North Korean human rights abuses should be formally discussed at the six-party talks, even though the talks focus mainly on the communist nation's nuclear program, the head of a U.N. investigation team said Monday.
Michael Kirby, chief of the Commission of Inquiry, stressed that the North Korean human rights issue should be addressed in every dialogue with Pyongyang.
He pointed out, however, it is still uncertain when the six-party talks will resume. The talks were last held in December 2008, joined by the two Koreas, the U.S., China, Japan and Russia.
The Australian judge was speaking at a seminar hosted by the Brookings Institution.
After a year-long probe, the COI said in a February report that North Korean leaders are responsible for "widespread, systematic and gross" violations of human rights there.
It recommended the matter be brought to the International Criminal Court. (Yonhap)