U.S. believes U.N. Security Council session should focus on N.K. missiles this week: official

December 10, 2019

 The United States will address North Korea’s human rights situation at the United Nations Security Council, but believes it is better to discuss the regime’s missile launches during a session this week, a senior U.S. government official said Tuesday.

The U.S., which serves as president of the Security Council this month, has convened a session Wednesday to focus on the North’s recent missile launches and the “possibility of an escalatory … provocation” by Pyongyang.

The meeting comes after North Korea announced it had conducted a “very important test” at its Dongchang-ri satellite launch site on Saturday. South Korea later described it as a rocket engine test.

News reports suggested the U.S. scheduled Wednesday’s session instead of a meeting on North Korea’s human rights abuses, which several other council members had pushed for Tuesday to coincide with International Human Rights Day.

The U.S. official rejected any suggestion that Washington is prioritizing the nuclear issue over human rights.

“We do address human rights issues, and we will be addressing the issues in North Korea,” the official told reporters in a teleconference, adding that the U.S. will address human rights issues throughout December, including in all of the political sessions of the Security Council.

“We’re having a comprehensive update on the recent developments on the missile launches, and we feel that that’s the best use of the Security Council attention this week,” the official said.

The human rights session had been strongly protested by the North, which denies all accusations of human rights violations by the regime.