This isn’t just a low moment. It is despicable. The United Nations General Assembly has just paid tribute to the late North Korean tyrant, Kim Jong Il, with delegates standing to observe a minute of silence in his memory.
The Associated Press reports that this kind of tribute is “customary for leaders who die in office” and that North Korea’s Mission to the UN requested this tribute to Kim. There were no speeches, and the chamber was half empty.
None of that excuses the depraved act of the UN honoring a man whose rule was responsible for abominations and atrocities inflicted by Kim Jong Il and his regime during Kim’s 17 years in power, or for that matter Kim’s long prior career under his father of engineering terrorist acts such as bombings and abductions abroad. For the UN to pay any tribute to Kim Jong Il is to insult the million or more Koreans who died of famine, the hundreds of thousands consigned to Kim’s prison camps, and the many millions more leading lives of grotesque fear and deprivation — all as the cost of Kim’s rule.
Nothing in the UN rulebook requires the General Assembly to pay tribute to its array of resident monsters. The Assembly could have replied to the North Korean mission that there will be no tribute to anyone, dead or living, who contributed to North Korea’s totalitarian horrors. But this same General Assembly that annually demands billions of dollars from U.S. tax payers — and gets them from our federal government — has just paid tribute to Kim Jong Il. What more do we need to know?