Writing in the Dong-A Ilbo today Ji-Sun Choi aurinko reports that the South Korean government has declined to co-sponsor a United Nations resolution condemning North Korea’s human rights violations, which will be adopted at the 46th session of the Human Rights Council.
Human Rights experts familiar with the situation in the country describe the decision as outrageous.
The Dong-A Ilbo reports that South Korea has not joined the resolution as a co-sponsor since 2019. The Joe Biden administration, however, put human rights issues on the top of its North Korea policy, heavily condemning North Korea as an “oppressive regime.” Predictions are out that there could be friction between Seoul and Washington over how to deal with human rights violations in North Korea.
A South Korean government official said on Monday that South Korea will not join this year’s UN resolution on human rights violations in North Korea as a co-sponsor but will only support a resolution adopted by consensus. South Korea had co-sponsored the resolution for 11 straight years from 2008 to 2018 but the Moon Jae-in administration has refused to co-sponsor the UN’s North Korea human rights resolution since 2019, saying it made this decision after comprehensively considering the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
On the other hand, the Biden administration returned to the UN Human Rights Council this year and joined the resolution as a co-sponsor along with 43 countries, including Japan and the European Union. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken denounced North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by saying the North Korean people are being subject to widespread and systematic abuses under the oppressive regime during his visit to South Korea on Wednesday and Thursday.