UN slams North Korea for diverting funds to missiles
UNITED Nations member states condemned widespread human rights violations in North Korea and expressed concerns that funds needed to ease the dire humanitarian crisis are spent on Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear programs.
A resolution drafted by Japan and the EU was adopted by a consensus vote in the General Assembly’s committee on humanitarian affairs.
Following the vote, diplomats from China, which is Pyongyang’s ally, as well as Russia, Syria, Iran and Cuba took the floor to state they were disassociating themselves from the outcome.
The full General Assembly will vote on the measure next month.
North Korea has conducted two nuclear tests this year and test-fired a series of missiles, even as 18 million North Koreans out of a total population of 25 million are facing food shortages, Japan’s Koro Bessho said on November 15.
“The authorities of the DPRK [North Korea], without regard to the plight of their own citizens, divert their limited resources to develop weapons of mass destruction,” the ambassador said.
“Such institutional decision itself is a human rights violation,” he told the committee.
North Korean counsellor Ri Song Chol responded, “Japan should mind its own business.”
Pyongyang “categorically rejects” the resolution, said the North Korean diplomat, describing it as one-sided and an “extreme manifestation of politicisation.”
The resolution for the third year encourages the Security Council to refer North Korea to the International Criminal Court for war crimes investigation. –