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S. Korea yet to finalize position on U.N. resolution on N.K. human rights: ministry

Diplomacy 17:29 February 25, 2021

SEOUL, Feb. 25 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has yet to finalize its position on this year's U.N. resolution condemning North Korea's human rights abuses, but it will continue communication with the United States and others on the matter, the foreign ministry said Thursday.

The ministry's comment came as Seoul's stance on co-sponsoring the resolution drew attention this week after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed support for the U.N. Human Rights Council's role in addressing human rights violations by North Korea in his speech to the council's session.

"Our government's position in relation to the resolution has yet to be finalized. But with regard to the issue, we will continue to communicate with the international community, including the United States," ministry spokesperson Choi Young-sam said in a press briefing.

Choi also cited the remarks by Second Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-moon in the U.N. session that Seoul has "profound interest" in the human rights situation in North Korea.

"The government has been making efforts so far in promoting the human rights situation for North Korean people with cooperation from the international community," the spokesperson said.

South Korea had co-sponsored the resolution since 2009 but did not join as a co-sponsor for the past two years, largely citing the current situation on the Korean Peninsula.

The resolution, led by the European Union, urges the North's leadership to prevent crimes against human rights and bring abusers to account.

The U.S. has announced that it will seek its return to the U.N. Human Rights Council, undoing the former Donald Trump administration's withdrawal from the council in 2018.

Choi Young-sam, the spokesman for South Korea's foreign ministry, gives a briefing in Seoul on Jan. 5, 2021. (Yonhap)


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