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Top UN officials warn that N.Korea sanctions harming aid delivery

Top UN officials warn that N.Korea sanctions harming aid delivery

But China and Russian Federation argued that the UN Security Council is not the right forum to discuss the issue.

Al Hussein told the council that "the context of military tensions seems to have deepened the extremely serious human rights violations".

At a separate event on the sidelines of the Security Council meeting co-sponsored by South Korea and six other countries, North Korean defector Ji Hyeon-a spoke about her escape from the North as well as forced repatriation by China.

The human rights chief, along with other United Nations officials, expressed concern that the human rights conditions have not improved despite continued pressure and sanctions from the global community. It called the human rights issue in the country "non-existent".

In a statement on Friday, the council sanctions committee reiterated that the nine sanctions resolutions adopted since 2006 "are not meant to have adverse humanitarian consequences for the civilian population" of North Korea.

Ten members voted in favor of the meeting, China, Russia and Bolivia voted against, and Egypt and Ethiopia abstained.

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North Korea has repeatedly rejected accusations of rights abuses and blames sanctions for the humanitarian situation.

Weeks after North Korea's first act of tangible aggression in months - testing a long-range missile reportedly capable of reaching D.C. - the U.N.is making attempts to attempt to curb progress by the regime's nuclear program. China's deputy United Nations ambassador, Wu Haitao, whose country is North Korea's closest ally, said the meeting would be "counterproductive" at a time of heightened tensions. The United States, Britain, France, Sweden, Italy, Japan, Senegal, Ukraine and Uruguay had requested the meeting, the fourth to be held since 2014.

"I think again, they have to reflect on what we said with their own leadership and I don't want to try to suggest that I can read their minds or put words in their mouth".

Chinese Deputy Ambassador Wu Haitao said the council's discussion of rights abuses in North Korea was "counterproductive" at a time when tensions are running high on the Korean peninsula.

Haley said an estimated 100,000 North Koreans, including children, are in prisons, many because North Korea practices "guilt-by-association" and allows up to three generations of a family to be imprisoned along with an accused family member. But they did not offer any type of commitment to us at that point.

United Nations imposed sanctions on North Korea are adversely affecting the delivery of desperately needed humanitarian aid to the East Asian country, where an estimated 18 million North Koreans, almost 70 percent of the population, are suffering from acute food shortages, UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said, according to AFP.


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