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Reports: 43 member states co-sponsor North Korea human rights draft resolution

Reports: 43 member states co-sponsor North Korea human rights draft resolution
A draft resolution submitted during the the 46th session of the U.N. Human Rights Council condemns North Korean rights violations an includes 43 member states as co-sponsors, according to press reports Friday. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

March 12 (UPI) -- Dozens of United Nations member states are co-sponsoring a draft resolution at the U.N. Human Rights Council, condemning North Korean human rights abuses, but South Korea is not one of them, according to reports.

South Korean television network KBS reported Friday that Seoul's foreign ministry confirmed the submission of a draft resolution during the 46th session of the Human Rights Council.

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Forty-three member states, including the United States, Japan, the European Union and Australia are co-sponsors, according to Voice of America's Korean service.

South Korea was not on the list, VOA reported.

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A South Korean foreign ministry source told Newsis that the government's position on participation has not been finalized.

The human rights situation in North Korea has not improved since Kim Jong Un assumed power, according to U.N. reports. The international body has called on member states to do more, including providing assistance to fleeing North Koreans in third countries.

In the United States, a shift in foreign policy under the Biden administration has meant greater engagement.

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"The United States is placing democracy and human rights at the center of our foreign policy," U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last month.

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"We encourage the Council to support resolutions...addressing issues of concern around the world, including ongoing human rights violations in Syria and North Korea."

After co-sponsoring North Korean human rights resolutions from 2010 to 2018, the United States declined to participate after former President Donald Trump withdrew from the Human Rights Council.

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South Korea has not co-sponsored resolutions since 2019, citing its policy of advancing a "Korean Peninsula peace process."

Diplomatic and civic exchanges have not restarted between the two Koreas after 2019, but the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifier for Group H are to be held in South Korea in June, South Korean network YTN reported Friday.

The two Koreas are in Group H, and the North Korean team could visit South Korea this year, according to the report.

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