North Korea has joined China in condemning the recently published UN Commission of Inquiry report on its alleged human rights violations, with its UN ambassador accusing “hostile forces” of defamation.
DPRK envoy to the UN So Se Pyong said that the United States is one of these “hostile forces” which has manufactured the COI report, for the purpose of “defame the dignified image of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and eventually eliminate its social system.”
North Korea frequently accuses its enemies, particularly the U.S. and South Korean government officials, of “offending its dignity.”
The 400-page COI, which due to a lack of cooperation from the North relied on defectors for a great deal of its testimony, was published in February and submitted to the UN Human Rights Council this week. It called for action, including referral to the International Criminal Court in the Hague for prosecution.
This is considered unlikely, as China, which holds veto power as a permanent member of the UN, has also criticized the report. Despite recent tensions between itself and the North, China has only in very rare circumstances supported punitive measures against the North.
Its chair, retired Australian judge Michael Kirby, addressed the council, calling for the international courage to display “courage” in confronting the North’s abuses.
The North Korean ambassador, however, called the defectors who have fled the country criminals and their accusations lies.
The real objective of the report, So said, is the destruction of the North’s social system.
“We defend our social system,” he said. “It’s the cradle of life and happiness.”
He addressed none of the specific points of the report’s findings, and said the U.S. should be investigated from its human rights violations.
On Monday the state-run Korean Central News Agency said that criticisms by the U.S. are meant to divert attention away from its own violations, particularly in South Korea.
“There is a saying that curses, like chickens, come home to roost. The U.S. accusations against other countries will only put itself to shame,” the editorial said. “It had better improve its ugly image as the worst human rights violator, before anything else.”
Picture: United States Mission Geneva