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China to oppose referring N. Korea to int'l court

2014/12/19 16:39

BEIJING, Dec. 19 (Yonhap) -- China said Friday that it would oppose referring North Korea to the International Criminal Court, dimming chances of the regime being held accountable for human rights abuses detailed in a ground-breaking U.N. probe earlier this year.

China's foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang made the remarks a day after the U.N. General Assembly adopted a landmark resolution calling for North Korea to be sent to the international court. The U.N. Security Council is expected to hold a meeting next week to discuss the issue.

Asked whether China would veto the U.N. resolution at next week's Security Council meeting, Qin replied, "The Security Council is not the right place to discuss the issue of human rights."

   "And referring the issue of human rights to the International Criminal Court will by no means help solve the problem," Qin said.

A 400-page U.N. report, published earlier this year, criticized the North Korean regime for committing "crimes against humanity," citing widespread executions of people, torture and sexual violence.

The U.N. resolution will be non-binding unless endorsed by the Security Council, where China and Russia, both friendly to North Korea, have a veto. Already, China has openly voiced its objection to the resolution.