For the 19th consecutive year, the UN Human Rights Council has adopted by consensus a resolution condemning human rights abuses in North Korea.
Submitted by the EU and co-sponsored by 43 countries, this year's resolution stressed the importance of international aid to the regime amid the pandemic.
And for the first time, human rights breaches against non-repatriated prisoners of the Korean War and their descendants were also included.
But for the third straight year, South Korea did not join as a co-sponsor.
Noting that the decision was based on a comprehensive review of various situations, Seoul's foreign ministry said it did take part in adopting the resolution by consensus.
"Universal values like human rights are important to South Korea but there's also the inter-Korean ties. So it's a dilemma for Seoul not to join actions that provoke the North when the peace process on the Korean Peninsula should speed up."
And after leaving the council in 2018 during the Trump administration, Washington has returned as a co-sponsor this year, as the Biden administration has been vocal about human rights issues in the regime.
"It's no surprise because the Biden administration values international solidarity based on mutual interests including democracy and human rights. Washington will continue to join moves that pursue universal values including human rights and freedom of religion."
Calling the decision a (quote) "political provocation," Pyeongyang denounced the passage of the resolution and said it's an infringement on the North's sovereignty and encroaches upon its internal affairs.
China and Russia also said they don't abide by the decision.
Kim Dami, Arirang News.