Kim Jong-un Could Face Int'l Court for Rights Abuses, UN Warns

The UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea released a final report on Monday warned the Stalinist country's leader Kim Jong-un could face an international tribunal for human rights abuses.

The warning came in a damning report on human rights abuses in the North, the result of an extensive investigation that started in March last year.

The North Korean regime committed "systematic, widespread, and grave violations of human rights," which "may amount to crimes against humanity," the report warned.

"The international community must accept its responsibility to protect the people of [North Korea] from crimes against humanity, because [North Korea] has manifestly failed to do so," it adds.

It singled out enforced disappearance of whole families to political prison camps, torture and forced abortions, and the total absence of freedom of thought and belief in the North. The commission also condemned the almost complete lack of freedom of movement for North Koreans within their country and abroad, discrimination based on birth and family, and a bizarre history of abductions of people from other countries, mainly Japan and South Korea.

Panel chairman Michael Kirby, a retired judge, said in Geneva that the "suffering and tears of the people of North Korea demand action."

Kirby has written to Kim personally to warn him of the consequences. "The commission wishes to draw your attention that it will therefore recommend that the United Nations refer the situation in [North Korea] to the International Criminal Court to render accountable all those, including possibly yourself, who may be responsible for the crimes against humanity."

englishnews@chosun.com / Feb. 18, 2014 12:13 KST