US Accuses China of Trying to Cover Up North Korean Atrocities
WASHINGTON – The United States on Friday (17/3/2023), accused China of trying to hide North Korean atrocities from the world by blocking a web broadcast of an informal meeting of UN Security Council members over Pyongyang’s alleged human rights abuses.
“Some councilors are too willing to shield the regime from accountability,” US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the meeting with veiled references to China and Russia.
China and Russia argue that the 15-member Security Council, tasked with maintaining international peace and security, should not discuss human rights issues. They say such meetings should be limited to other UN bodies, such as the UN Human Rights Council or the UN General Assembly.
Chinese diplomat Xing Jisheng said the meeting, co-hosted by the United States and Albania, was “totally not constructive.”
“Instead of easing tensions, it can escalate conflict and is therefore an irresponsible move. Using UN WebTV for live broadcasts is a waste of UN resources,” he said, as quoted by Reuters.
All 15 members of the council must agree to allow such informal discussions to be broadcast on the web by the United Nations, and diplomats say it is rare for broadcasts to be blocked. Despite China’s move, the meeting on Friday was still attended by the public and media.
Thomas-Greenfield said North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs “are closely linked to the regime’s abuses of human rights.”
“The pursuit of weapons of mass destruction has always trumped human rights and the humanitarian needs of its people,” he said. “(North Korean leader) Kim Jong Un has chosen ammunition over nutrition, a missile over mankind,” he continued.