North Korea To Preside UN Disarmament Committee

UN announced that Presidency although Pyongyang conducted a series of missile tests that prompted condemnation from the US, South Korea and Japan.

North Korea is to chair a UN disarmament conference, assuming the role after years spent steadily expanding its nuclear programme and flouting UN resolutions with ballistic missile tests. Its forthcoming presidency of the Conference on Disarmament was announced even as Pyongyang conducted a series of missile tests that prompted condemnation from the US, South Korea and Japan.

Yesterday South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff said it had detected what seemed to be the launch of two ballistic missiles from the east coast of North Korea, in what appeared to be its sixth round of tests this month.

The sight of North Korea presiding over a disarmament conference could “undermine the image and credibility of the United Nations, Hillel Neuer, the executive director of the Geneva-based group UN Watch said yesterday. Having the North Korean regime of Kim Jong-un preside over global nuclear weapons disarmament will be like putting a serial rapist in charge of a women’s shelter, he said.

The Conference on Disarmament is billed as the world’s single multilateral forum for disarmament negotiations. Out of its meetings, and those of its predecessors, have come significant international agreements such as the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty.

But it has achieved little in the last quarter of a century. Its agenda includes seeking the cessation of the nuclear arms race and nuclear disarmament.

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