A U.N. expert on human rights in North Korea said Monday supreme leader Kim Jong Un and other top officials should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity, asking a key rights body to authorize three experts to look into the legal aspects of criminal accountability.
Addressing the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Marzuki Darusman said international criminal law holds military and civilian leaders responsible for failing to prevent or repress crimes against humanity by those under their authority. He said that offers a “plausible theory” to hold Kim and other leaders “individually culpable.”
“It is now time for the international community to move on with the logical next step — which is pursuing accountability of the regime and those most responsible for violations of human rights in the country,” Darusman told reporters afterward.
“Nothing happens anywhere in that country without the say-so of the highest supreme leader … Mr. Kim Jong Un,” he added.
North Korean diplomats did not attend the speech by Darusman, who is finishing his six-year tenure in the post. Earlier this month, the secretive regime’s foreign minister told the council that his country will “never, ever be bound” by international resolutions that criticize its human rights record.