|This photo released by EPA shows Tomas Ojea Quintana, the U.N. special rapporteur on North Korea's human rights situation, during a news conference in 2018. EPA-Yonhap|
A U.N. human rights official has denounced North Korea's killing of a South Korean official last month as a violation of international human rights law during a meeting of the U.N. General Assembly.
Tomas Ojea Quintana, the U.N. special rapporteur on North Korea's human rights situation, raised the issue at the U.N. Committee on Social, Humanitarian and Cultural issues Friday (local time).
The 47-year-old fisheries official was fatally shot by the North Korean military Sept. 22 while adrift in its waters. The North has apologized but has yet to respond to Seoul's call for a joint investigation.
In his report, Quintana said North Korea broke the law with the unlawful and arbitrary killing of a civilian who was not exhibiting any imminent threat.
He urged the North to change its policy that allows its soldiers to shoot at intruders on its borders to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Quintana also called for the international community to urgently consider lifting sanctions on Pyongyang, citing the devastating impact on its trade and food security from the coronavirus outbreak. (Yonhap)