SEOUL, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- North Korea accused the United States of plotting a human rights conspiracy after the U.S. Senate passed a resolution calling for Pyongyang to support the reunion of Korean Americans with their families.
North Korea's state-controlled news agency KCNA said Tuesday the U.S. resolution H.Con.Res.40 strengthens a "strategy of deception" that uses human rights as a pretext to criticize the Kim Jong Un regime.
"[The passage of the resolution] is no different from a conspiracy to strengthen the anti-North Korea human rights scheme while obscuring the criminal [U.S.] system that has blocked the reunion of scattered families and relatives of the Korean people," the North Korean statement read.
The resolution approved by the Senate on Saturday and ratified by the U.S. House of Representatives in early December asks Pyongyang to permit Korean Americans to be reunited with family members in the North.
The proposal is specifically aimed at reuniting elderly Korean Americans who were separated from relatives during the 1950-53 Korean War, Yonhap reported Sunday.
But North Korea's statement issued Tuesday blamed Washington for the family separations.
"That the United States is the agent responsible for slicing our territory in half, and with the threat of the atomic bomb has created the problems of millions of separated Korean families, for the United States to say something or other about scattered families and the reunion of relatives is an outrage."
The bill received bipartisan support in Congress and is the last measure that Korean War veteran Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., helped pass before retiring from government in January.
"As a Korean War veteran I couldn't be more proud that my last bill to pass in Congress will give some hope to those families who have been separated by their loved ones since I fought in the Kunuri battle almost 70 years ago," Rangel has said.
Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., has also endorsed the bill and said Congress has "spoken with one, unified voice."
"The North Korean regime should allow millions of families torn apart during the Korean War to be reunited," Royce said.