U.N. Human Rights Council adopts new North Korea resolution

A South Korean watches TV showing news about the alleged assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's half-brother at a restaurant in Pyeongchang, Gangwon-do, South Korea. The older Kim's murder was cited as an example of North Korea human rights violations at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on Friday. Photo by Jeon Heon-Kyun/EPA

March 25 (UPI) — The United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva has adopted a North Korea human rights resolution that could establish an archive of evidence detailing the country’s crimes against humanity.

The documentation would preserve testimony and evidence for the future, when the Kim Jong Un regime would be held accountable for rights violations in an international court, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported Friday.

The U.N. resolution calls on the international community to cooperate in identifying North Korea crimes against humanity, based on a report from the U.N. Commission of Inquiry that has surveyed the violations, often using testimonies from North Korea defectors.

The resolution also calls for further building up the U.N. Human Rights Office in Seoul, which opened in 2015 and has been collecting evidence of Pyongyang’s human rights abuses.

A progress report on the preservation of evidence is to be submitted to the Human Rights Council in March 2019, during the U.N. body’s 40th annual meeting.

The recent assassination of Kim Jong Nam, the older half-brother of Kim Jong Un, was indirectly referred to as an example of North Korea human rights violations at the U.N. on Friday, according to Yonhap.

The statement, however, eschewed the mention of Kim’s name because Malaysia has yet to announce the results of official investigations.

The resolution, which may have contained the strongest condemnation of North Korea since 2003, also denounced the regime’s exploitation of forced laborers and its ban on the freedom of expression on the Internet.

In Seoul, the foreign ministry urged “all U.N. member nations and concerned parties to honor all recommendations on the resolution aimed at improving human rights conditions in North Korea, and for the North Korean government to immediately stop its human rights violations and take all necessary measures to implement the resolution.”


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