N.K. human rights resolution submitted to U.N. panel

SEOUL/NEW YORK, Nov. 1 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean government said Thursday it supports a new North Korean human rights resolution submitted to a U.N. panel.

The Third Committee is expected to pass the resolution by consensus and forward it to a U.N. General Assembly session for a vote next month, according to Kim Deuk-hwan, deputy spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

If it's adopted, it would mark the 14th straight year for the U.N. to condemn the communist nation's human rights abuse in writing.

This year's resolution, Kim said, also welcomes the ongoing diplomatic engagement with Pyongyang and an inter-Korean agreement on the issue of families separated by the Korean War six decades ago.

It takes note of the U.N. Commission of Inquiry (COI) report in 2014 that details abuses ranging from torture and rape to public executions and retaliation against repatriated asylum seekers.

The document, drafted mainly by the European Union and Japan, calls for the problem to be brought to the International Criminal Court and the North Korean leadership to be punished, as recommended by the COI.

"Our government will participate in the adoption of the resolution under the basic principle to make joint efforts with the international community for the human rights of North Korean people to be addressed substantively as a universal value of mankind," Kim said at a press briefing.

In a report released in Seoul, the Human Rights Watch, a U.S.-based activist group, said North Korean women face rampant sexual abuse by state officials who were barely held accountable due to the characteristics of the secretive regime's ruling system.

The report was based on interviews with dozens of North Korean defectors, the group said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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