Official: South Korea to Back U.N. Resolution on North Korea's Human Rights Record
SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea will vote in favor of a U.N. resolution on alleged human rights violations in North Korea, a senior Foreign Ministry official said Wednesday.
The resolution is expected to raise concerns about the rights situation in North Korea — which international advocacy groups say is among the world's worst abusers. Voting for it would make good on the new Seoul government's promise not to refrain from criticizing Pyongyang.
The official spoke Wednesday on condition of anonymity because he did not want to comment publicly before the vote, scheduled later this week at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.
The new government of conservative President Lee Myung-bak has promised a change from the reluctance of previous South Korean liberal governments to publicly criticize the North.
Since 2003, South Korea has only once voted for a U.N. resolution on human rights in its communist, impoverished and isolated neighbor — after the North's nuclear test in October 2006.
In other votes, the South either abstained or stayed away out of concerns that its criticism might hurt ties and efforts to resolve the international nuclear standoff with North Korea.