(MENAFN- IANS) Seoul, June 7 (IANS) South Korea has been elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC) for a two-year term, expanding its foothold in the world body to better address the North Korean issue and other global security challenges.
As the only candidate nation in Asia, Seoul was chosen in a vote at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, returning to the UNSC in 11 years after last sitting on the council in 2013-14, reports Yonhap News agency.
South Korea won the seat after garnering 180 votes among 192 member states during the Assembly.
The UNSC consists of five permanent members -- the US, China, France, the UK and Russia, and 10 non-permanent members.
The current non-permanent members are Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Switzerland, Ecuador, Japan, Malta and Mozambique.
The five newly-elected countries, including Algeria, Guyana, Sierra Leone and Slovenia, will join the current non-permanent members of the UNSC starting January 2024, replacing seats occupied by Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana and the UAE.
As a new non-permanent member, South Korea is expected to step up its voice in the wake of Pyongyang's escalating provocations and strengthen its trilateral cooperation with the USand Japan, though it could have limitations as it has no veto power.
South Korea is likely to assume president of the council in June next year, a Foreign Ministry official told reporters.
Each of the UNSC members takes up the presidency for a month in accordance with the alphabetical order of the countries.
The Ministry has vowed efforts to "lead discussions" in issues related to security, peacekeeping and women, as well as new threats, such as cybersecurity and climate change.
This marks the third time for South Korea to serve as one of the 10 non-permanent UNSC members.
It previously served in the seat during the 1996-97 term.
The election came as North Korea has recently ramped up developments of its nuclear and missile programs.
Last week, the North launched what it claimed to be a satellite-carrying rocket, a move denounced by Washington and other countries as a violation of UNSC resolutions banning any launch using ballistic missile technology.
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