No dialogue on North Korean rights, U.N. says

Oct. 30, 2013 at 10:23 AM

UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 30 (UPI) -- It's difficult to have a dialogue on the human rights situation in North Korea without any substantial conversation, a U.N. inquiry director said.

Michael Kirby, chairman of a U.N. commission of inquiry on North Korea, is working to finalize a report on the human rights situation in the reclusive Asian nation. His pending report is based on testimony from dozens of witnesses to the regime's policies.

He said he tried to reach out to the North Korean government to take part in the discussions to determine the validity of witness testimony.

"Throughout our mandate, from the very beginning, we have reached out to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, we have asked for permission to go and visit North Korea, engage with its people," he said Tuesday.

The North Korean government said Kirby's inquiry was part of a smear campaign backed by its U.S. and European adversaries. Kirby said Tuesday he was frustrated with the lack of dialogue on the issue.

"You can't have dialogue on your own," he said.

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