South Korea was on Wednesday elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the first time in 15 years. It was one of the three candidates from Asia along with Bhutan and Cambodia.
The country won support from 149 nations in the second round of voting, more than two-thirds of the 193 members, to secure the one available seat for the Asia-Pacific region. The term starts in 2013 and lasts two years.
Since joining the UN in 1991, South Korea served as a non-permanent member of the Security Council once already, from 1996 to 1997. Its second term will allow it to influence crucial international security issues.
The mandate includes the right to call for a meeting of the council, boosting stability in tense times on the Korean Peninsula. The South Korean government hopes to play a major role in issues such as North Korea's nuclear program and the environment.