North Korea makes debut as disarmament chair (Japanese TV)

North Korea, under fire for its own nuclear programme, took the helm of the Conference on Disarmament for the first time on Thursday to a chorus of protests and called for the elimination of nuclear weapons.

The ascension of the secretive and Stalinist state to the monthly rotating presidency of the 65-member United Nations-backed talks got the cold shoulder from other countries and drew criticism from human rights groups and dissidents.

Canada did not attend the session, having promised to boycott the chairmanship of what it called a “major proliferator of nuclear weapons.

“Allowing an international outlaw to oversee international arms control efforts is just plain wrong,” Hillel Neuer, director of the Geneva-based group U.N. Watch said in a statement.

UN Watch