The European Union and Japan are asking the United Nations to press for war crimes prosecutions in North Korea. The measure to be presented to the U.N. General Assembly in the coming weeks would ask the Security Council to consider targeted sanctions against North Korean leaders “who appear to be most responsible for crimes against humanity.” It added that these crimes were “pursuant to policies established at the highest level of the state for decades.”
The draft resolution, which was obtained by AFP, draws heavily from a U.N. rights inquiry released in February that revealed a vast network of prison camps and documented cases of torture, enslavement, rape and forced abortions among other violations.
“The draft resolution represents a clear shift towards recognizing that responsibility for the horrific abuses in North Korea lies squarely on the shoulders of the government,” said Param-Preet Singh from Human Rights Watch.
The draft calls on the Security Council to take stock of the report’s findings and take “appropriate action, including through consideration of referral of the situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the International Criminal Court.” It also calls for “concrete and positive results” in efforts to account for all Japanese nationals including victims of North Korean abductions during the Cold War.
A vote is expected at the 193-nation Assembly in late November.
North Korea’s ally China, which has a veto at the Security Council, was seen as likely to reject any referral of North Korean rights abuse cases to the International Criminal Court in the Hague.
[The China Post]