know from experience how critical it is to recognise — and then seize — unexpected moments to try and change a dangerous trajectory of events. The Olympic detente could be such a moment. We welcome the gesture of bilateral North-South talks that Kim Jong Un offered in his annual New Year’s Day address. While the three rounds of talks held so far have mainly focused on the modalities of the North’s participation in the Winter Olympics, further talks on security-related confidence-building measures have also been agreed.
All parties must use this Olympic moment to nurture a positive atmosphere that enables a genuine dialogue to continue, including bilateral military talks. We must make sure that after the Paralympics end, in March, the goodwill does not disappear as fast as the winter snow melts.
In this regard, North Korea’s military parade on the eve of the opening ceremony of the Games was provocative, harming the positive mood. At this critical time, all concerned must avoid inflammatory rhetoric and military activities. Patient diplomacy and sustained engagement can yield results, as we have seen with the Iran nuclear agreement, negotiated between Tehran and the P5+1 countries, including, of course, the US.
We continue to believe that the Iran deal is the best way to prevent nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, and that it can serve as an inspiration for developing a comparable diplomatic process to resolve the current tensions on the Korean peninsula.
A permanent peace treaty requiring North Korea to fully comply with UN Security Council Resolution 2397: to “immediately abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner”, beginning with unfettered access of the International Atomic Energy Agency to the nuclear facilities, would be the ideal outcome.
签署一份要求朝鲜完全遵守联合国安理会第2397号决议的永久和平条约将是理想的结果——根据决议，“朝鲜应立即以完全、可核查和不可逆转的方式放弃所有核武器和现有核计划”，首先应允许国际原子能机构(International Atomic Energy Agency)不受限制地进入核设施。
The path to such an accord will be long and arduous, requiring stamina and discipline from all sides. Let us hope that leaders on both sides of the 38th parallel, as well as the international community, will follow the example of their Olympic athletes in striving for the greatest prize of all: a lasting, not temporary, peace on the Korean peninsula.