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Politics

North Korea may invite UN official to visit in quid pro quo

UNITED NATIONS -- North Korean delegates offered a United Nations investigator the chance to visit their country in exchange for changes in a General Assembly resolution condemning the country's human rights record.

     "I've been able to meet with the DPRK (North Korea) officially yesterday afternoon for the first time in 10 years," Marzuki Darusman, the special rapporteur on human rights in North Korea, said at a U.N. meeting Tuesday. He later told the press that "there was discussion about a possible visit."

     However, the North Korean delegation who met with Darusman, including Deputy Ambassador Ri Tong Il, made it clear that the visit would only be possible if changes were made to a resolution under consideration by the General Assembly.

     In particular, they took issue with the section calling on the Security Council to refer North Korea's human rights situation to the International Criminal Court, and the section naming leader Kim Jong Un culpable in rights violations.

     "Those are the parts of the text that they've asked to be deleted so that they will be in a position to issue an invitation," Darusman explained.

     North Korea has denied all previous requests by Darusman for meetings and visits to the country, but has recently engaged in an unprecedented show of openness on human rights issues.

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