China rejected a U.N. report alleging North Korea has committed crimes against humanity, essentially confirming fears that Beijing will shield its ally Pyongyang from international prosecution, Reuters reports.
The report, issued in February, accused North Korea of mass killings and torture comparable to Nazi-era atrocities and said officials, possibly even Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, should face the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The Chinese counsellor at China’s mission in Geneva told the U.N. Human Rights Council on Monday that the accusations were unfounded and recommendations made were “divorced from reality.”
"The inability of the commission to get support and cooperation from the country concerned makes it impossible for the commission to carry out its mandate in an impartial, objective and effective manner," Chen Chuandong said.
China, as a member of the U.N. Security Council, would have the power to veto any move to refer North Korea to the Hague-based ICC. As the Reuters article notes, diplomats had already warned China was likely to object to the report, which also criticized Beijing for its treatment of North Korean defectors.
The report was based on testimony from hundreds of victims, defectors and witnesses. It demanded closure of political prison camps believed to hold up to 120,000 people.
We reported last week on Kim Jong-un’s orders to kill 33 Christians for contact with a missionary.
Publication Date: March 17, 2014.