N. Korea to Assume Presidency of U.N. Disarmament Conference

The United Nations office in Geneva announced on Wednesday, six chairs, including North Korea, that would preside over this year’s Conference on Disarmament in a rotational one-month presidency. 

North Korea and five other countries – China, Colombia, Cuba, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Ecuador, would assume this year’s chairmanship for four weeks each in alphabetical order. 

The first session began Monday under China’s presidency.

North Korea would take the chairmanship from May 30 to June 24, with its delegation led by Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Han Tae-song. 

Meanwhile, N. Watch, a Geneva-based independent monitoring group, denounced the announcement, saying member countries, including the United States, should walk out of the conference during North Korea’s turn.  

“This is a country that threatens to attack other UN member states with missiles, and that commits atrocities against its own people,” said Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of UN Watch.

“North Korea’s chairmanship will only undermine the integrity of both the disarmament framework and of the United Nations, and no country should support that,” Neuer added. 

North Korea previously chaired the conference in 2011, prompting criticism from the United States that the North Korean regime was a major proliferator of nuclear weapons.

Canada also boycotted the 2011 event saying, “North Korea is simply not a credible chair of this UN body” but as “a major proliferator of nuclear weapons.” 

On Thursday, the North fired two apparent short-range ballistic missiles toward the East Sea, marking its sixth launch this month.

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