Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)
UN expert calls for N.korea sanctions to be eased as starvation risk looms
GENEVA, OCT 7
(REUTERS) - North Korea’s most vulnerable risk starvation after it slipped deeper into isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic and U.N. sanctions imposed for its nuclear and missile programmes should be eased, a U.N. rights investigator said in report seen by Reuters.
The worsening humanitarian situation could turn into a crisis and it is coinciding with a global “creeping apathy” about the plight of North Korea’s people, said Tomas Ojea Quintana, U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“Sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council should be reviewed and eased when necessary to both facilitate humanitarian and lifesaving assistance and to enable the promotion of the right to an adequate standard of living of ordinary citizens,” he said in a final report to the U.N. General Assembly, to be presented on Oct. 22.
Leader Kim Jong Un in June said the food situation was “tense” because of natural disasters last year and acknowledged that citizens had faced sacrifices during the pandemic. In April, North Korean officials called a U.N. report on child malnutrition a “sheer lie”.
North Korea has not reported any COVID-19 cases and has imposed strict antivirus measures, including border closures and domestic travel curbs.