The United Nations Security Council is to hold its first ever meeting to discuss “unspeakable atrocities” and “grave human rights violations” allegedly being carried out in North Korea.
The 15-member council, which includes the UK, the US, China and Russia, will discuss whether North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un should be referred to the International Criminal Court for “crimes against humanity”.
The US Ambassador to the UN welcomed the meeting. Samantha Power said: “The human rights violations in North Korea are among the worst in the world. They are widespread. They are systematic.”
She added: “Given the threat they pose to peace and security, they have been going on outside the scrutiny of the UN Security Council for far too long.”
The meeting was called following an unprecedented UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) report, published in February, catalogued a list of crimes which it said were “widespread and systematic” and “unparalleled in the modern world”.
The COI, chaired by retired Australian judge Michael Kirby, sat through witnesses’ testimony from scores of North Korean defectors who described their lives inside the country.
The report lists murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortion, sexual violence, forcible transfers and forced disappearances… see more