On Friday, for the first time since 2010, North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations, Sin Son Ho, held a press conference at the UN — thus establishing that once every three years is far too often. Sin held forth for about 50 minutes, most of which he spent reading a prepared statement denouncing the U.S. and calling for the dissolution of the UN Command in South Korea. As is North Korea’s habit between nuclear tests, he also proposed talks with the U.S., as long as North Korea gets to hold onto its nuclear weapons, etc. And, lest anyone worry that he did not address such matters as human rights, in answer to a question he told the press: “We don’t have any human rights problems in my country.”
In sum, Mouthpiece for Murderous Nuclear-Proliferating Totalitarian Regime Delivers Party Line. That’s what the UN signed on for when it admitted North Korea to membership (in one of the UN’s most dazzling displays of moral equivalency, or maybe we should call it immoral lunacy, North Korea was admitted in tandem with South Korea in 1991). Reporter Jonathan Wachtel of Fox News tried asking for some details about North Korea’s young tyrant, Kim Jong Un, as well as the nuclear and missile tests, and that video showing a nuclear strike on Washington. Good questions. They elicited a curt answer that was illuminating solely for what it implied about the continuing reign of terror in North Korea. The ambassador sat bolt upright (as is presumably expected of him when even thinking about the Great Leader), denounced the question as highly inappropriate, and assured the press that the army and the people of North Korea (in that order) respected “His Excellency Kim Jong Un.” And that was that.
For North Korea’s ambassador, at least, it was not entirely a waste of time. Voice of America emerged from this experience sounding more like the Voice of North Korea, with an article headlined: “North Korean Envoy Blames US for Peninsula Tensions.” You have to read five paragraphs into this nine paragraph article before you get to any mention of a U.S. view. Most of the piece is devoted to quoting and paraphrasing Sin’s demands and denunciations of America.
It’s interesting theater, after a monstrous fashion. But under terms of the UN charter, North Korea never deserved a seat at the UN to begin with. Friday’s press conference was one more reason to question why North Korea is there at all. In the palatial quarters of this grand body devoted in theory to upholding human dignity and ending the scourge of war, whose interests, exactly, are being served?