Ken Roth in Foreign Policy:
Feb. 17, a United Nations Commission of Inquiry released a report documenting atrocities that the North Korean government has been committing against its own people. For years, governments have largely ignored Pyongyang's domestic repressions — at least when compared with the intense focus on its nuclear capabilities. That may have been politically tenable in the feigned ignorance of earlier times, but it is unconscionable now that a UN body has formally documented these crimes. The report got widespread publicity in the West, but Beijing is where it should receive the most attention.
Because their country provides substantial military and economic support to Pyongyang as it commits ongoing atrocities, senior Beijing officials could be found liable for aiding and abetting those crimes if the matter comes to court. The report, which explicitly fingered Beijing for its practice of forcibly repatriating North Korea refugees, is a rare case of a UN body implying that officials of a permanent member of the UN Security Council are complicit in crimes against humanity. (The Chinese foreign ministry rejected this charge as “unreasonable criticism.”)
But Beijing's culpability is actually greater than the report states.