The United Nations plans to open a field office in South Korea this year which will monitor human rights violations in North Korea, Seoul’s Foreign Ministry said Thursday.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it has accepted a request by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to set up an office in South Korea.
A foreign ministry official said that the U.N. selected South Korea as the most suitable place for the office, given its geographical closeness, language and accessibility to victims of human rights abuses after seeking consent from other member countries.
The move is part of the international body’s efforts to shed light on North Korea’s appalling track records on human rights.
Following a year-long probe, the U.N. Commission of Inquiry published a report in March, accusing North Korea of “the systematic, widespread and grave violations of human rights,” adding that North Korean leaders’ crimes against humanity should be dealt with by the International Criminal Court.
The COI also suggested that the U.N. should set up an office to monitor human rights violations in North Korea and raise public awareness about the issue.
The official said the envisioned office will have a staff of five or six officials and operate fully with a budget set by the U.N.
He also said that China and Russia are seen as not being opposed to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights’ move to establish the office in South Korea. (Yonhap)