U.N. adopts motion calling for nuke elimination for 20th year in row

A Japan-led resolution calling for the total elimination of nuclear weapons was overwhelmingly approved Thursday with 169 countries backing the move at the United Nations, marking the 20th year in a row that such a resolution was adopted.

During the plenary session held in the General Assembly hall only one country, North Korea, officially known as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, voted against the measure.

The resolution condemned "in the strongest terms the nuclear test conducted" by North Korea in February this year and called on Pyongyang to "abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs."

Fourteen other countries, including China, Russia, India, Pakistan and Israel abstained from casting votes.

The move comes on the heels of an earlier vote last month that was put before the U.N. General Assembly's First Committee on disarmament. That committee approved the resolution with endorsements by 164 countries.

The resolution also calls for achieving "a world without nuclear weapons" and reaffirms "the crucial importance of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons."

This year's resolution expresses "deep concern at the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons," in a similar fashion as a U.N. statement Japan joined for the first time and unveiled at the First Committee in October.