See More on Facebook

Diplomacy

UN panel adopts resolution condemning NK human rights abuses

It is expected to pass the UN General Assembly next month for the 14th consecutive year.


Written by

Updated: November 16, 2018

A United Nations committee on Thursday adopted a resolution calling for accountability for gross human rights violations in North Korea.

The UN Third Committee, which oversees humanitarian issues, passed the document by consensus without a vote.

The South Korean government said it joined the consensus-based decision in accordance with a policy to work together with the international community for a “substantive improvement” in the human rights of North Korean people.

In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said this year’s resolution, while largely maintaining the content of previous versions, welcomes ongoing diplomatic efforts on Pyongyang and takes note of the importance of dialogue and engagement to address the human rights and humanitarian situations there.

It was co-sponsored by 61 member states.

The resolution “condemns the long-standing and ongoing systematic, widespread and gross violations of human rights in and by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.”

In particular it cites abuses the UN Commission of Inquiry said in 2014 could amount to crimes against humanity — and the continuing impunity for such violations — including torture, rape, public executions and the use of the death penalty for political and religious reasons.

The commission “encourages” the UN Security Council to “take appropriate action to ensure accountability,” such as by considering referral of the situation to the International Criminal Court.

It also calls on the council to consider further sanctions to “target effectively those who appear to be most responsible for human rights violations,” an apparent reference to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The UN has repeatedly called for such action in its resolutions since 2014.

The commission “strongly urges” the North Korean government to take a series of measures to respect human rights.

They include “immediately” closing political prison camps and releasing all political prisoners “unconditionally and without any delay,” ensuring those responsible for the crimes are brought to justice before an independent judiciary, and ensuring that North Korean defectors are able to return “in safety and dignity” without punishment.

This year’s resolution also contains reference to December’s UN Security Council resolution in which all UN member states are required to repatriate North Korean workers within two years.

The workers are thought to be a source of income for the North Korean government to continue development of its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

The resolution also welcomes “the ongoing diplomatic efforts,” a likely reference to this year’s historic summits between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in as well as US President Donald Trump.

It notes the importance of dialogue and engagements for the improvement of the human rights situation.

And on the issue of South and North Korean families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War, the resolution welcomes the resumption of reunions in August, and the commitments made at the September inter-Korean summit to fundamentally resolve the issue.

The text was jointly penned by the European Union and Japan, with contributions from other member states, including South Korea.

The UN has adopted a North Korean human rights resolution every year since 2005.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


The Korea Herald
About the Author: The Korea Herald is the nation’s largest English-language daily and the country’s sole member of the Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Diplomacy

10 US senators criticise Suu Kyi for representing military’s interest

Suu Kyi is in the Hague defending Myanmar from genocide accusations. Ten US Senators have severely criticized Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi for representing the military’s interest before the International Court of Justice and defending the mass atrocities committed against the Rohingyas and other ethnic minorities. “Representing the Burmese military’s interest before The Hague and defending the mass atrocities committed against the Rohingya and other ethnic minorities would undermine what remaining credibility you have before the international community, including in the US Congress,” said a letter to Suu Kyi issued on December 9. The Senators said a defense of the Burmese military at this high-profile international forum is also an affront to the inclusive, multi-cultural and democratic Burma that she claims to champion. They said when Buddhist nationalism is on the rise in


By Daily Star
December 13, 2019

Diplomacy

India under Modi is moving systematically with a supremacist agenda, says PM Imran

Imran Khan made the comments after India passed a controversial citizenship requirement. Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Thursday that India, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been moving systematically with a Hindu supremacist agenda. The prime minister was referencing the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill passed by India’s upper house amid protests on Wednesday. The bill will let the Indian government grant citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants who entered India from three neighbouring countries before 2015 — but not if they are Muslim. Modi’s government — re-elected in May and under pressure over a slowing economy — says Muslims from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan are excluded from the legislation because they do not face discrimination in those countries. Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister I


By Dawn
December 13, 2019

Diplomacy

China, US in constant touch to resolve trade issues

China and the United States are in constant touch to resolve pending trade and economic issues, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday. The comment came ahead of Sunday’s US deadline for another scheduled round of tariff increases on Chinese imports worth almost $160 billion. If a trade deal is not struck by Sunday, computer monitors and toys will be among the Chinese export items likely to be affected. Gao Feng, a ministry spokesman, said the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council has already worked out tariff exemptions on some soybean, pork and other products shipped from the US — the latest sign of tensions easing in the protracted trade conflict. The US seems to resort to brinkmanship by using a tariff deadline to pressure China in the ongoing trade talks for a phase one, preliminary deal, said Chen Wenling, chief economist at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges


By China Daily
December 13, 2019

Diplomacy

US warns N. Korea against ‘ill-advised’ action

North Korean threats unlikely to succeed in bringing the US to the table. A top US diplomat warned North Korea on Thursday against taking any “ill-advised” action in light of its veiled threats to resume nuclear and long-range missile tests. David Stilwell, US assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, made the remark as North Korea has threatened to take a “new way” unless the US offers concessions in their stalled denuclearization negotiations before the end of the year. Washington has urged Pyongyang to stick to its commitment to cease nuclear and long-range missile tests, saying they would be count


By The Korea Herald
December 13, 2019

Diplomacy

Trump urges passage of defense bill with provision against troop drawdown in S. Korea

Trump has previously asked Korea to pay its fair share to keep US troops on the peninsula. US President Donald Trump on Wednesday urged Congress to pass a defense bill containing a provision restricting the drawdown of American troops in South Korea. On Monday, the House and Senate Armed Services Committees agreed on the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, which authorizes funding for the Department of Defense. According to the accompanying conference report, the new bill restricts the use of funds for removing troops from South Korea, an issue that has drawn intense scrutiny amid contentious cost-sharing negotiations between Seoul and Washington.


By The Korea Herald
December 12, 2019

Diplomacy

Aung San Suu Kyi denies genocidal intent on Rohingya

She urges world court to let Myanmar justice system work. Denying that Myanmar had genocidal intent in its treatment of the Rohingya people, its de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday (Dec 11) urged the International Court of Justice in The Hague to let her country’s justice system run its course. “Can there be genocidal intent on the part of a state that actively investigates, prosecutes and punishes soldiers and officers who are accused of wrongdoing?” she asked at the world court, while presenting her opening statement on the second day of public hearings related to Gambia’s lawsuit alleging that Myanmar had breached the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Carefully avoiding the word “Rohingya”, Ms Suu Kyi said Gambia has given “an incomplete and misleading factual picture”. She referred in her half-


By The Straits Times
December 12, 2019