N. Korea leader can be referred to ICC if found to be behind killing

A legal adviser to the International Criminal Court (ICC) argued the leader of North Korea can be referred to the world judicial body if found to be behind the killing of his estranged half brother, a U.S. broadcaster reported Thursday.

North Korea is widely believed to have orchestrated the killing of Kim Jong-nam, the half brother of the rogue regime’s leader Kim Jong-un, last month in Malaysia by agents using deadly VX nerve agent.

“That could be something that may allow the UN Security Council or even the ICC to hold him up, if, again if, you can show that they were behind it because of the nature of, type of substance used in that,” the lawyer was quoted by Voice of America as saying.

“With the ICC, it always … it goes up the ladder, you find the person who was ultimately responsible. You don’t actually go and charge the people at the bottom. So there is a precedent for … ultimately you go for the leader who ordered even if you were not involved in actual planning. If you ordered, sanctioned the killing, that makes you liable.”

In 2014, the UN General Assembly voted to refer North Korea to the ICC for crimes against humanity, after a Commission of Inquiry report documented ongoing atrocities in North Korea that included incarcerating over 120,000 people in political prisons, as well as systematic abuses that included torture, enslavement, rape and murder, according to the VOA report.

The measure has since stalled in the UN Security Council, where Pyongyang’s allies ― China and Russia ― are believed to be preventing it from coming to a vote, it said. (Yonhap)

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