NEW YORK, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- The United Nations General Assembly endorsed a resolution that condemns North Korea's human rights abuses and called for the violations to be referred to the International Criminal Court.
The assembly had passed similar resolutions for 11 years, but Thursday's motion marked the second time the U.N. is appealing to its Security Council to refer the violations, which include summary executions, rape and torture, to the ICC, Kyodo News reported.
Ahead of the vote on Thursday, North Korean diplomat Ri Song Chol condemned the resolution and said the motion was politically motivated and "based upon all sorts of distortions and fabrications including sheer lies."
The resolution received 119 votes in favor and 48 abstentions. China, Russia and Iran were among 19 countries that voted against the proposal, which strongly recommends Pyongyang to release political prisoners, end torture and repression and end malnutrition.
The U.N.'s approach to North Korea is influencing South Korea's North Korea policy.
Seoul's Unification Ministry spokesman said Friday South Korea must consider the objectives of the U.N. Security Council's sanctions resolutions before resuming tourism to the North's Mount Kumgang region, South Korean outlet News 1 reported.
"The goal of the U.N. Security Council sanctions is to block the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction," Jeong Joon-hee said. "In the case of the Mount Kumgang tourism project, we must take into consideration the objectives of the sanctions and the concerns of the international community."
U.N. Security Council Resolution 2094, adopted unanimously in 2013, prohibits cash transfers and access to luxury goods for North Korea diplomats, who have been tasked by leader Kim Jong Un with earning foreign currency for the regime.
Kim, who has been in power for more than three years, has been consolidating his position, but a source in North Korea told South Korean outlet Daily NK Kim always is preparing for war.
The source, based in North Hamkyong Province, said that deep in the mountain areas of Jagang Province, are "hundreds of meters" of multiple tunnels that were built for Kim's escape.
The tunnels are "emergency exits for Kim's exclusive use, if war breaks out," the source said.