Wed, 06 Dec 2023

UNITED NATIONS: China has blocked the United States from broadcasting over the internet an informal United Nations Security Council meeting on human rights abuses in North Korea.

Diplomats said it is rare for a broadcast to be blocked.

The meeting was scheduled for Match 17, but the 15 council members have to unanimously agree to allow it to be webcast.

China told its council colleagues this week, in an email seen by Reuters, that the discussion "won't bring any benefit, and we have been against the holding of this ... meeting from the very beginning," China said.

Pyongyang rejects accusations of human rights abuses and blames sanctions for a dire humanitarian situation in North Korea. The country has been under U.N. sanctions over its ballistic missile and nuclear programs since 2006.

"Why is China so afraid of discussing human rights publicly?" asked a U.N. diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The aim of the informal council discussion is to spotlight rights abuses in North Korea and "identify opportunities for the international community to promote accountability," according to a note to council members last week from the United States and elected council member Albania, which is co-hosting the meeting.

The discussion comes amid increasing international tensions over North Korea.

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