UN letter to North Korean leader warns on-accountability for 'crimes against humanity'

Reaction from columnist Gordon Chang


A U.N. panel has warned North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that he may be held accountable for orchestrating widespread crimes against civilians in the secretive Asian nation.

The panel's chairman, retired Australian judge Michael Kirby, tells the leader in a letter accompanying a yearlong investigative report on North Korea that international prosecution is needed "to render accountable all those, including possibly yourself, who may be responsible for crimes against humanity."

The report is a wide-ranging indictment of North Korea for policies ranging from deliberate starvation and torture in political prison camps with 80,000 to 120,000 people, state-sponsored abductions, publicly motivated executions, and lifelong indoctrination.

Kirby told reporters Monday that "the letter to the Supreme Leader was respectful."

Details of the findings were reported Friday by The Associated Press.