US blasts China for attempt to hide North Korea atrocities, Beijing calls it ‘irresponsible move’

The United States has denounced members of the United Nations Security Council for what it considers an attempt to protect North Korea from public scrutiny. “Instead of easing tension it may rather intensify the conflict and therefore is an irresponsible move,” the Chinese diplomat said.

A North Korea flag flutters next to concertina wire at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Pyongyang rejects accusations of human rights abuses and blames sanctions for a dire humanitarian situation in North Korea (Photo: Reuters/File)

By India Today World Desk: The United States has blasted China for trying to shield ‘atrocities’ committed by North Korea from the world by blocking the webcast of an informal meeting of United Nations Security Council members. China had moved to block a live online broadcast of an informal Security Council meeting in which North Korea’s alleged human rights abuses were expected to be discussed, reported news agency Reuters.

“Some council members are all too willing to shield the regime from accountability,” US Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the meeting in a veiled reference to China and Russia.

“We will continue to speak out against North Korea’s human rights abuses and threats to international peace. They may be able to shut down the voices of the people in North Korea, but they cannot shut our voices down,” the US mission tweeted.

Each of the Security Council’s 15 members has to agree before informal discussions are broadcast live. Russia and China have argued that the 15-member Security Council should not discuss human rights issues.

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According to them, such meetings should be confined to other UN bodies like the UN Human Rights Council or the UN General Assembly.


China slammed the US for blaming it for attempting to hide North Korea’s ‘atrocities’ and termed it an ‘irresponsible move’.

Chinese diplomat Xing Jisheng said the meeting, co-hosted by the United States and Albania, was “not constructive in any way.”

“Instead of easing tension, it may rather intensify the conflict and therefore, it is an irresponsible move. Using U.N. WebTV for live broadcast is a waste of U.N. resources,” he said.

North Korea said on Friday that its launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile a day prior was intended to “strike fear into the enemies” of its government, headed by Kim Jong Un, Al Jazeera reported.

The missile launches were carried out at a time when South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and Japanese Prime Minster Fumio Kishida were in Tokyo to mend ties between their two countries.

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“Instead of easing tension, it may rather intensify the conflict and therefore is an irresponsible move,” a Chinese diplomat said.

He also dismissed the proposal to broadcast the proceedings on the UN’s WebTV platform as “a waste of UN resources”.

Russian diplomat Stepan Kuzmenkov also echoed those criticisms in his statement to the Security Council, accusing the US of using human rights as a political tool.

“The feigned hypocritical concern of the West about human rights in North Korea isn’t fooling anybody,” Stepan Kuzmenkov told the meeting. “Everybody knows full well that the US uses human rights to settle scores with governments not to their liking.”

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Thomas-Greenfield said North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs were “inextricably linked to the regime’s human rights abuses.”

“The pursuit of weapons of mass destruction always trumps human rights and humanitarian needs of its people,” she said. “(North Korean leader) Kim Jong Un has chosen ammunition instead of nutrition, missiles over humankind.”

North Korea has long denied human rights violations against its people, and it did not take part in Friday’s meeting. The country has been under UN sanctions over its ballistic missile and nuclear programs since 2006.

(With agency inputs)

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