UN committee criticizes NKorea human rights

A key U.N. committee is expressing "very serious concern" at North Korea's widespread and grave violation of virtually all human rights, from its use of torture to severe restrictions on freedom of expression, assembly and religion.

The General Assembly's human rights committee strongly urged the government to immediately end "the systematic, widespread and grave violations of human rights."

A resolution adopted by the committee Thursday by a vote of 103-18 with 60 abstentions stressed its concern about the persistence of North Korea's violations of civil, political, economic and cultural rights.

The resolution must now be approved at a plenary meeting of the 192-member world body, where its adoption is virtually certain.