Western ambassadors on the United Nations Security Council revealed gruesome details of alleged human rights violations in North Korea on Monday at an unprecedented debate and called for its leaders to be tried for crimes against humanity.
But a resolution proposing referral of senior North Korean officials to the International Criminal Court for prosecution went unheeded after China and Russia, which have the power to veto any action by the council, urged against a vote that their representatives said could only aggravate tensions on the Korean peninsula.
Although the majority of the 15-member council spoke damningly of the Pyongyang government’s treatment of political prisoners, said to number about 120,000, China attempted to prevent the discussion of its ally’s behavior in what Beijing considers domestic matters.
A U.N. Security Council discussion on Dec. 22 of North Korea’s human rights record adjourned without a vote on whether to refer leader Kim Jong Un, shown in a photo from last year, to the International Criminal Court for trial on charges of crimes against humanity. (Korean Central News Agency)
Russia, which comes in for sharp criticism of its own human rights record, was the only council member to vote with China in its failed attempt to cancel the discussion before it started. The two authoritarian powerhouses were probably opposed to the precedent set by the debate, the first by the only U.N. body empowered to censure a member state.
Probably should have gone with this longer story.
Unfortunately, it looks like 2 countries at least, voted against the resolution.