North chairs disarmament meeting

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North chairs disarmament meeting

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北 김정일

GENEVA - North Korea, under fire for its own nuclear program, took the helm of the Conference on Disarmament for the first time on Thursday to a chorus of protests and called for the elimination of nuclear weapons.

The ascension of the secretive and Stalinist state to the monthly rotating presidency of the 65-member United Nations-backed talks got the cold shoulder from other countries and drew criticism from human rights groups and dissidents.

Canada did not attend the session, having promised to boycott the chairmanship of what it called a “major proliferator of nuclear weapons.”

“Allowing an international outlaw to oversee international arms control efforts is just plain wrong,” Hillel Neuer, director of the Geneva-based group U.N. Watch said in a statement.

“North Korea is a ruthless regime that menaces its neighbors and starves its own people and should not be granted the propaganda coup of heading a world body dedicated to peace.”

So Se-pyong, North Korean’s ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva, did not refer to the controversy as he chaired the talks, attended by all other delegations including South Korea and the United States.

The mercurial North conducted a second nuclear test in 2009, triggering U.N. sanctions that cut off a lucrative arms trade, further squeezing its moribund economy.

Human rights groups held a protest outside the U.N. in Geneva on Tuesday, displaying what they said were drawings of North Korean prison camps made by survivors.

Anti-Pyongyang activists have voiced outrage at its role in the sole multilateral disarmament negotiating forum.

“Confirming the legitimacy of the North Korean regime is going to perpetuate the state of slavery of North Korean residents,” Kim Joo-il, a former army captain who defected in 2005, told a news briefing in Geneva earlier this week.


Reuters

한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]

캐나다 기가 막혀… 군축회의 보이콧

“북한이 의장국? 터무니없다… 돌아가며 맡는 방식 바꿀 것”

북한이 제네바 군축회의(CD) 순회의장국을 맡은 것에 항의해 캐나다가 군축회의 참여 보이콧을 선언했다. 존 베어드(John Baird) 캐나다 외무장관은 11일(현지시간) “군축과 완전히 정반대 방향으로 가려는 활동을 감안할 때 북한이 순회의장국을 맡는다는 것은 터무니없는 일”이라며 “캐나다는 북한의 의장국 임기가 끝나는 다음 달 19일까지 군축회의 대표단을 보내지 않을 것”이라고 밝혔다.

 베어드 장관은 “이런 방식은 솔직히 잘못된 것”이라며 “군축회의 의장국을 돌아가면서 맡는 방식의 변경을 추진할 것”이라고 말했다 그는 북한에 “의장국 지위를 국제사회가 신뢰할 수 있는 국가에 넘길 것”을 촉구했다. 북한은 지난달 말 순번제로 맡는 군축회의 의장국이 됐다.

 한편 미국은 이 문제에 대해 보이콧 대신 무시하겠다는 입장을 밝혔다. 미 국무부 빅토리아 뉼런드(Victoria Nuland) 대변인은 이날 정례브리핑에서 “군축회의 의장국은 60개국이 돌아가면서 맡는 것으로, 이번은 그들(북한)의 차례”라며 “미국은 그들이 의장국을 맡은 데 따른 특별한 피해를 예상하지 않는다”고 말했다.

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