North Korea tells U.N. human rights council America lied about its human rights record

PYONGYANG, North Korea — North Korea’s foreign ministry told the U.N. Human Rights Council that the U.S. and the U.N. had deceived the world by telling lies about North Korea’s human rights record to…

North Korea tells U.N. human rights council America lied about its human rights record

PYONGYANG, North Korea — North Korea’s foreign ministry told the U.N. Human Rights Council that the U.S. and the U.N. had deceived the world by telling lies about North Korea’s human rights record to settle domestic political scores, and it accused the United States and the U.N. of “tampering with a dangerous time bomb.”

On the eve of the council’s 40th session, North Korea’s Deputy Ambassador Pak Tok-hun told the council in New York that his country believed in the principle of natural law, including human rights. But, he said, human rights must not be used by the United States, which is the council’s current chair, as a political weapon to overthrow sovereign nations.

“We are at grave risk in that field of human rights,” Pak said.

He said that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) is a victim of the United States “through brutal means” since the 1950-53 Korean War.

“The U.S. manipulated the United Nations and gave the impression that the DPRK is a rogue nation for violation of human rights and democracy,” Pak said.

He said that North Korea never denies there are human rights violations in the DPRK, but those are committed by “patriotic” people in the DPRK to protect their country from the United States’ war aggression.

Pak, who called the United States’ allegations about human rights “nonsense,” said that the U.S. says it wants to make the council an important forum for addressing human rights issues, but it has in fact used the rights council as a tool “to defame and condemn a sovereign nation.”

He told the council the allegations of human rights violations against his country are an attempt by the United States to justify “illegal war.”

“They are trying to create the impression of human rights violation or human catastrophe in the DPRK that the U.S. has unilaterally imposed through aggression against my country,” Pak said.

Last year, when the United States chaired the council, it warned that it will use human rights to try to change the regime in North Korea. The warning was widely seen as a threat to North Korea and also criticized by human rights advocates for being out of line with the human rights principles set by the council.

North Korea’s government has frequently ignored the U.N. Human Rights Council as well as U.N. experts who have been monitoring the country’s human rights record.

But Pak said that “the presence of this body has given us more reasons and more reasons to better implement our measures on implementation of the fundamental human rights” in the DPRK.

Some diplomats said that North Korea may join the council in 2019, although North Korea has not had a representative at its sessions since 2017.

Pak, though, said that North Korea will not join the council “because we do not need to blindly adhere to a council that we neither respect nor cherish.”

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