North Korea assumed the presidency of the UN Conference on Disarmament today amid criticism for his arms policy and the repeated ballistic and nuclear missile tests he has carried out, thus violating various international norms and resolutions of the UN Security Council.

The presidency of the disarmament conference each month falls on one of its 67 member states according to a list in alphabetical order.

At the opening of the session, the North Korean ambassador, Han Tae–ong, undertook to “respect the positions of all the delegations in the organization of the work”, but he asked them at the same time to focus on the agenda of this UN body.

Along these lines, he urged them to “avoid politicized attitudes” that could lead to a climate of confrontation.

On behalf of a number of countries from all regions, in particular from Europe and Latin America, the Australian delegation said that after consultation among themselves they had decided to participate in the conference sessions under the chairmanship of North Korea.

One of the options that had been considered was to boycott the work sessions this monthbut the countries finally opted for a participation, which in the case of the Europeans will be of a lower level until North Korea concludes its term on June 24, which means that its ambassadors will not attend the sessions.

Australia clarified that this involvement should not be construed as acceptance “of North Korea’s actions, which violate numerous UN Security Council resolutions.”

He added that this group of countries remains “deeply concerned about the progress (of North Korea) in the development of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile capabilities, as well as for information indicating that it is preparing its seventh nuclear test.”

This year alone, North Korea has conducted some 20 missile tests, including a model with an intercontinental range.

Likewise, it is stated – without presenting evidence in this regard – that it has also carried out tests with hypersonic missiles.

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