UN officials discuss North Korea human rights abuses for first time since 2017

Watch live as the United Nations Security Council meets publicly on Thursday, 17 August, to discuss human rights abuses in North Korea in a move requested by the United States, Albania and Japan.

The discussion, which is the first formal public meeting of the 15-member council on the issue since 2017, is likely to anger Pyongyang and face opposition from China and Russia.

Last week, North Korea’s vice foreign minister Kim Son Gyong described the open meeting as “despicable,” while China’s UN mission spokesperson said the discussion has “no added value.”

The council’s mandate is “maintenance of international peace and security, not human rights,” China added.

For years, North Korea has repeatedly rejected accusations of abuses.

In 2014, a UN report called for North Korean security chiefs, and possibly its leader Kim Jong Un, to face justice for overseeing a state-controlled system of Nazi-style atrocities.

North Korean officials have blamed sanctions, in place since 2006 over its ballistic missiles and nuclear programs, for a dire humanitarian situation.

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