The head of a U.N. office on North Korean human rights urged the international community Tuesday to take strong action against what she said amounts to crimes against humanity in the communist country.
Signe Poulsen, representative of the Seoul office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, made the appeal in a forum here, saying the international community cannot overlook what it has already recognized as serious human rights abuses in the North.
She was referring to a U.N. Commission of Inquiry report released in 2014, which accused the North's leadership of crimes against humanity and called for the establishment of a field office to monitor and document human rights abuses in the North.
The Seoul office opened last year upon that recommendation.
Poulsen said her office will continue to carry out activities to raise awareness and improve the human rights situation in North Korea.
She stressed that those responsible for the human rights abuses should be held accountable retrospectively as well.
The communist regime has been accused of public executions, torture and holding hundreds of thousands of political prisoners in concentration camps, but Pyongyang rejects them all as a U.S.-led campaign to topple its regime.
In March, the U.N. Human Rights Council adopted a North Korea human rights resolution that centers on appointing up to two independent experts to pursue accountability for the North's human rights abuses. (Yonhap)