UN meeting on NKorea rights record canceled
UNITED NATIONS, New York: The United States has dropped a bid to hold a UN Security Council meeting on North Korea’s human rights record after failing to garner enough support for the talks, diplomats said Friday (Saturday in Manila).
The decision to scrap the meeting held every year since 2014 also comes as the US is seeking a second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
North Korea had written to council members last month to urge them to block the US request for the meeting that shines a spotlight on Pyong-
The US has, every year since 2014, garnered the nine votes needed at the council to hold the meeting, despite opposition from China.
eight countries supported the US request this year, with nonpermanent member Ivory Coast refusing to bow to pressure to lend its backing.
China, which has strong expanding ties in Africa, has argued that the Security Council is not the venue to discuss human rights as a threat to international peace and security.
raised in the Geneva- based Human Rights Council.
Every year, China has requested a procedural vote but failed to derail the meeting due to the nine “yes” votes secured by the U.
this year,” a diplomat
Security Council told AFP. “Cote
added, using the official name of Ivory Coast.
The meeting had been tentatively set for Monday.
A US official however suggested the meeting could still take place at a later date, but not in December, when Ivory Coast holds the monthly rotating presidency of the Security Council.
“If we are unable to hold this important discussion this month, we hope to revisit holding this meeting in the new year,” said the US official.
“We continue to believe that discussions on human rights — and particularly concerning human rights abuses in North Korea — are a crucial part of the maintenance of international peace and security and worthy of the UN Security
North Korean Ambassador Kim Song last month told council members in a letter that criticism
record would “swim against the current trend” of rapprochement and “stoke confrontation.”
A historic summit between Trump and Kim in June opened up dialogue on denuclearization of the Korean peninsula between the two countries after months of military threats.
A second summit is expected to be held next year, but North Korea has taken few concrete steps to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
The Security Council has slapped a series of tough economic sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear tests and ballistic missile firings.
The US maintains that UN sanctions will remain in place until North Korea has fully scrapped its weapons programs.
A landmark 2014 report by a UN Commission of Inquiry documented human rights abuses on an appalling scale in North Korea, describing a vast network of prison camps where detainees
- tion and summary executions.
The report accused leader Kim Jong Un of atrocities and concluded that he could be prosecuted for crimes against humanity.
report as a fabrication, based on testimony from dissidents living in exile.