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UN Report: North Korea Using Virus To Violate Human Rights

Germany had sought an open meeting but Russia and China, both allies of North Korea, objected.

Diplomats said the Germans couldn’t muster the nine “yes” votes needed for an open meeting of the 15-member council.


North Korea sealed its border with China, its biggest trading partner and aid benefactor, as the coronavirus started spreading in January. Kim Jong Un’s government maintains it hasn’t found a single coronavirus case on its soil, a claim disputed by outside experts.

South Korea’s spy agency told lawmakers in late November that Kim had ordered at least two people executed, banned fishing and salt production at sea to prevent seawater from being infected with the virus, and locked down Pyongyang as part of frantic efforts to guard against the coronavirus and its economic damage.

North Korea has repeatedly rejected accusations of human rights abuses. It blames U.N. sanctions for the country’s dire humanitarian situation. The country has been under U.N. sanctions since 2006 over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

Issuing their statement a day after International Human Rights Day, the eight nations urged North Korea “to end its human rights violations, engage credibly with the international community on its human rights record” and allow U.N. human rights experts to have free and unhindered access to the country.

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