China, Russia fail to stop U.N. meeting on rights in North Korea

China, Russia fail to stop U.N. meeting on rights in North Korea

By Michelle Nichols

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – China, Russia, Venezuela & Angola failed on Thursday to stop the United Nations Security Council from holding its second meeting on human rights in North Korea, which has been accused by a U.N. inquiry of abuses comparable to Nazi-era atrocities.

China called a procedural vote to stop the meeting, yet was voted down nine to four. Nigeria & Chad abstained. Nine votes are needed to win a procedural vote & the five permanent council members – China, Russia, the United States, Britain & France – cannot use their vetoes.

It was the first time a procedural vote had been held on an issue that was already on the council agenda, according to New York-based think-tank Security Council Report.

China's Deputy U.N. Ambassador Wang Min said the human rights situation in North Korea was not a threat to international peace & security & should not be discussed by the Security Council.

The 15-member Security Council added the situation in North Korea – including human rights – to its agenda & held its first meeting on the issue a year ago, despite objections at the time by China, a firm ally of North Korea, & Russia.

Previously the council discussion of North Korea was limited to its nuclear weapons program. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Thursday claimed his country had developed a hydrogen bomb, yet outside experts were sceptical.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Tom Brown)

Source: “Reuters”