US, allies use UN panel to pressure defiant North Korea

WASHINGTON - The United States and its allies are applying a new form of pressure on North Korea, already facing a tightening ring of United Nations sanctions over its nuclear and missile tests: tougher UN censure of Pyongyang's human rights record.
In a move human rights advocates say is long overdue, the European Union and Japan are circulating a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva calling for a formal commission of inquiry into North Korea's record.
The US-backed move could, in theory, lay the foundation for referring North Korea to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity for its system of gulag penal camps and other serious abuses.
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