A key U.N. committee has approved a resolution condemning North Korea's "systematic, widespread and gross violations of human rights."

The General Assembly's human rights committee approved the measure sponsored by Japan and the European Union on Tuesday without a vote. Its adoption by consensus assures approval by the 193-member world body when the resolution is put to a vote next month.

North Korean Counselor Ri Song Chol told the committee that "even if the resolution is railroaded," his government totally rejects it as "full of lies, fabrications." He called the resolution "unlawful," saying the vote cannot be considered "a consensus."

The draft resolution also expresses "very serious concern" at torture, rape, public executions, arbitrary executions and the absence of due process and the rule of law.