September 17, 2014 10:13
North Korea in a quixotic report on Saturday claimed that its nuclear weapons development is "indispensible" for the protection and advancement of human rights.
The report aims to counter the first UN discussion at ministerial level on the North's dismal human rights record.
In a section titled "Prospects for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights" in the 128-page report, the North said, "human rights is secured and guaranteed by the sovereignty of each country and nation, not by the interference and instruction of any country or international organizations."
It added that this sovereignty is protected by the gun and claimed that its nuclear weapons form the backbone of strengthened defense capabilities, which in turn guarantee its independence and rights.
The report claims the human rights of North Koreans are based on the disastrous "juche" or self-reliance doctrine of nation founder Kim Il-sung. "In case a state loses its sovereign right, then human rights of the people and its promotion will remain a paper argument," the report added.
The thrust of the report is clearly to divert as much attention as possible from the regime's egregious human rights violations and protest instead against what it sees as outside meddling in internal affairs.
But it also claims that political freedom is guaranteed, citing fantasy figures showing support for the regime. "Approval rate was 97 percent in election of provincial level, 95.4 percent in the level of city and 96.9 percent in the level of county," it said.
It also insists that freedom of religion is alive and well in the repressive country and claims the regime never forced North Koreans to believe or not to believe in religion, but that the people freely chose to support the "juche" ideology.
North Korea has been reliant on international food aid for decades and has at no point achieved even a semblance of self-reliance in terms of basic necessities.
The report also states that there is no uniform human rights standard the international community must uphold and that the issue should be interpreted by individual nations. "Human rights standard based on the American view of value should never be applied to [North Korea] and used for the political purposes and precondition with development of relations," it added.
The North also praised its state-distribution system which allegedly freed its people from worrying about food and housing. The system has in fact collapsed.
The report makes no mention of political concentration and labor camps where thousands are interned on the flimsiest grounds and which UN human rights officials have repeatedly cited as among the gravest human rights violations.
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