U.N. General Assembly passes N. Korean human rights resolution for 18th consecutive year
WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 (Yonhap) -- The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday passed a resolution calling for international efforts to improve human rights conditions in the reclusive state.
It marks the 18th consecutive year the world body adopted a resolution on North Korean human rights.
The resolution, sponsored by the European Union, expresses concerns over dire human rights conditions in the impoverished North, while also expressing concerns over what it calls illegal detention, torture and execution of foreign nationals in the country.
The resolution, co-sponsored by South Korea for the first time in four years, calls on Pyongyang to immediately release all related information to the families and countries of foreign nationals detained in the North.
The resolution was unanimously adopted by the Third Committee of the U.N. General Assembly on Nov. 16.
A North Korean envoy to the United Nations said the country rejects and condemns the U.N. resolution, calling it a "great politically-motivated provocation" aimed at undermining the country's socialist system.
"The draft resolution, which is a product of a hostile policy of the United States and its followers against the DPRK, has nothing to do with the promotion and protection of human rights," the North Korean diplomat told the General Assembly meeting shortly before it adopted the resolution without a vote.
"The so-called human rights violation mentioned in the draft resolution cannot exist in our country, where a people-first principle is fully embodied in all spheres of social life," the North Korean envoy added.
The U.N. resolution condemns North Korea for its continued missile tests, saying the country converts its resources from its people for use in its illicit weapons programs.
The latest U.N. resolution on North Korean human rights also came as Pyongyang said it successfully staged a static firing test of high-thrust solid-fuel motor at its Sohae Satellite Launching Ground on Thursday (local time).
Pyongyang has conducted 63 ballistic missile tests, including eight intercontinental ballistic missile tests, so far this year, setting a new record that far exceeds its previous annual record of 25.
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