100,000 North Koreans protest UN’s human rights resolution

Seoul : Some 100,000 North Koreans have staged a demonstration in Pyongyang against the UN resolution seeking to bring human rights violations in North Korea under the international justice system, media reported Wednesday.

Senior officials from the government and the ruling Workers Party, armed forces members, workers, farmers and students took part in the massive protest Tuesday in which the UN resolution was described as a declaration of war, according to the KCNA state news agency and the KCTV television channel.

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Last week, the UN adopted a resolution, proposed by the European Union and Japan, to try Pyongyang’s crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court.

However, the resolution will have to be submitted for a referendum in December and then passed by the UN Security Council for it to come into effect.

North Korea has strongly protested the move and even threatened to carry out another nuclear test.

Government spokespersons from the country called the resolution a political move to stain the dignity of North Korea, according to KCNA.

They also reiterated that the UN initiative served the interests of the US, a country North Korea defines as the worst perpetrators of human rights abuses in the world.

The UN resolution, passed with 111 votes in favour and 19 against Nov 18, intends to hold those responsible for human rights abuses in North Korea, including its leader Kim Jong-un, accountable before the international court.

In case the resolution reaches the Security Council, it is expected that China and Russia would use their veto power to prevent the international court at the Hague from trying the regime’s human rights cases, documented in a UN report released in March.

The report, which contains testimonies of hundreds of people who have fled the country, reveals cases of murder, slavery, forced disappearances, summary executions, torture, sexual violence, forced abortions and food deprivation, among others.

It also estimated that around 120,000 people are employed at forced labour camps in several parts of the country.

Kim’s regime, which is yet to submit to independent inspections, has always maintained that such human rights reports have been fabricated and serve the political interests of the US.