SEOUL, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- The U.S. and U.N. envoys for North Korea spoke at a human rights forum hosted by the Korea Institute for National Unification in Seoul on Thursday.
Both U.S. Ambassador Robert King, Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Issues, and U.N. Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in North Korea Marzuki Darusman discussed the importance of a draft U.N. resolution that recommends North Korean leader Kim Jong Un be referred to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. The U.N.'s Third Committee is expected to vote on the measure next week.
The U.N. Commission of Inquiry issued a report in February that found North Korean leaders responsible for "widespread, systematic and gross" human rights violations and recommended that the ICC consider the allegations and evidence of "crimes against humanity."
"I firmly believe that the international community should seize this unique opportunity and momentum" following the release of the U.N. Commission of Inquiry report "to help make a difference in the life of the people in North Korea, including victims, and to ensure the accountability of those responsible for serious violations of human rights," Darusman said at the conference.
While King agreed that discussion of the resolution at the Security Council level is a "useful thing," he conceded the resolution may not gain the necessary support to be put to a vote, citing China's likely veto.
North Korea has defended itself, claiming in October that "some Western countries" have a "distorted view" of its human rights record.