China, Russia fail to derail UN meeting on North Korean dismal human rights

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.

[Reuters]

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