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(2nd LD) Draft U.N. resolution calls for referring N.K. leader to ICC for human rights violations

2014/10/09 11:54

NEW YORK, Oct. 8 (Yonhap) -- A draft U.N. resolution on North Korea's human rights problem calls for referring the totalitarian nation's leader, Kim Jong-un, to the International Criminal Court (ICC), a diplomatic source said Wednesday.

The draft resolution, written by the European Union, was circulated behind closed doors at the U.N. on Wednesday, the source told Yonhap News Agency on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to speak about the proposed resolution until it is adopted.

"It marks the first time that a U.N. resolution on North Korea human rights includes a plan to bring the North Korean leadership to an international court over anti-human rights charges although this is a draft now," the source said.

He declined to give further details of the draft.

The resolution needs to be approved by related U.N. councils and the General Assembly to become effective.

North Korea has long been labeled one of the worst human rights violators in the world. The communist regime does not tolerate dissent, holds hundreds of thousands of people in political prison camps across the nation and keeps tight control over outside information.

Pyongyang has bristled at any talk of its human rights conditions, calling it a U.S.-led attempt to topple its regime. Earlier this month, the North released its own human rights report, claiming the country has the world's most advantageous human rights system and policies.

This year, the issue has drawn greater international attention since the U.N. Commission of Inquiry issued a report in February after a yearlong probe, saying that North Korean leaders are responsible for "widespread, systematic and gross" violations of human rights.

The report also said the International Criminal Court should handle North Korea's "crimes against humanity."