The U.N. Security Council will hold next week its first formal, open meeting on the human rights situation in North Korea since 2017, the United States said Thursday, as this month's rotating chair of the panel.

The meeting is scheduled to be held on Aug. 17, following a request by Albania, Japan, South Korea and the United States, according to a joint statement from the countries delivered by U.S. Ambassador to the world body Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

The 15-member council has failed to convene an open session on the topic in recent years due mainly to reluctance from China and Russia, both of which maintain close ties with Pyongyang. But a senior U.S. official suggested the panel is likely to secure the votes to go ahead with the plan this time.

Such procedural votes are not subject to veto by the council's five permanent members, which include China and Russia.

Among those set to brief the council in the planned session are U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk and Elizabeth Salmon, the U.N. special rapporteur on the human rights situation in North Korea, the statement said.

Thomas-Greenfield accused Pyongyang of perpetrating "daily" crimes against its population as well as people from Japan and South Korea, an apparent reference to North Korea's abductions of citizens from the two countries.

"We know the government's human rights abuses and violations facilitate the advancement of its unlawful weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles programs," she said.

In recent years, the council has held only informal and closed-door discussions on the issue of rights abuses in North Korea.

China, a major economic benefactor of Pyongyang, has argued that discussing the rights situation in North Korea is not within the mandate of the council, which is tasked with the maintenance of international peace and security.

In March, China blocked an informal meeting on rights in North Korea from being webcast online by the United Nations' broadcasting arm. Speaking at the event, a Chinese official said that the decision to hold the meeting was "not constructive in any way" and "a waste of U.N. resources."

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