North Korea ambassador walks out of UN in boycott of Trump’s speech
By Michael Sheetz
North Korea sent an unspoken message to the US ahead of President Donald Trump’s speech at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.
Its ambassador to the United Nations, Ja Song-nam, left the room before Trump arrived to speak. The North Korean mission to the UN told NBC it “boycotted” the speech, saying it left only a junior diplomat as a representative in the assembly chambers.
Ja is the permanent North Korean representative to the UN, beginning his service on February 28, 2014.
The ambassador has been outspoken about the US military presence in South Korea. He wrote a letter on March 6 to the British UN ambassador, saying “the situation on the Korean Peninsula is again inching to the brink of a nuclear war” due to US-South Korea military drills, Reuters reported.
Trump issued a harsh warning in his speech, saying North Korea threatens an “unthinkable loss of human life” by pursuing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
“The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself and its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime,” he said, referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Pyongyang has tested ballistic missiles and an apparent hydrogen bomb in recent weeks, despite international economic sanctions and warnings.