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Date : October 31, 2014
UN investigator, North Korea meet again on visit
   http://bigstory.ap.org/article/2a523090434f4bfb9210731ae6b2577f/un-inv… [816]
A U.N. human rights investigator met for a second time Wednesday with a North Korean official on a possible groundbreaking visit and the North's demand that a U.N. effort to refer the country's situation to the International Criminal Court be dropped.

Marzuki Darusman met with a councilor from the North's Geneva office. He said nothing was decided but was encouraged that the North is willing to engage. His surprise meetings with the North Koreans this week are the first since the special rapporteur's office was created 10 years ago. 

Darusman said he will try to meet again with the European Union and Japan, who have drafted a General Assembly resolution that calls for the U.N. Security Council to refer North Korea to the ICC.

The North Koreans "still want this text tinkered with," he said.

The idea of an ICC referral compelled North Korea to embark on a series of gestures to engage with the international community. Darusman has said the North Koreans even floated the possibility of a visit to their country by the U.N. high commissioner for human rights.

A spokesman for the North Korean mission to the U.N. on Wednesday referred any questions to colleagues, who were not available. Choe Myong Nam, a North Korean foreign ministry official in charge of human rights issues, has said his country is looking for a "new and objective report" on North Korea's human rights situation.

It was not clear whether the EU ad Japan would be swayed to change the language of their resolution.

While a Japanese official has said "our policy is for now unchanged" and that Japan would continue seeking support from U.N. members, an EU spokesperson has not discounted the possibility of addressing the North's concerns. 
Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity. 

Rights groups are watching the North's recent moves with wariness. While cooperation should be pursued, "it cannot be used to barter away and gut the text of a U.N. resolution based on the COI findings and recommendations for accountability," Roberta Cohen, co-chair of the Washington-based Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, said in a statement Wednesday.


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