North Korea human rights abuses to be referred to ICC, source says

The 2015 resolution would be similar in content to the resolution issued last December, but would leave out Kim Jong Un’s name.
By Elizabeth Shim  |  Oct. 14, 2015 at 11:39 AM
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SEOUL, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- The United Nations has begun to look into ways to refer the North Korean human rights situation to the International Criminal Court.

A South Korean government source speaking to News 1 on the condition of anonymity said a draft resolution is being created under an initiative led by the European Union and other countries concerned with North Korea human rights violations.

The U.N. resolution on North Korea human rights has been updated annually since 2005, as information grows on the alleged abuses perpetrated against North Koreans who attempt to flee their country.

In February 2014, the U.N.'s Commission of Inquiry panel released an extensive report chronicling human rights abuses under the Pyongyang regime. The report, which included testimonies from defectors who witnessed summary execution, rape, torture and forced labor, asked for prosecution at the ICC, but the action requires approval from the U.N. Security Council.

Last December, the General Assembly requested the Security Council to consider referring the North Korean situation to the ICC, and on Oct. 6, the United Nations special rapporteur on North Korea said the international community should do more to protect the rights of ordinary North Koreans.

North Korea has slammed the U.N. for criticism of its human rights record and has said the evidence "is nothing more than lies from North Korean defectors, whose testimonies cannot be corroborated."

The source in Seoul said the 2015 resolution would be similar in content to the resolution issued last December, but would leave out words like "chief person responsible" and omit mention of Kim Jong Un's name, because such statements do not fit with the purposes of a U.N. resolution.

North Korea's human rights record also was the subject of a parliamentary query in Seoul on Wednesday. South Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn told lawmakers the government is considering the creation of a North Korea human rights archive.

Ruling party lawmaker Shim Yoon-jo had said during the query the collection and preservation of a human rights archive in West Germany helped to protect the human rights of East Germans, Yonhap reported.

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