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    Rabble Rousing Random Ramblings by S Jagadish is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

    July 09, 2009

    Can North Korea withdraw from the United Nations?

    Over the weekend, North Korea launched missile tests with the aim of sending out a message to the USA, Japan and South Korea. The United Nations Security Council promptly condemned the tests but there hasn't yet been any threat of sanctions, etc.

    In 2003, North Korea withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and in 2006, announced that it had conducted a nuclear test.

    It is quite well known that China comes to North Korea's aid everytime Pyongyang shoots itself in the foot. There probably are economic sanctions imposed against North Korea under UN rules. So if North Korea withdraws from the United Nations, would the sanctions apply any longer? If North Korea had been receiving aid under some UN programme, that aid would be cancelled. But again, surely China would help out in some way or the other.

    But the larger question is "Does a country have the right to withdraw from the UN treaty?" According to the entry on Wikipedia, there is no such provision.

    But really what stops any country from doing so? Articles 3 and 4 of Chapter II of the UN charter only reference the original member states and how membership of the UN is open to "all other peace-loving states" which accept the obligations etc. etc. So if North Korea declared that it was not a peace-loving state, is that reason enough to withdraw from the UN?

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