The Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK) ambassador to the UN, Pak Gil Yon, has written to Secretary-General Kofi Annan voicing strong opposition to granting Japan a permanent seat on the Security Council.
"Japan's permanent membership of the UNSC cannot be tolerated at all as it contravenes the main mission of the United Nations, considering its past crimes against humanity, today's revival of its militarism and threats to its neighboring countries," Pak said in the letter, obtained by Xinhua Tuesday.
He noted that in Korea only, Japan had forcibly drafted and abducted 8.4 million, massacred 1 million and forced 200,000 women into sex slavery for the Japanese army in World War II.
Even after 60 years of its defeat, he added, Japan has not liquidated its "past crimes," but is "resurrecting militaristic hallucination."
"(Japanese) Cabinet ministers are regularly visiting 'Yasguni Shrine' to pay tribute to war criminals to inspire its people with militarist ideas, despite strong protest and opposition of Asian countries," he wrote.
Furthermore, he said, Japan has serious security problems with its neighboring countries and poses "substantial" threats to the northeast Asian region.
"Since Japan has neither sincerely reflected on its past, nor compensated, but poses a threat to the northeast Asia, I would like to reiterate that Japan cannot become a permanent member of the UNSC which deals with the global peace and security, and that the DPRK strongly opposes any expansion of the UNSC which includes Japan's membership," Pak emphasized.
"In order for Japan to honestly contribute to the prosperity of the mankind of the world, it should sincerely reflect on its past crimes, make an adequate compensation and show its firm commitment to the international community not to repeat the past again."
"If the international community permits Japan to occupy a permanent seat, even though it had not liquidated its past crimes," he warned, "the world history will stop to advance, particularly in the northeast Asian region, and the humanity suffer another holocaust."
The DPRK envoy also refuted Japan's argument that the country should be allocated a permanent Security Council seat because of its significant financial contribution to the world body.
"I could not but express concerns over the fact that Japan is demanding its right to a permanent seat of the UNSC for its contribution to the UN budget and some countries are tilting to support it for its purse," Pak said.
"The UN is not a financial corporate company where votes are weighted according to the contribution, but a political organization of peace and security based on the sovereign equality. Permanent seats are not to be sold and bought."
The letter came as Japan, along with Germany, Brazil and India, is stepping up its bid for permanent membership of an enlarged Security Council. The ambassadors of the four countries are scheduled to meet with Annan later Tuesday, who is expected to put forward a report on the UN reforms by the end of March. The report is widely seen to have significant impact on the ongoing debate on the UN reforms, including the Security Council's enlargement.
A panel of prominent persons presented a series of recommendations to Annan on the UN reforms late last year, which proposed two options for the enlargement of the 15-nation council. One option is to increase six new permanent members without the right to veto, and the other is to create a new layer of members with long renewable terms.
Japan, which formed a lobbying group with Brazil, Germany and India, favors the first option. But Italy, Pakistan, Mexico and many other countries call for adoption of the other scheme.