UN whistleblower fired over North Korea allegations

Image copyright UN Image caption The whistleblower believes the UN Security Council on North Korea should be chaired by a representative from a member state

A former whistleblower has been sacked from the United Nations after accusing the UN of using China as a “delayer” in the discussions over North Korea.

Last November it was revealed that China was blocking a proposed sanctions ban against coal imports from North Korea.

But Beijing says sanctions are the responsibility of the UN Security Council.

Russia says it will be a “difficult task” to resolve the North Korea tensions as long as the United States supports China.

American officials and North Korean officials have not yet met, but will be at talks in Sweden on Friday.

A UN committee on North Korea was holding a closed-door meeting on Thursday to discuss a report by Paulo Pinheiro, a UN special investigator on human rights in North Korea.

China wanted to reverse a ban on coal exports but was overruled by the council, which reportedly did not think that China had the intention to break the resolution.

Kim Keungye, a North Korean defector, now working at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), said: “People were not able to deliver their thinking because of the position of China. And nobody said anything [about China].”

He added: “I believe this is part of China’s power play to pressure the international community. And my conclusion is that China is trying to influence the UN Security Council.”

State news agency Xinhua in China criticised the UN after the publication of the report which provided details of its own failings.

Human rights conditions in North Korea were described as “the worst in the world”.

China’s official view of the work of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, however, is rather different.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters: “As chairman of the UN Security Council, China should play a key role in the formulation of UN Security Council resolutions on North Korea so as to meet the basic demands of North Korea’s diplomatic community.”

He added: “It is also necessary for China to play a leading role in upholding the agreements reached through talks between the United States and North Korea, and prevent conflicts and frictions from escalating and escalating in this sensitive situation.”

He also called for the rapid dismantlement of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes.

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