UN Security Council to hold first open meeting on North Korea human rights situation since 2017

Aug 10, 2023, 10:05 AM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council will hold its first open meeting on North Korea’s dire human rights situation since 2017 next week, the United States announced Thursday.

U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told reporters that U.N. human rights chief Volker Türk and Elizabeth Salmon, the U.N. independent investigator on human rights in the reclusive northeast Asia country, will brief council members at the Aug. 17 meeting.

“We know the government’s human rights abuses and violations facilitate the advancement of its unlawful weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles program,” Thomas-Greenfield said, adding that the Security Council “must address the horrors, the abuses and crimes being perpetrated” by North Korean leader Kim Jong Il’s regime against its own people as well as the people of Japan and South Korea.

Thomas-Greenfield, who is chairing the council during this month’s U.S. presidency, stood with the ambassadors from Albania, Japan and South Korea when making the announcement.

Russia and China, which have close ties to North Korea, have blocked any Security Council action since vetoing a U.S.-sponsored resolution in May 2022 that would have imposed new sanctions over a spate of its intercontinental ballistic missile launches. So the council is not expected to take any action at next week’s meeting.

China and Russia could protest holding the open meeting, which requires support from at least nine of the 15 council members. A senior U.S. official from the U.N. mission, who was not authorized to speak publicly, indicated the U.S. has enough council support for the meeting to take place.

The Security Council imposed sanctions after North Korea’s first nuclear test explosion in 2006 and tightened them over the years in a total of 10 resolutions seeking — so far unsuccessfully — to cut funds and curb the country’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

At a council meeting last month on Pyongyang’s test-flight of its developmental Hwasong-18 missile, North Korea’s U.N. Ambassador Kim Song made his first appearance before members since 2017.

He told the council the test flight was a legitimate exercise of the North’s right to self-defense. He also accused the United States of driving the situation in northeast Asia “to the brink of nuclear war,” pointing to its nuclear threats and its deployment of a nuclear-powered submarine to South Korea for the first time in 14 years.

Whether ambassador Kim attends next week’s meeting on the country’s human rights remains to be seen.

In March, during an informal Security Council meeting on human rights in North Korea — which China blocked from being broadcast globally on the internet — U.N. special rapporteur Salmon said peace and denuclearization can’t be addressed without considering the country’s human rights situation.

She said the limited information available shows the suffering of the North Korean people has increased and their already limited liberties have declined.

Access to food, medicine and health care remains a priority concern, Salmon said. “People have frozen to death during the cold spells in January,” and some didn’t have money to heat their homes while others were forced to live on the streets because they sold their homes as a last resort.

United States News

FILE - Office of Management and Budget director Shalanda Young speaks about the possible government...

Associated Press

White House warns Congress the US is out of money, nearly out of time to avoid ‘kneecap’ to Ukraine

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Monday sent Congress an urgent warning about the need to approve tens of billions of dollars in military and economic assistance to Ukraine, saying Kyiv’s war effort to defend itself from Russia’s invasion may grind to a halt without it. In a letter to House and Senate leaders […]

46 minutes ago

Associated Press

Shooting at home in Washington state kills 5 including the suspected shooter, report says

ORCHARDS, Wash. (AP) — Five people were killed in a shooting at a Washington state home where police said the deceased included the suspected shooter, according to a news report. The Clark County Sheriff’s Office said officers found the bodies inside a home in Orchards, Washington, following a call around 1 p.m. Sunday, KGW8-TV reported. […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Israel orders mass evacuations as it widens offensive; Palestinians are running out of places to go

DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — The Israeli military on Monday renewed its calls for mass evacuations from the southern town of Khan Younis, where tens of thousands of displaced Palestinians have sought refuge in recent weeks, as it widened its ground offensive and bombarded targets across the Gaza Strip. The expanded offensive, following the […]

3 hours ago

The Salt Lake Temple in Salt Lake City is shown on April 18, 2019. A top Mormon church official lea...

Associated Press

Takeaways from The AP’s investigation into the Mormon church’s handling of sex abuse cases

HAILEY, Idaho (AP) — Paul Rytting had been director of the Risk Management Division at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for around 15 years when a 31-year-old church member told him that her father, a former bishop, had sexually abused her when she was a child. Rytting flew from church headquarters in […]

6 hours ago

FILE - Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace gestures as he makes an election campaign speech for his wife...

Associated Press

The next Republican debate is in Alabama, the state that gave the GOP a road map to Donald Trump

ATLANTA (AP) — Republican presidential candidates will debate Wednesday within walking distance of where George Wallace staged his “stand in the schoolhouse door” to oppose the enrollment of Black students at the University of Alabama during the Civil Rights Movement. The state that propelled Wallace, a Democrat and four-term governor, into national politics is now […]

6 hours ago

FILE - The U.S. Supreme Court is seen before sunrise on Capitol Hill in Washington, March. 21, 2022...

Associated Press

OxyContin maker bankruptcy deal goes before the Supreme Court on Monday, with billions at stake

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is hearing arguments over a nationwide settlement with OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma that would shield members of the Sackler family who own the company from civil lawsuits over the toll of opioids. The agreement hammered out with state and local governments and victims would provide billions of dollars to […]

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @KTAR923...

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

Follow @KTAR923...

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University: innovating Arizona health care education

Midwestern University’s Glendale Campus near Loop 101 and 59th Avenue is an established leader in health care education and one of Arizona’s largest and most valuable health care resources.

UN Security Council to hold first open meeting on North Korea human rights situation since 2017