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S. Korea not to co-sponsor this year's U.N. resolution on N.K. human rights

All News 16:14 March 23, 2021

SEOUL, March 23 (Yonhap) -- South Korea decided not to co-sponsor a U.N. Human Rights Council resolution on North Korea's rights violations for the third consecutive year, though it will join the document's adoption by consensus, a Seoul official said Tuesday.

The council is set to adopt the resolution for the 19th straight year during the 46th session in Geneva this week, as Seoul seeks to avoid tension with the North amid its efforts to resume inter-Korean dialogue.

"The government's position will remain the same as it has been," the official told reporters, saying the decision followed a "comprehensive consideration of various situations."

"But the government plans to participate in the adoption of the resolution by consensus, as it did last year," he added.

The planned adoption of the resolution comes as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused the "authoritarian regime" in Pyongyang of "systemic and widespread abuses" against its own people last week.

After rejoining the Human Rights Council earlier this year following its withdrawal in 2018, the U.S. participated in the resolution as a co-sponsor. Other co-sponsors this year include the European Union and Japan.

In last year's resolution, the council voiced concerns over rights violations, which it said constitute crimes against humanity in many instances, and stressed that the situation may further deteriorate due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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