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U.N. commissioner: North Korea will be held responsible for human rights violations

By
Elizabeth Shim
The top U.N. commissioner on human rights said North Korea human rights violations have been analyzed in detail, and the regime is to be asked to answer for its crimes. UN Photo by Rick Bajornas/UPI
The top U.N. commissioner on human rights said North Korea human rights violations have been analyzed in detail, and the regime is to be asked to answer for its crimes. UN Photo by Rick Bajornas/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, May 18 (UPI) -- The individual ultimately accountable for North Korea human rights violations will be held responsible, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said Monday.

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein made the statement at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., in response to a reporter's question regarding the possible referral of Kim Jong Un to the International Criminal Court, Radio Free Asia reported.

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Al Hussein said that as the U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea continues to secure evidence of North Korea violations, ultimately the person responsible would be asked to answer, Yonhap reported.

The high commissioner did not make specific references to Kim or any other North Korean politician, but said that the Commission of Inquiry has investigated human rights abuses of North Korean citizens.

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Al-Hussein said the COI had secured substantial evidence of North Korea's human tragedy, and that North Korea should be referred to the ICC.

U.N. investigations show violations have taken place across various categories, including access to food, and freedom of expression and movement.

North Koreans continue to suffer serious human rights abuses, and the United Nations has stated in a report filed with the 70th Session of the U.N. General Assembly that summary executions, abductions, enforced disappearances and human trafficking still take place on a large scale in the country.

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North Korea is sensitive to international criticism of its human rights record, and earlier in April slammed the United States for releasing a human rights report critical of the regime.

North Korea has called U.S. statements on the country's political prison camps, forced labor and summary executions "outright lies," and has said the United States will be face "bone-crushing" consequences.

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