Call for new UN meeting on N. Korea

UNITED NATIONS • The United States and eight allies on the United Nations Security Council called for reviving discussions on human rights in North Korea, which has been accused by a UN inquiry of abuses comparable to Nazi-era atrocities.

"Last year in December, the UN Security Council convened for the first time in history to discuss the human rights in (North Korea)," Ms Hagar Chemali, spokesman for the US mission to the UN, said in a statement on Thursday.

"Today, Chile, France, Jordan, Lithuania, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain, (Britain) and the United States have requested another meeting of the Security Council to examine conditions in DPRK (North Korea) and their effects on international peace and security," she added.

Ms Chemali said the US, which holds the council's rotating presidency this month, would work quickly to schedule the meeting.

Last month, China's UN ambassador Liu Jieyi said it would be a "bad idea" for the 15-nation Security Council to hold such a meeting, adding that the council "is not about human rights".

The Security Council added human rights in North Korea to its agenda last year, despite objections by China that led to a rare procedural vote. Beijing is a strong ally of Pyongyang.

A year ago, the 193-member UN General Assembly urged the UN Security Council to consider referring North Korea to the International Criminal Court (ICC) after a UN Commission of Inquiry detailed wide-ranging abuses there. China is likely to veto any Security Council bid to refer North Korea to the ICC, diplomats said.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 05, 2015, with the headline 'Call for new UN meeting on N. Korea'. Print Edition | Subscribe