Economy

US, allies want United Nations meet on NKorea rights abuses

US, allies want United Nations meet on NKorea rights abuses

The United Nations Security Council has set a December 15 date when ministers will meet to discuss North Korea's nuclear and missiles programs even as the body will also meet separately this month to discuss human rights abuses in the North Asian country.

Following closed consultations to set the council's monthly agenda, Japanese ambassador Koro Bessho informed reporters of a meeting set for December 15 to discuss the North's military tests, which stand in violation of Security Council resolutions.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is expected to brief the council, and USA officials say Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is likely to attend.

Speaking through its ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, the U.S. sternly warned North Korea's leadership saying it would be "utterly destroyed" if war were to break out.

All 15 council members strongly condemned North Korea's launch on Tuesday of its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile which South Korea's Defence Ministry said on Friday is potentially capable of striking targets as far as 13,000 kilometres, which would put Washington within reach.

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That sparked a strong rebuke on Saturday from Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

The UN General Assembly is also expected this month to adopt a resolution condemning North Korea for human rights violations and for conducting missile and nuclear tests while its people suffer from severe hunger.

"If there is military action, and you know that certain countries do not rule it out, then a range of different problems may follow, including for us", he said, stressing that Moscow sees diplomacy as the only solution to the crisis.

Russia's UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told the council at Wednesday's emergency meeting that Russian Federation believed the only way to resolve the situation and find a long-term solution is through "tireless and diplomatic efforts".

Russian Federation has repeatedly called on Washington, its allies and North Korea to back down from confrontation and accept a "double freeze" plan backed by China that would see the USA and South Korea halting their large-scale drills and Pyongyang suspending its nuclear and ballistic program. "I don't think anybody likes a military solution".


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