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Report: UN Likely to Adopt Pyongyang Human Rights Resolution

The United Nations General Assembly likely will adopt a resolution on North Korea’s human rights situation this month, according to a senior South Korean official.

In a background briefing with reporters Wednesday, the official from the South Korean Foreign Ministry, said the General Assembly likely will vote on and adopt the resolution during a plenary session that starts December 18. The resolution was passed in November by the U.N.'s human rights committee.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, added that the Security Council is expected to discuss putting the issue on its agenda. Chad, which is assuming the rotating U.N. Security Council presidency this month, has been in talks on the issue with South Korea and other countries.

The move follows a recent U.N. committee vote calling on the Security Council to refer North Korea to the International Criminal Court for alleged human rights violations.

North Korea is accused of operating a network of political prisons holding more than 100,000 people and atrocities that include “murder, torture, rape and forced abortions.”

In February, a U.N. Commission of Inquiry published a report accusing Pyongyang of "systematic, widespread and grave violations of human rights."

North Korea cannot be referred to the ICC without the endorsement of the Security Council and it is not clear if Russia or China would use their veto power to block such a move.

Jee Abbey Lee contributed to this report, which was produced in collaboration with the VOA Korean service.