Thu, Nov 29, 2018 - Page 5 News List

N Korea urges UN to oppose rights meet

AFP, UNITED NATIONS

North Korea has urged UN Security Council members to block a US bid to hold a meeting on Pyongyang’s human rights record, saying it would run counter to recent peace moves.

North Korean Ambassador to the UN Kim Song expressed “deep surprise and regret” that the council would “swim against the current trend” by holding the meeting tentatively requested for Dec. 10, a letter sent to the council and seen by reporters on Tuesday said.

If it goes ahead, it would be the fifth time that the council has held the annual meeting to discuss human rights violations in North Korea as a threat to international peace and security.

The US has every year since 2014 garnered the nine votes needed at the council to hold the meeting, despite opposition from China.

Every year, China has requested a procedural vote in an attempt to block the meeting, arguing that human rights should be discussed at the Geneva, Switzerland-based UN Human Rights Council and not at the Security Council.

Kim wrote that the meeting would “stoke confrontation, instead of encouraging and promoting the ongoing positive developments.”

He accused the US of “conspiring to invite” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to address the Security Council to report on alleged rights abuses in North Korea.

The discussion over rights abuses in North Korea came as China and Russia have pushed the council to ease sanctions on Pyongyang to encourage progress in talks on denuclearization.

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