Commission on North Korea human rights to hold hearings in the UK and USAListen /
A UN-mandated commission of inquiry will begin hearings next week to gather information from people who have witnessed alleged human rights violations in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).
The public hearings will take place in the United Kingdom and the United States, according to a statement issued on Thursday by the commission.
They follow similar events held in South Korea and Japan in August.
Chairman Michael Kirby, a judge from Australia, says the hearings will provide "an important opportunity" to raise international awareness about human rights in the DPRK, which is also known as North Korea.
Although the commission does not have direct access to the country, he says it is still able to gather vital information from individuals who have bravely come forward to tell their stories.
The UK hearings will begin in London on Wednesday and the US hearings will take place in Washington, DC, a week later.
The three commissioners will be in New York at the end of the month to meet with UN officials and brief the General Assembly.
Dianne Penn, United Nations.