September 15, 2014 10:07
North Korea released its own human rights report on Saturday in a quixotic attempt to dispute UN findings of systematic violations by the regime. The report comes ahead of the first ministerial meeting on North Korea’s human rights record at the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday.
In a keynote speech at the UN General Assembly, President Park Geun-hye is expected to call on North Korea to improve its human rights record. Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry plan a separate meeting on the sidelines to discuss the human rights situation in the North.
North Korea says it will dispatch its own Foreign Minister Ri Su-yong to the UN meeting to rebut international accusations of abuses in his own keynote speech on Sept. 27.
The North’s official Korean Central News Agency on Saturday published the entire North Korean report on its website, saying the aim is to "lay bare the false and reactionary nature of the reckless anti-North Korean human rights racket and to wipe out prejudice and misunderstanding."
The report claims the regime has always made the rights and interests of its people a top priority and that freedom of congregation, religion and other rights are being upheld.
It also reiterates its claim that the 1950-53 Korean War was triggered by a U.S. invasion.
This is the first time that the North has issued its own human rights report.
Yoo Ho-yeol at Korea University said, "North Korea is trying any method to protect its leader Kim Jong-un after the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea recommended that he be brought to trial at the International Court of Justice."
Yoo said North Korea is attempting to "water down" the accusations by publishing its own report.
Cho Han-bum at the Korea Institute for National Unification said, "North Korea is reacting sensitively to the issue because international condemnation of its human rights abuses could stir up internal unrest and threaten the regime."
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