China, Russia, Venezuela and Angola failed on Thursday to stop the United Nations Security Council from holding its second meeting on human rights in North Korea, which has been accused by a U.N. inquiry of abuses comparable to Nazi-era atrocities.
China called a vote to stop the meeting, but lost nine to four. Nine votes are needed to win a procedural vote and the five permanent members – China, Russia, the United States, Britain and France – cannot use their vetoes.
The 15-member council added the situation in North Korea – including human rights – to its agenda and held its first meeting on the issue a year ago, despite objections at the time by China, a firm ally of North Korea, and Russia. Previously, the council’s discussion of North Korea was limited to its nuclear weapons program.
The 193-member U.N. General Assembly has urged the U.N. Security Council to consider referring North Korea to the International Criminal Court after a U.N. Commission of Inquiry detailed wide-ranging abuses in the impoverished Asian state. China is likely to veto such a move, diplomats said.