Security Council urged to act on alleged international crimes in North Korea

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Ivan Šimonović. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

The Security Council has been urged to take action to ensure that individuals and institutions in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) account for alleged international crimes they have committed.

That's what the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan Šimonović, said as the Council met for the first time to discuss DPRK outside of the nuclear non-proliferation issue.

He said the crimes, identified in report by the UN Human Rights Council's Commission of Inquiry, include extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, sexual violence, political violence, abductions and deliberate starvation.

Mr. Šimonović described the report as an "extensive charge sheet of international crimes" that has been brought to the Council's attention.

"For the first time a UN-mandated body has qualified human rights violations in the DPRK in terms of international criminal law. This is significant in establishing individual and institutional accountability. But it also invokes the international community's responsibility to take action to prevent and punish such crimes." (25")

Mr Šimonović said that an overwhelming majority of Member States in the UN Human Rights Council and the General Assembly as well as victims, survivors and civil society organizations around the world have asked the Security Council to take action on the report.

It includes referral of North Korea to the International Criminal Court and adoption of targeted sanctions, he added.

Stephanie Castro, United Nations

Duration: 1’35″

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