US and its allies press for a UN meeting on human rights in North Korea

Ⓒ KCNA via KNS/AFP/Archivos – KCNA VIA KNS – | North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, in an image on November 29, 2017 of the North Korean official agency KCNA, has been accused of putting his nuclear ambitions ahead of the welfare of its citizens

The United States, the United Kingdom, France and six other countries, including Uruguay, on Friday called for a meeting of the UN Permanent Council to discuss human rights abuses in North Korea, which is already criticized for its nuclear ambitions.

The session, scheduled for December 11, will be the fourth time since 2014 that the Council holds an annual meeting on the grim human rights record in the Asian country.

Italy, Japan, Senegal, Sweden and Ukraine also joined to request the meeting, according to a letter to which the AFP had access.

China, Pyongyang’s main ally, has sought in the past to block any discussion on human rights in North Korea, arguing that the Human Rights Council in Geneva was the right forum for that and not the Security Council.

But on all three occasions Beijing could not get a procedural vote and the meeting went ahead.

In addition, the United Nations General Assembly plans to adopt a resolution this month condemning North Korea for human rights violations and conducting nuclear and missile tests while its population suffers a severe famine.

North Korea held its sixth nuclear test this year and launched a series of advanced missiles, including intercontinental ballistic rockets, even as 18 million of its citizens – 70% of the population – face food shortages.

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