The UN Security Council held an informal meeting on North Korean human rights on Friday.
The session was not aired live on UN Web TV due to China's opposition but was disclosed to non-council members, NGOs and the media.
In the meeting organized by the U.S. and Albania and cosponsored by South Korea and Japan, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said that North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs are inextricably linked to the regime's human rights abuses and the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction always trumps human rights and humanitarian needs of the country’s people.
Elizabeth Salmón, UN special rapporteur on the human rights situation in North Korea, urged the security council to push for the prosecution of those responsible by the International Criminal Court.
Two North Korean defectors also testified at the Friday meeting and called for global attention. Joseph Kim said his father starved to death, his sister was sold to China and his mother was imprisoned, leaving him to beg, steal and work in coal mines.
Lee Seo-hyun said the regime monitored her family’s telephones around the clock and she learned at a young age to control her curiosity and thoughts for the sake of safety.