Kim Jong-un walks without stick
North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un was spotted walking without the use of a stick at an army meeting in PyongyangReuters/ KCNA

A United Nations' human rights committee has passed the motion to investigate North Korea for the raft of alleged Nazi style atrocities, although the motion needs to be voted in by the UN General Assembly itself.

The committee managed to secure the motion with 111 countries in favour and 19 against, with 55 abstentions although China and Russia voted against the move.

China and Russia hold veto power on the UN Security Council and diplomats expect long-time North Korea ally, China, to veto the Security Council's referral to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

"[The UN human rights committee motion] is an important step in the defence of human rights," said Michael Kirby, who chaired the UN Commission of Inquiry report into wide-ranging abuses in North Korea.

"One of the only ways in which the International Criminal Court can secure jurisdiction is by referral by the Security Council. That is the step that has been put in train by the big vote in New York."

This month, a UN investigator said North Korean leader Kim Jong-un can be held accountable for "massive" human rights atrocities, committed by the state, after the organisation gathered enough evidence to hold the dictator responsible.

UN investigator Marzuki Darusman said Kim could face international justice after officials gathered enough evidence, showing that the secretive state's leader ordered killings and systematic torture and starvation of his people, which is reminiscent of Nazi era against the Jews and minority groups.

The European Union and Japan has called for North Korea to be held accountable for crimes against humanity. However, the UN resolution, which was drafted by the two parties, did not name Kim.

In February, the UN published a report that suggested North Korean security chiefs and possibly Kim should face the organisation's general assembly committee, a 15-member security council, and ICC.