Top U.N. rights boss urges prosecution of North Korean crimes

GENEVA Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:00pm EST

GENEVA Feb 18 (Reuters) - U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay urged world powers on Tuesday to refer North Korea to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) following a U.N. report documenting crimes against humanity.

North Korean security chiefs and possibly even Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un himself should face international justice for ordering systematic torture, starvation and killings comparable to Nazi-era atrocities, independent U.N. investigators said on Monday.

"We now need strong international leadership to follow up on the grave findings of the Commission of Inquiry. I therefore call on the international community, in line with the report's recommendations, to use all the mechanisms at its disposal to ensure accountability, including referral to the International Criminal Court," Pillay said in a statement issued in Geneva.

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; editing by Tom Miles)

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