South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se on Thursday argued that North Korea’s membership of the United Nations was losing legitimacy, speaking at the UN General Assembly in New York.
Yun urged UN member states to develop a solution to the North’s continued violations of UN Security Council resolutions.
“It is crystal clear that North Korea, as a serial offender, has manifestly failed to uphold its pledge to abide by the obligations in the UN Charter, particularly to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council,” Yun said.
Yun argued the North has “totally ridiculed” the authority of the UN Security Council and the UN as it conducted its fifth nuclear test amid the toughest ever sanctions.
“I believe it is high time to seriously reconsider whether North Korea is qualified as a peace-loving UN member, as many countries are already questioning.”
The South’s Yonhap News Agency on Friday reported that it is the first time South Korea has officially raised the issue since the South and the North simultaneously joined the UN in 1991.
UNREALISTIC, “GRAVE WARNING”
An expert based in South Korea argued Yun’s claim was a serious warning to the North that its repeated military provocations could bring about an end to its UN membership.
“The North can be disqualified as a [normal] state or a government if it keeps infringing norms of the UN and international community,” Kim Soung-chul, senior research fellow at Department of Diplomatic Strategy Studies of the Sejong Institute told NK News.
The UN charter stipulates in the Article 6 of Charter 2 that a member which has persistently violated the principles may be “expelled.”
But Pakistan and India are believed to possess nuclear arsenals and don’t abide by the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and Somalia – a failed state – is yet to be kicked out of the UN.
Experts agreed that there is little chance the North’s UN membership could be revoked.
“There is no precedent that the UN strips a country of its qualification for the membership. However, there are some countries including Indonesia [discretionally] withdrew from UN in the past,” Hong Seong-Phil, a member of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention at the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) told NK News. “It’s better for the UN to enlist many countries as possible.”
JUSTIFIABLE OR PREPOSTEROUS?
“The North’s ratcheted-up bellicose rhetoric since its fifth nuclear test and missile launches come down to the heated debates on nuclear armament and a preemptive strike [in the South],” Kim added. “It’s not an overly dramatic statement at all since the South faces a great security threat.”
Cha Du-Hyeogn, visiting scholar at the Korea Institute for National Unification (KINU), cast doubt on whether the statement was intended to be taken so literally and whether it was productive.
“This is all about humiliating the North [not kicking it off],” Cha told NK News. “I doubt whether it’s the appropriate way… the criticism could break mutual trust and make both [the South and the North] hard to resume the talks in the future.”
Cha said that there would be little or no repercussions on the North even if it were to lose its UN membership. The UN would lack legitimacy to sanction the North, and the North wouldn’t be obliged to implement UN Security Council Resolutions.
“UN membership is nothing for the North since the North’s economy is not globalized, its credibility hits the bottom, and it’s almost diplomatically isolated.”
Featured Image: UN Photo
Join the influential community of members who rely on NK News original news and in-depth reporting.
Subscribe to read the remaining 589 words of this article.