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U.N. may push for special tribunal for N. Korea: source

All Headlines 07:39 March 24, 2014

NK human rights-UN court

Park supports U.N. report on N. Korea's rights

U.N. may push for special tribunal for N. Korea: source

NEW YORK, March 23 (Yonhap) -- The United Nations may seek to establish a special court to try North Korean leaders responsible for atrocities against people there, a diplomatic source in New York said Sunday.

It would be a more realistic way to deal with the issue than a push to bring it to the International Criminal Court (ICC), which will apparently be vetoed by China, according to the source.

"In fact, it's impossible to refer those responsible for crimes against humanity in North Korea to the ICC as China is certain to exercise its right to veto a (recent) U.N. report on North Korean human rights," the source said.

After a year-long probe, the Commission of Inquiry (COI) said in February systemic human rights violations are prevalent in the communist nation.

It said North Korea's leadership has committed crimes against humanity, calling for the case to be handled by the ICC.

Beijing, a major communist ally of Pyongyang, openly said it does not recognize the COI's findings.

"A way to deal with the North Korean human rights matter within the framework of the international judicial system despite China's opposition is to establish a special court at the U.N.," the source said. "Accordingly, serious discussions are expected on the measure."

Setting up such a special court is decided by a majority vote at the U.N. General Assembly without a vote at the Security Council where China is a veto-wielding power, added the source.

In possible precedents, the U.N. established special international criminal tribunals for Rwanda and Yugoslavia to prosecute those responsible for committing atrocities during times of war and genocide.

This year, the U.N. General Assembly will be convened in November.

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