UN adopts resolution to refer North to the ICC

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UN adopts resolution to refer North to the ICC

NEW YORK - The UN General Assembly on Monday adopted a resolution calling for referring North Korea to the International Criminal Court for human rights violations.

This was the 12th straight year that the world body has issued a resolution on the North’s human rights and the third straight year that it has called for Pyongyang’s referral to the ICC.

This year’s resolution was drafted by Japan and the European Union and co-sponsored by over 70 countries, more than a third of the UN members. It passed through the General Assembly’s Third Committee last month.

The resolution expressed strong concerns that the North is bent on pursuing nuclear and ballistic missile programs by using its resources despite the dire conditions of its people.

In particular, it specified that human rights violations in the North are committed by organizations effectively controlled by the “leadership.”

It also voiced concerns over North Korean people sent overseas to earn foreign currency, while calling for an immediate release of foreigners abducted to the country.

Before the vote started, the North argued that the resolution was intended and led mostly by the United States to isolate Pyongyang and bring down its regime.

China and Russia, close to the North, voted against it.

North Korea has long been labeled one of the worst human rights violators. The communist regime does not tolerate dissent, holds hundreds of thousands of people in political prison camps, and keeps tight control over outside information.

The North has bristled at such criticism, calling it a U.S.-led attempt to topple its regime. [YONHAP]

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