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S. Korea to hold chairmanship of next year's conference of members of chemical weapons ban treaty

All Headlines 10:25 December 12, 2017

BRUSSELS, Dec. 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's top envoy in Amsterdam has been designated as the chairman of a conference of states that are members of a treaty banning chemical weapons to be held in The Hague in October next year, the South Korean Embassy said Tuesday.

South Korean Ambassador to the Netherlands Lee Yun-young will take up the chairmanship of the 23rd conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention for one year after he is officially selected to the position at the meeting.

The treaty, which entered into force in 1997 and currently has 192 member states, bans the development, production and possession of chemical weapons. A member state is required to declare its existing facilities for chemical weapons production and destroy them.

Only three countries have yet to either sign or ratify the convention -- Egypt, North Korea and South Sudan. Israel has signed but not ratified it.

It will be the first time South Korea has held the chairmanship of the conference since the third conference in 1998.

Through the chairmanship, South Korea is expected to see its international status rise in the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which was established in 1997 to implement the convention.

The Hague-based chemical weapons watchdog won the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons.

This April 2017 photo, released by Europe's news photo agency EPA, shows South Korean Ambassador to the Netherlands Lee Yun-young (R) posing for a photo with Dutch King Willem-Alexander at the Noordeinde Palace in The Hague after presenting his credentials to the king. (Yonhap)

namsh@yna.co.kr
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