The United Nations human rights investigator for North Korea called Monday for leader Kim Jong Un and senior officials in the country to be prosecuted for committing crimes against humanity.
Marzuki Darusman told the U.N. Human Rights Council that North Korea is devoting huge resources to developing nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction while many of its citizens lack sufficient food and others work in “slave-like conditions”.
The delegation of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) boycotted the session. The European Union, United States and Japan supported Darusman’s call for accountability, although they did not refer to Kim by name.
Ambassador Robert King, U.S. envoy on North Korea, denounced the “egregious human rights violations committed by the DPRK” and said that the United States would work with other countries to “seek ways to advance accountability for those most responsible”.
China, Pyongyang’s ally, took a more conciliatory tone, saying human rights issues should not be politicized and calling for a comprehensive approach to dealing with North Korea.
Darusman, referring to a report he issued last month, said: “I would like to reiterate my appeal to the international community to move forward to ensure accountability of the senior leadership of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, including that of Mr. Kim Jong Un.”
This could be via the International Criminal Court (ICC) but failing consensus among major powers, North Korea’s leadership could be prosecuted in a third country, he said.