The U.N. Security Council on Friday met to discuss North Korea’s “appalling” human rights situation, overriding a bid by China, Russia and three other countries (Angola, Egypt and Venezuela) to block the meeting.
It was the third time Beijing has failed to stop the annual discussion at the Security Council since a U.N. commission of inquiry in 2014 accused Pyongyang of committing atrocities unparalleled in the modern world. Pyongyang’s sole ally and trade partner, China has long argued that international efforts should firmly focus on talks to denuclearize North Korea.
The U.N. commission of inquiry found compelling evidence of torture, execution and starvation in North Korea, where between 80,000 and 120,000 people are being held in prison camps.
“There has been no improvement in the truly appalling human rights violations in the country,” said U.N. rights official Andrew Gilmour.
South Korean Ambassador Cho Tae-yul told the council that North Korea had squandered $200 million on two nuclear tests and 24 missile launches — funds that Cho said should have been spent on easing the dire humanitarian situation.
[The Japan Times]