EU preparing UN draft resolution on NK human rights

The European Union is working on a draft resolution on North Korea's human rights to be submitted to a United Nations committee, its delegation to South Korea said Tuesday, amid growing concerns over China's forced repatriation of North Korean defectors.

The draft resolution, usually led by the EU, is submitted to the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly dealing with human rights and social affairs, and finalized after consultations with other UN members.

"The EU is again preparing a Third Committee resolution on the human rights situation in the DPRK," the EU delegation to South Korea said in response to an email inquiry by Yonhap News Agency.

DPRK stands for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"An updated text will be shared with the wider UN membership by the end of October," it said.

The upcoming resolution is "comprehensive and covers all aspects of the human rights situation in the DPRK, including the important principle of non-refoulement," according to the delegation.

Earlier, human rights advocacy groups claimed China forcibly sent back around 600 North Korean defectors detained in the provinces of Jilin and Liaoning on Oct. 9. Seoul's unification ministry later confirmed that a "large number" of North Korean residents were repatriated, without specifying the figures.

The delegation said the EU is "discussing possible updates" of a paragraph in the resolution on repatriation "in close and constructive cooperation" with its co-sponsors, including South Korea.

Since 2005, the UN General Assembly has adopted the resolution condemning North Korea's dire human rights situation every year.

In previous years, the committee passed the resolution on the North Korea issue in mid-November for approval at the UN General Assembly in December.

Last year, South Korea co-sponsored the resolution for the first time in four years, as the conservative Yoon Suk Yeol administration has taken a proactive stance in dealing with the North's rights issues since its launch in May 2022. (Yonhap)