SEOUL, June 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is expected to further strengthen its trilateral cooperation with the United States and Japan in response to North Korea's provocations after having successfully clinched a nonpermanent seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
South Korea was chosen in a vote for seats on the UNSC for the 2024-25 period at the U.N. General Assembly in New York, returning 11 years after last sitting on the council in 2013-14.
This marks the third time for South Korea to serve as one of the 10 nonpermanent UNSC members. It also previously held a seat during the 1996-97 term.
The council consists of five permanent members, including the U.S., China and Russia, as well as 10 nonpermanent members assigned on a two-year rotating basis from different regions. It is the highest decision-making body of the United Nations, responsible for maintaining global peace and security.
Starting next year, South Korea will be able to take the lead in resolutions related to the Korean Peninsula while emphasizing the illegality of North Korea's military provocations through council meetings.
Through close consultations with the U.S., a permanent council member, and Japan, a non-permanent member for the 2023-24 term, South Korea is expected to send a stronger signal of pressure to deter North Korean provocations.
Assuming the role of a member also means that South Korea can have its opinions reflected in various international security and peace issues.
During its campaign for the seat, Seoul presented pledges centered around peacekeeping operations, cybersecurity contributions and efforts in tackling climate change.
While fulfilling these pledges, South Korea is expected to emphasize key principles, such as freedom, human rights and the rule of law.
In a recent interview with Yonhap News Agency, South Korea's Ambassador to the U.N. Hwang Joon-kook said Seoul would "gain a foothold" to play a leading role in global affairs if it wins a seat on the council.
Choi Dong-ju, president of the Korea Academic Council on the United Nations System, said South Korea's active involvement in multilateral diplomacy through the UNSC would be "very efficient for Seoul in terms of realizing its vision toward values-oriented diplomacy."
Others, however, note the clear limitations of South Korea's efforts in facilitating a collective response to Pyongyang's provocations due to the veto power held by China and Russia, permanent members of the UNSC, amid their growing geopolitical rifts with the U.S. and Western powers at-large.
South Korea also faces the challenge of devoting attention to various global issues and mobilizing sufficient diplomatic and political resources to address them.
When taking on the role of the UNSC's rotational presidency, South Korea will need to track key issues in other regions, such as those involving Africa and Latin America, more closely than it has done before.
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