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NK human rights resolution submitted to UN committee

A resolution calling for accountability for human rights violations in North Korea has been submitted to the United Nations committee that oversees humanitarian issues, Voice of America reported Thursday.

This year’s resolution, written by the European Union, does not differ significantly from last year’s, which was adopted by the UN Third Committee and the UN General Assembly by consensus without a vote, a spokesperson for the EU delegation to the UN told the US broadcaster.

The spokesperson said that as in previous years, the resolution stresses abductions by the North Korean regime, reunions of families separated by the Korean War and the need for inter-Korean dialogue, according to VOA.

UN Committee (AP)
UN Committee (AP)

New phrases have been added to the resolution to underscore the pain caused by the abductions and express support for the efforts of the Seoul office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to find out who is responsible for the human rights violations, VOA said, citing the EU spokesperson.

The new resolution reiterates the importance of humanitarian aid to North Korea, recommends that Pyongyang expand cooperation with the Seoul branch of the UN Human Rights Office, and expresses concern over Pyongyang’s recent demand to reduce the number of UN staffers working in North Korea.

The full text of the new resolution will be disclosed within days to the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee, and if it passes when the committee makes its decision around Nov. 14, the UN General Assembly will decide whether to adopt it in December.

The UN has adopted a resolution condemning North Korea’s human rights violations for 14 consecutive years, since 2005.

Delegations from the EU and Japan to the UN have basically led the initial drafting of the resolutions, and South Korea has co-sponsored the resolution since 2008.

Japan, however, did not participate in writing the initial draft this year, the EU spokesperson said.

Tokyo, which has played a leading role in adopting the resolutions against North Korea’s rights violations for over a decade, said in March that it would not submit a resolution to the UN panel. The decision was made in the interest of bringing about a quick resolution to the abduction issue, it said.

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at the time that the decision was made in consideration of all related circumstances, including the results of the summit talks between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in February in Hanoi.

By Kim So-hyun (