Mexico supports nuclear ban in the Korean peninsula

Mexico has strengthened its bilateral relationship with the Republic of Korea (South) in the last years and it is a firm supporter of the total elimination of nuclear weapons in the restive northern Asian peninsula
Mexico supports nuclear ban in the Korean peninsula
North Korean flag - Photo: Edgar Su/REUTERS (up), Mexican flag - Photo: Juan Boites/EL UNIVERSAL (in the middle), and South Korean - Photo: Kim Hong-Ji/REUTERS (bottom)
23/03/2018
16:55
Gabriel Moyssen
Mexico City
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In accordance with its strategy of trade diversification and the establishment of new alliances—especially in the Pacific Basin—Mexico has strengthened its bilateral relationship with the Republic of Korea (South) in the last years and it is a firm supporter of the total elimination of nuclear weapons in the restive northern Asian peninsula.

Even though the goal of a free trade agreement remains elusive, both our country and South Korea are members of the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) , as well as members of the MIKTA group, an innovative, informal partnership founded in 2013 with Indonesia, Turkey, and Australia which aims to support global governance and works on energy access, security, trade, and gender equality, among other issues.

Precisely, last September,  MIKTA group released a joint statement “expressing grave concern” over North Korea’s sixth and latest nuclear test, considered the most powerful to date, detonating a hydrogen bomb which triggered a 6.3 magnitude earthquake.

For the Mexican government, the September 3 underground explosion near the Punggye-ri test site was somehow a point of no return: on September 7, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE) highlighted the recent “flagrant violations” of international law and United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions perpetrated by the Democratic Popular Republic of Korea with its nuclear and ballistic tests and announced that the DPRK’s ambassador in Mexico, Kim Hyong Gil, would be declared persona non grata, thus he was given 72 hours to leave the country.
 

Artículo

Enrique Peña Nieto instructed full compliance of UN security resolutions

Mexico President declared Mr. Kim Hyong Gil, ambassador of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to Mexico, “persona non grata”, giving him 72 hours to leave the country
Enrique Peña Nieto instructed full compliance of UN security resolutionsEnrique Peña Nieto instructed full compliance of UN security resolutions

While the statement described South Korea and Japan as “fundamental allies,” Mexico still maintains diplomatic relations with North Korea with the communist nation’s embassy continuing its operation in Mexico City on the level of charge d’affaires.

Back in 2014, another incident took place when the North Korean freighter ship Mu Du Bong —whose owner was listed among those subject to international sanctions—was seized by authorities in the port of Tuxpan, Veracruz, upon request by the UNSC.

Sailing from Cuba, the Mu Du Bong ran aground on the Lobos reef near Tuxpan, damaging 3,000 square meters of the protected natural area. Upon investigation carried out by United Nations inspectors, the ship was shown to be linked to North Korea’s arms smuggling Ocean Maritime Management Company, thus the Mexican government deported the 33 members of its crew and scrapped the vessel, prompting Pyongyang to threaten Mexico.

Good partners

Interestingly, the bilateral relationship has been good since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1980; Kangwon and Puebla were declared sister provinces in 2008 and Mexico was the main trading partner of North Korea in Latin America during this decade, exporting to the isolated Asian country nearly USD $50 million a year in telecommunications hardware, metals, agricultural products, and garments.

A long time ago, however, South Korea surpassed the economic output of the DPRK, enjoying a rapid pace of development and living standards similar to the more advanced countries.

Mexico was also surpassed by the industrious nation since the 1960s and that is one of the reasons behind its interest to attract the South Korean investment flows and nurture a mature trading and political relationship, symbolized by the Strategic Association for Mutual Prosperity, signed in 2005, along with the official visit of President Park Geun-hye to Mexico on April 2016.

According to the Mexican Economy Ministry, South Korea was the sixth trading partner for our country—and the third in the Asian-Pacific region—in 2015, with a total commercial exchange amounted to USD$17,448 million.

Edited by Sofía Danis
More by Gabriel Moyssen

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