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UN council to meet on North Korea rights abuses, nuclear program in December

Thompson Reuters



UNITED NATIONS — United Nations Security Council ministers will meet on December 15 to discuss North Korea’s nuclear and missiles programs and the body will also meet separately this month to discuss human rights abuses in the North Asian country, an annual meeting that its ally China has tried to prevent for the past three years.

Japan’s UN Ambassador Koro Bessho, president of the 15-member council for December, said several ministers were confirmed to attend the Dec 15 meeting. He also said the meeting on human rights in North Korea could be held on Dec 11.

China has unsuccessfully tried to stop three previous human rights meetings by calling a procedural vote. A minimum of nine votes are needed to win such a vote and China, Russia, the United States, Britain and France cannot wield their vetoes.

This year’s meeting has the backing of nine members – the United States, France, Britain, Italy, Japan, Senegal, Sweden, Ukraine and Uruguay.

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Last year, the United States angered North Korea by blacklisting its leader Kim Jong Un for human rights abuses.

A landmark 2014 UN report on North Korean human rights concluded that North Korean security chiefs – and possibly Kim himself – should face justice for overseeing a state-controlled system of Nazi-style atrocities.

Michael Kirby, chairman of the UN Commission of Inquiry that drew up the report, said at the time that the crimes the team had catalogued were reminiscent of those committed by the Nazis during World War Two. “Some of them are strikingly similar,” he told Reuters.

North Korea has repeatedly rejected accusations of human rights abuses and blames sanctions for a dire humanitarian situation. Pyongyang has been under UN sanctions since 2006 over its ballistic missiles and nuclear programs.

“Despite persistent sanctions and pressure by the US and other hostile forces, my government concentrates all its efforts on improving people’s livelihood and providing them with a better future,” the North Korean Permanent Mission to the United Nations said in a statement on Nov 14.

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Passenger bus falls from bridge, leaving 12 dead, injuring 46 in India’s Sitamadhi

Gorkha Post



File photo

PATNA — At least 12 people were killed and 46 others injured on Saturday after a passenger bus carrying them fell from a bridge in India’s eastern state of Bihar, officials said.

A bus carrying over 60 passengers fell off a bridge in Bihar’s Sitamarhi district, about 130 kilometres north of state capital Patna, killing 12 persons on the spot on Saturday evening, local media reported.

The accident took place at around 6 pm on the National Highway 77 near Bhanaspatti village under Runnisaidpur area of the district. Police said the bus was heading to Aurai via Runnisaidpur from Muzaffarpur.

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Reports said following the accident, some of the witnesses informed police who rushed to the spot along with health teams to carry out rescue operation.

Of the injured, 34 were admitted to the primary health centre (PHC) at Runnisaidpur while 12 were rushed to the Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) in Muzaffarpur.

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