SEOUL, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Defectors and advocacy groups gathered in The Hague to discuss North Korea human rights less than a week after a United Nations General Assembly committee adopted a resolution condemning Pyongyang's rights abuses.
The meeting, timed to coincide with the general meeting of the International Criminal Court, addressed the seriousness of North Korea human rights abuses and focused on ways to investigate those responsible, Yonhap reported.
The discussion, organized by the South Korean Embassy in the Netherlands, the International Coalition to Stop Crimes Against Humanity in North Korea and two nonprofit foundations, included presentations from a North Korean defector who shared his story of rights violations in North Korea.
Kim Hyung-soo, who worked as a biophysicist in North Korea, escaped to the South in 2009, but his elderly mother was repatriated from China.
After her arrest, Kim's mother was tortured to death, according to the report.
"This act of the North Korean authorities is a crime against humanity involving torture and forced disappearance, prohibited under the Rome Statute of the ICC," Kim said during his testimony.
Kim also said the punishment his mother endured is not limited to a few people but is rather systematically carried out against all North Koreans.
"The ICC must take an interest in North Korean human rights issues," Kim said.
ICNK's South Korean director Kwon Eun-kyung said North Korea's forced laborers who take part in mass mobilization movements are essentially part of a modern "slavery system."
Kwon also said the forced labor system that operates domestically is not mentioned in the current reports of the commission of inquiry on human rights.
Last week the U.N. General Assembly's human rights committee approved a resolution that includes language that clarifies the need to punish Kim Jong Un and refer the state to the International Criminal Court.