(NK News, by OLIVER HOTHAM , OCTOBER 3, 2013) North Korean state media labeled a Korea Institute for National Unification paper on human rights as an anti-DPRK “smear campaign” on Thursday, claiming that South Korea’s own human rights record is so poor that citizens there commit suicide everyday.
Pyongyang’s response to the White Paper on Human Rights in North Korea 2013 quoted a spokesperson from the DPRK Association for Human Rights Studies, who described the report as “slandering the dignity and social system in the DPRK” and alleged that the publication of the paper was “politically-motivated”.
“It is preposterous and ridiculous for the worst human rights abusers, who reduced south Korea to a tundra of human rights, a veritable hell on earth, to talk about “human rights” in the north,” the spokesman was quoted by North Korean media as saying.
North Korea’s strident response goes on to argue that South Korea has returned to the “Yusin” era of 1972 to 1981, when the late Park Chung-hee and his successors used a state of emergency to crush dissent and quell social unrest.
The white paper was published by the South Korean government funded Korea Institute for National Unification, an organization that publishes annual reports “on human rights and humanitarian issues including human rights of North Korean citizens, defectors, South Korean Prisoners of War (POWs), abducted South Koreans held in North Korea, and separated families”.
Dr Leonid Petrov of the Australia National University in Canberra told NK News that “it is…pointless to call upon Kim’s regime in North Korea to observe [the Universal Declaration of Human Rights] now”.
“Dictatorships turn “human rights” into invective used for attacking foreign critics and praise themselves as peace-loving and good-willed “peoples’ democracies. “Despite of all rhetoric the DPRK remains a feudal satrapy based on the slave-ownership and fear that make the ideas of humanism and freedom ephemeral,” Petrov explained.
North Korea’s response to the white paper comes as the Korea Central News Agency reported on Tuesday that two North Koreans who had re-defected to the north blamed a low standard of living and “deception” by South Korea as reasons for making their decision…