Botswana has cut diplomatic ties with North Korea, condemning the North's systematic human rights violations. The African country's vice president, Mokgweetsi Masisi, condemned North Korea's recent nuclear missile tests, carried out in defiance of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions. He made the announcement during a keynote address to the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Friday, "We officially ended ties with this evil nation," he said.
Botswana and North Korea established ties in 1974. In a draft of the speech issued beforehand, Botswana linked "human rights violation in North Korea" with the decision to terminate relations. Although Masisi did not mention the link in his actual speech, the North's military provocations and human rights abuses are assumed to be behind the Botswana move. It is unclear when Botswana made the decision, but U.N. members are assuming it happened after the North's fifth and most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 9. Masisi also harshly criticized the North for disregarding U.N. Security Council resolutions.
"Along with Syria, which inflicts its people with long-standing civil war, North Korea also doesn't deserve to be a U.N. member for abusing the human rights of its own people," he said. Botswana is the first country other than South Korea to discuss publically removing North Korea from the U.N. for posing a constant threat to international society. [koreatimes.co.kr]