A United Nations expert on human rights in North Korea is warning the country's supreme leader, Kim Jong Un, could be held accountable for alleged crimes against humanity.
Marzuki Darusman, the U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in North Korea, issued the warning in a report made public Monday.
The U.N. Human Rights Council should advise Kim and other senior North Korean leaders "they may be investigated, and if found to be responsible, held accountable for crimes against humanity committed under their leadership," the report said.
Darusman was the head of a special U.N. investigation into North Korea's human rights abuses, which are considered to be among the worst in the world. The so-called Commission of Inquiry accused the North of committing atrocities not seen since the Nazi era.
The panel also called for North Korean leaders to be prosecuted at the International Criminal Court. But that would require action by the U.N. Security Council. China and Russia, which are veto-wielding members of the council, oppose such a move.
The secretive North Korean government is accused of running a massive network of political prisons, as well as carrying out murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence.
In his latest report, Darusman said Pyongyang does not appear to have made any improvements on rights issues since the U.N. investigation ended two years ago. The U.N. Human Rights Council will review the report next month.