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China, Russia oppose UNSC meet on N.Korea human rights
December 23, 2014, 4:40 am

The Security Council met to discuss the situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). At the outset, the Council took a vote to adopt the provisional agenda for the meeting, the result of which was 11 for, 2 against (China and Russian Federation) and 2 abstentions (Chad and Nigeria) [Image: UN]

The Security Council met to discuss the situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). At the outset, the Council took a vote to adopt the provisional agenda for the meeting, the result of which was 11 for, 2 against (China and Russian Federation) and 2 abstentions (Chad and Nigeria) [Image: UN]

Inspite of Chinese opposition to the Security Council briefing on human rights issues in North Korea, the UN body on Monday went ahead with a meet that discussed a scathing report by a UN Commission of Enquiry on human rights abuse and torture in prisons run by Pyongyang.

The move comes even as US President Barack Obama is still deliberating on how to punish North Korea after the FBI concluded on Friday last week Pyongyang was responsible for the attack on Sony Pictures.

In a UNSC vote on Monday to decide whether the meeting should be held, Russia and China voted against while the US and its allies voted its approval.

Liu Jieyi, China’s permanent envoy to the United Nations, said Beijing was opposed to putting the situation in North Korea by the Security Council on its provisional agenda as global peace and security faces numerous daunting challenges, including the rise of the Islamic State.

“The UN Charter stipulates explicitly that the primary responsibility of the Security Council is to maintain international peace and security,” he said.

“Various UN organs have their respective functions and the division of labor. The Security Council is not the right place to get involved in human rights issues,” Liu said, stressing that the human rights issues should not be politicized.

“The Security Council should strictly abide by its responsibilities and concentrate on addressing issues which really concern international peace and security,” he added.

Warning that the situation on the Korean Peninsula remains complex and sensitive, Liu said that, “Upholding the goal of denuclearization of the Peninsula, maintaining peace and stability on the Peninsula, and insisting on dialogue and consultations as a way to solve issues, these are in the common interests of all parties concerned and should be the direction towards which all parties work together.”

He pointed out that the Security Council should refrain from “doing anything that might cause the escalation of tension”.

“The Council’s involvement in the DPRK human rights issues will go against the above goals and can only bring harm instead of benefits,” Liu said.

“China is a close neighbor of the Korean Peninsula,” he said. “We will never allow any turbulence or war taking place on the Peninsula.”

“China hopes that the relevant parties will make concerted effort to take practical actions to create conditions for the resumption of the Six-Party Talks with a view to jointly maintaining the overall situation of peace and stability of the Peninsula,” he said.

The report discussed on Monday recommends referring North Korea and its leader Kim Jong Un to the International Criminal Court.

Since both Russia and China are permanent members of the UNSC and wield a veto power, such a referral is unlikely.

Kim Jong Un has been invited by Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit Moscow next year to mark the 70th anniversary of the Soviet defeat of Nazi Germany.

Meanwhile, Beijing on Monday said it opposed all forms of cyberattacks but there was no proof that North Korea was responsible for the Sony hacking.

“Before making any conclusions there has to be a full (accounting of) the facts and foundation,” said Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying.

 

 TBP and Agencies

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