• NKorea calls UN rights resolution ‘vicious slander’

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    UNITED NATIONS, United States: North Korea on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) rejected as “vicious slander” a UN draft resolution condemning widespread rights violations in the reclusive country and urged co-authors Japan and the European Union to scrap it.

    A General Assembly committee is due to vote on Thursday on the text, which for the second year encourages the Security Council to consider referring Pyongyang to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

    “The draft resolution is the product of political confrontation and vicious slander of the hostile forces against my country and it has nothing to do with the genuine promotion of human rights,” North Korean Ambassador-at-large Ri Hung Sik told a news conference.

    “We urge the European Union and Japan to immediately stop the tabling of the draft resolution and remedy their own shortcomings and reflect on their dire human rights situation before they criticize others,” he added.

    The vote at the General Assembly’s committee on humanitarian issues is scheduled amid reports that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is planning a visit to Pyongyang.

    UN officials have refused to confirm the visit and Ri told reporters that whil e he had no information about the trip, it was “not uncommon to see false reports on the Internet.”

    “At present, bilateral relations between the United Nations and the DPRK are not good,” said Ri.

    The ambassador cited the resolution criticizing North Korea’s human rights record which has been adopted every year at the General Assembly since 2005 and added: “the UN should stop such unfair measures against my country.”

    The draft resolution co-sponsored by more than 50 countries “condemns the long-standing and ongoing systematic, widespread and gross violations of human rights” in North Korea.

    AFP

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