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UN rights body calls for justice in North Korea

The UN Human Rights Council [official website] on Friday adopted a resolution [text] urging the UN Security Council [official website] to take action against those responsible for documented crimes against humanity in North Korea. The council approved the resolution, which expressed "Deep[] concern[] at the systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea," by a vote of 30-6 with 11 abstentions. The resolution, originally brought by Japan, "Condemns in the strongest terms" the human rights violations. North Korean ambassador So Se Pyong responded "In the DPRK, we have a proverb saying 'Mind your own business'." The resolution also extends the mandate of its human rights investigator in North Korea by a year.

The resolution based its call to action on the findings of the UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Human Rights in North Korea which compared the alleged abuses [JURIST report] to those of Nazism, apartheid and the Khmer Rouge. Earlier this month, North Korea held its first parliamentary elections [JURIST report], widely considered to be a formality rather than an actual democratic process, under the leadership of Kim Jong-un [BBC profile]. In February, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official profile] called for action [JURIST report] against North Korea after the release of the COI's human rights report. Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] released satellite pictures [JURIST report] in February showing that North Korea is continuing to expand its system of political prison camps.

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