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Pyongyang opposes UNSC meeting on N. Korea's human rights

By Yonhap

Published : Aug. 15, 2023 - 21:35

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Pyongyang on Tuesday opposed the United States' request for a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting to address human rights abuses in North Korea, calling the move "a violent infringement upon its dignity and sovereignty."

The US, which holds the 15-nation UNSC's rotating presidency this month, requested a formal meeting on human rights abuses in North Korea along with Japan and Albania. If held on Thursday, it will be the first such meeting since December 2017.

"The US's despicable fuss over human rights issue is a violent infringement upon our dignity and sovereignty and a serious challenge. We firmly condemn and reject the move," Kim Son-gyong, Pyongyang's vice foreign minister for international organizations, said in a statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Kim said Washington's call for the UNSC meeting reveals its hostility against Pyongyang, vowing to "firmly respond to any hostile acts by US and protect the national sovereignty and interests of North Korean people."

It is not yet clear whether China and Russia, which have taken sides with North Korea in recent UNSC meetings over its missile tests, could demand a procedural vote to decide on the matter.

A procedural vote requires nine affirmative votes among 15 members to proceed, and a permanent member's negative vote does not invalidate the decision.

On Monday, China's UN mission expressed its opposition to the planned meeting on North Korean rights issues, saying it will only intensify confrontation and antagonism.

North Korea leader Kim Jong-un and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday exchanged letters pledging to further develop their bilateral relations on the occasion of Liberation Day, which marks Korea's liberation from the Japanese 1910-45 colonial rule, according to the KCNA. (Yonhap)