US to back NKorea human rights probe

North Korea
Posted at 6:48 PM, Feb 13, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-06 11:47:47-05

WASHINGTON (AP) — U. S. officials say Washington is favorably disposed toward some kind of international inquiry into alleged human rights abuses in North Korea but is waiting for nations to reach a consensus on details before formally declaring its support.

The officials, speaking anonymously, say the U.S. would back the move at next month's U.N. Human Rights Council.

The U.N.'s top human rights official says an inquiry into "serious crimes" in North Korea would be authorized by the U.N. but performed by independent experts. Navi Pillay says it's one of the worst but least reported human rights situations in the world.

Activists complain that the authoritarian state's human rights record receives much less international attention than its nuclear and missile programs.

Pillay says as many as 200,000 people are being held in North Korean political prison camps rife with torture, rape and slave labor, and that some of the abuses may amount to crimes against humanity.