A United Nations human-rights committee voted to hold North Korea accountable for crimes against humanity, spurning a diplomatic campaign waged by the totalitarian regime to protect leader Kim Jong Un from any possibility of prosecution.
The non-binding resolution drafted by the European Union and Japan was adopted with 111 votes in favor, far more than the majority required.
While the text doesn’t single out Kim Jong Un by name, it calls on the Security Council to refer North Korea’s rights situation to the International Criminal Court. China’s diplomats at the UN have said their country would use its veto power on the Security Council to block any referral to the court. North Korea may also be seeking support on the Security Council from Russia.
North Korea has become increasingly active on the diplomatic front in recent weeks as the EU and Japan presented the resolution, based on a 400-page report published in February by an independent UN commission of inquiry. The study documented the regime’s network of political prisons that hold an estimated 120,000 people and cited abuses such as “extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence.”