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South Korea to back UN resolution on North Korea rights practices

[JURIST] South Korea will join the European Union and Japan in supporting a UN General Assembly (UNGA) [official website] resolution [Korean Center report] condemning North Korea's human rights practices, according to a South Korean foreign ministry official Tuesday. The resolution will be submitted to the UNGA's Third Committee [official website] this week, and is expected to address issues including public executions [Chosun Ilbo report; JURIST report] and punishment for repatriated refugees [US DOS report]. AP has more.

The UNGA has adopted a resolution concerned with human rights in North Korea annually since 2005. South Korea abstained from voting in 2007 [resolution text, PDF] after joining the resolution in 2006 [resolution text, PDF], the same year that South Korea joined [Chosun Ilbo report] a resolution adopted by the UN Human Rights Council. Prior to the 2006 vote, South Korea had abstained from voting issues concerned with North Korea since 2003. Last month, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in North Korea called on [UN News Centre report; JURIST report] the country to take urgent action to improve its rights record. In March, the South Korean National Human Rights Commission of Korea [official website, in English] announced an official investigation [JURIST report] into alleged human rights violations by North Korea. North Korea is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [text] and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Political Rights [text], among other international treaties.

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