N. Korea says it has invited EU rights official

Posted at 4:37 PM, Oct 31, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-31 16:37:00-04

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — North Korea is threatening to drop its offers of visits by United Nations human rights officials if a U.N. resolution on the country doesn't remove a reference to the International Criminal Court before Saturday.

But Pyongyang's invitation to the European Union's top rights official has been sent and will stand. North Korean spokesman Kim Un Chol said the visit by the EU official, Stavros Lambrinidis, is expected next March.

The European Union's mission to the U.N. was not immediately available for comment Thursday evening. An EU official in Brussels earlier confirmed a recent North Korea meeting with Lambrinidis.

A U.N. commission of inquiry early this year detailed vast rights abuses and warned leader Kim Jong Un he could be held accountable. The new EU-Japan resolution echoes its recommendations.

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