WASHINGTON -- The United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday adopted a resolution calling for accountability for gross human rights violations in North Korea.
It is the 15th straight year the UN General Assembly has adopted such a document, which passed by consensus without a vote.
The Assembly "condemns the long-standing and ongoing systematic, widespread and gross violations of human rights in and by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, including those that may amount to crimes against humanity," according to the text drafted by European Union member states.
It "encourages" the UN Security Council to "take appropriate action to ensure accountability," including by considering referring the North Korean situation to the International Criminal Court and by considering further sanctions to target "those who appear to be most responsible for human rights violations," an apparent reference to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
This year's resolution largely contains the same language as those of previous years. Action by the UN Security Council has been recommended since 2014.
Speaking to the Assembly, North Korean Ambassador to the UN Kim Song slammed the resolution as having nothing to do with the true protection of human rights.
He said the alleged human rights abuses described in the document do not exist and that the resolution was fabricated to tarnish the country's dignity and image, as well as to topple the regime's social structure.
The ambassador made similar remarks to the UN Third Committee last month when the panel adopted the document before sending it to the General Assembly.
Last week, several members of the UN Security Council pushed for a discussion on the regime's human rights abuses, sparking strong opposition from Pyongyang.
The United States, which serves as president of the council this month, instead convened a session on the North Korean missile threat. (Yonhap)