North Korean Ambassador to Mexico Kim Hyong Gil Sunday was booted out of the country by the President Enrique Peña Nieto administration.
Foreign Relations Secretary Luis Videgaray said that Mexico “wants to send a clear and absolute message to North Korea” saying it disapproves of North Korea’s recent atomic blast but even more of the fact that it is threatening Japan flying intercontinental missiles over it. “Japan is our friend.”
He made it a point to underscore that “Mexico is not breaking diplomatic relations with North Korea” but does not have — nor will appoint soon one — an ambassador in that Asian nation. Mexico keeps an office with four Korean representatives.
Ambassador Hyong Gil — who held a press conference Friday to protest for the Mexican government — said he was expelled due an “erroneous illusion of the United States and its servants” and that they “think that with these cowardly measures they can pressure the Popular Democratic Republic of North Korea to stand back.”
He added “we have managed to possess the most potent nuclear weapons in the midst of the cruelest sanctions in the world, for which we have nothing to fear. We will continue firmly advancing in the strengthening of nuclear power” for as long as the White House does not completely abandon its hostile policies towards North Korea.
He also called his expelling “an ignorant decision” by Secretary Videgaray given the fact that his nation’s policies are a product of Washington’s hostility “and have nothing to do with Mexico.”
In the Mexican Senate, the news of the decision to expel Ambassador Hyong Gil sent many solons into an outrage, given the fact that it is a most unusual move and Ambassador Hyong Gil did not express ill feelings towards Mexico or its government and said that he was unfairly declared persona non grata. The last time an ambassador was expelled from Mexico was in 2011 when U.S. Ambassador Carlos Pascual was booted after Wikileaks aired U.S. Embassy private documents in which Pascual criticized the Mexican Army.
At the Senate, Secretary Luis Videgaray will be summoned to explain why he made this decision. But also more questions are in store as the decision was made immediately after President Peña Nieto returned from a trip to China and perhaps was influenced by Premier Xi Jinping. A question tough to answer will be, “what did Ambassador Kim Hyong Gil do wrong?” And the main one, why is Mexico brawling with North Korea?
Labor Party Senator Manuel Bartlett Díaz decried the decision and said “they are dragging the name of Mexico only to prove themselves as Trump’s puppets.” He also recalled that last month, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence visited Chile where he called upon Latin American Nations to break relations with North Korea: “Both Peña Nieto as well as his chancellor Luis Videgaray are obeying that instruction.”
Conservative National Action Party (PAN) Senator Juan Carlos Romero Hicks does not question the fact that North Korea is being aggressive with nations — like Japan — Mexico has alliances with.
“We must integrally apply the foreign policy principles and among them the one on juridical equality among nations and peaceful solutions to conflicts.”
Senator Iran Moreno of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) also emphasized that what still greenhorn diplomat Luis Videgaray should have done was to summon Ambassador Hyong Gil and make a direct reclamation in person and state Mexico’s disagreement with North Korea’s atomic bomb testing and missile launches and demand an explanation. “There was no need to expel him.”
Senator Moreno stated that this leaves Mexican diplomacy in very bad shape as it could have generated appeasement moves between the United States and North Korea but he took “a harried decision. Now Videgaray [and Peña Nieto] are seen as unconditional allies of the White House.”
Senate President Ernesto Cordero, however, said he was fully behind the Videgaray decision and would back him up.
For sure, Secretary Videgaray has cast the stone creating a most conflictive situation for him and the nation, because even if the UN itself has protested the recent nukes now the chancellor has earned for the nation an enemy that for sure nobody needs — or wants.
In the meantime, as of today North Korea councilor Jong Chol Nan will be in charge of affairs for bilateral relations.