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U.N. to adopt N.K. human rights resolution next week

The U.N. General Assembly is scheduled to adopt a North Korean human rights resolution next week that calls for referring the situation to the International Criminal Court and expresses serious concerns about Pyongyang's labor exports, Seoul's foreign ministry said Friday.

The resolution, which was adopted by a third committee under the assembly last month, will be adopted at a plenary General Assembly meeting slated for Monday (local time), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

"The North Korean resolution is forecast to be passed at the plenary General Assembly meeting with consensus," the ministry said in a release.

It would mark the 12th straight year for the General Assembly to adopt a North Korean human rights resolution. In particular, it is the third consecutive year for the General Assembly to adopt a resolution calling on the Security Council to refer the North's human rights situation to the ICC.

This year's resolution blamed the North's "leadership" for human rights abuses, underlining the seriousness with which the international community views the situation.

It is the first time a General Assembly resolution has mentioned the North's labor exports, which have become an increasingly important source of hard currency for Pyongyang amid concerns that the funds could be used for its nuclear and missile programs.

About 50,000-60,000 North Koreans are believed to be toiling overseas, mainly in the mining, logging, textile and construction industries. The average wage was stated as $120 to $150 per month, but in most cases employing firms paid salaries directly to the North's government.

(Yonhap)

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