UN member states on Tuesday condemned North Korea for gross human rights violations and for conducting missile and nuclear tests while its people suffer from severe hunger, AFP reported.
The UN General Assembly's human rights committee adopted by consensus a resolution drafted by the European Union and Japan that expressed international concern over Pyongyang's rights record.
The measure will now go to the General Assembly for debate next month.
North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test this year and test-fired a series of advanced missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles, even as 18 million North Koreans, or 70 per cent of the population, are struggling with food shortages.
The resolution co-sponsored by 61 countries condemns North Korea for "diverting its resources into pursuing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles over the welfare of its people."
The measure condemned "the long-standing and ongoing systematic, widespread and gross violations of human rights" in North Korea, and said those violations have led to severe hunger and malnutrition.
Nearly a quarter of North Korea's population suffers chronic malnutrition, the resolution said.
It expressed "very serious concerns" that Pyongyang has carried out torture, summary executions, arbitrary detention and abductions of foreign nationals within and outside its territory.
The resolution also stressed that North Korea must provide detained foreign nationals with access to consular services and allow them to communicate with their families.