Only four countries in Latin America continue to maintain diplomatic relations with North Korea
Lea en Español: México deja atrás su posición neutral
Last Thursday, the government of Enrique Peña Nieto declared a "non-grate" person the North Korean ambassador, which, according to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, expressed his "absolute rejection of his recent nuclear activity, which means a frank and growing violation of international law and poses a serious threat to the Asian region and to the world,”. Ambassador Kim Hyong Gil was given 72 hours to leave the country.
But beyond the political movement made by the Mexican government, the arguments used by Mexico have been marked under the spectrum of sanctions that the United Nations Security Council has established to the North Korean regime at the head of Kim Jong Un. In the official statement, "Mexico expresses to the government of North Korea absolute rejection of its recent nuclear activity, which means a frank and growing violation of international law", so that we can no longer speak of the same number of Latin American countries that have diplomatic relations with North Korea. Brazil, Cuba, Venezuela, and Peru still maintain relations with the Asian country and have yet to speak out.
The North Korean ambassador classified the Mexican political action as "ignorant" and that the disagreement over the nuclear program was a United States issue that "had nothing to do with Mexico". The expulsion had little impact on the Mexican political agenda due to the earthquake that shook the country and the Central American region, in general, but hours after the announcement, and with the calm that emerged after the quake, public opinion and the political society manifested themselves in various ways, some in support and others in total disagreement of the measure.
Among those opposed to the measure taken by the government of Peña Nieto, appears Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and his political party Morena, who publicly expressed that "it is contradictory action that lacks diplomatic seriousness". Members of his party were in solidarity with the North Korean ambassador and expressed themselves in the residence of the ambassador in front of all the media.
However, for Mexican political analysts, the measure lacks support for action. Raymundo Riva Palacio, a well-known politics writer, sees that the North Korean government has violated seven resolutions of the Security Council, four of them during the government of Enrique Peña Nieto, but only until this last nuclear test has it been decided to take a position that is far from the neutrality that proclaimed Mexico in the international organizations. Riva Palacio stated that "Mexico is getting carried away by the situation with the United States, and just as it offered to help in Texas, wants to show itself as an ally of the United States in any international event, something that is only causing opacity in the acting of the Mexican diplomacy ".
It should be noted that after the 72 hours that were given to the North Korean ambassador, he had not left the country due to the complications that had brought Hurricane Irma and the consequent cancellation of international flights. Hours later, Kim Hyong Gil left the country in direction towards Cuba, where he took another charter to North Korea.
Latin American Post | Carlos Eduardo Gómez Avella
Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto