North Korea envoy slams U.S. on gun control

Ri Su Yong said criticism of Pyongyang’s human rights record belies "double standards."
By Elizabeth Shim  |  March 2, 2016 at 1:41 PM
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GENEVA, Switzerland, March 2 (UPI) -- North Korea's foreign minister took center stage Tuesday to file a strong protest at the United Nations Human Rights Council, in response to U.N. resolutions that have condemned its rights record.

Ri Su Yong said Pyongyang will "never, ever be bound" by U.N. resolutions, describing such resolutions as "proof of partiality and double standards," Voice of America reported.

Ri did not mention the pending decision at the U.N. Security Council to secure tougher measures against North Korea, Yonhap reported. The resolution passed unanimously on Wednesday after weeks of negotiations among the United States, China and Russia.

According to the North Korean envoy, Pyongyang will refrain from any international assemblies on North Korea human rights that are a cover for a "political attack."

The condemnations are rife with "politicization, selectivity and double standards," Ri said, and added the United States could do more in the area of gun control. Countless Middle East refugees are dying en route to Europe, Ri said, and Japan should be pressured more to account for the death of millions during World War II.

The foreign minister also said some North Korean defectors who have testified about human rights abuses were lying, and were bought with money that came from the governments of the United States, Japan and South Korea.

North Korea is charged with violations that include summary executions, rape and torture of political prisoners. The country is also deploying tens of thousands of forced laborers abroad to earn foreign currency for the regime.

South Korea has been pushing for the passage of a North Korea human rights bill in parliament, but opposition party lawmakers have been wary of supporting the law, fearing it could negatively impact ties.

Uriminzokkiri, a North Korean propaganda website, called the move "an ugly farce" with anti-unification overtones.

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