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US scraps UN meeting on North Korea human rights

AFP  |  United Nations 

The has dropped a bid to hold a meeting on North Korea's human rights record after failing to garner enough support for the talks, diplomats said Friday.

The decision to scrap the meeting held every year since 2014 also comes as the is seeking a second summit between and North Korean leader

had written to council members last month to urge them to block the US request for the meeting that shines a spotlight on Pyongyang's dismal record.

The US has, every year since 2014, garnered the nine votes needed at the council to hold the meeting, despite opposition from

But diplomats said that only eight countries supported the US request this year, with non-permanent member refusing to bow to pressure to lend its backing.

China, which has strong expanding ties in Africa, has argued that the is not the venue to discuss human rights as a threat to international peace and security.

Every year, had requested a procedural vote but failed to derail the meeting due to the nine "yes" votes secured by the

"They don't have the numbers this year," a told AFP. "is not on board," he added, using the official name of

The meeting had been tentatively set for Monday.

North Korean last month told council members that criticism of Pyongyang's human rights record would "swim against the current trend" of rapprochement and "stoke confrontation".

A historic summit between Trump and Kim in June opened up dialogue on denuclearization of the between the two countries after months of military threats.

A second summit is expected to be held next year, but has taken few concrete steps to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

The Security Council has slapped a series of tough economic sanctions on over its nuclear tests and ballistic missile firings.

The United States maintains that UN sanctions will remain in place until North Korea has fully scrapped its weapons programmes.

A landmark 2014 report by a documented human rights abuses on an appalling scale in North Korea, describing a vast network of prison camps where detainees are subjected to torture, and summary executions.

The report accused leader of atrocities and concluded that he could be prosecuted for crimes against humanity.

North Korea has rejected the report as a fabrication, based on testimony from dissidents living in exile.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, December 07 2018. 22:30 IST