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N. Korea issues report on its own human rights situation

All Headlines 11:33 September 13, 2014

SEOUL, Sept. 13 (Yonhap) -- Rebutting international criticism of its human rights situation, North Korea on Saturday issued its own assessment of the country's policies that "guarantee genuine rights of the people," its state media said.

The "all-inclusive" report written by the country's Association for Human Rights Studies "reflects the characteristics of the socialist system, human rights policy pursued in North Korea and its actual human rights performance," according to the North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

The five-chapter report, published along with several domestic institutions and non-governmental organizations, academic institutions and experts in various fields, includes the ideological foundation of its rights framework, the history of its development, major difficulties in its pursuit of best policy and data on future prospects, it noted.

The paper aims "to help the public properly know about the efforts exerted by the country to protect and promote human rights, to lay bare the false and reactionary nature of the reckless anti-North Korean human rights racket and to wipe out the prejudice and misunderstanding," according to the English-language news report carried by the KCNA.

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Pyongyang's human rights record has drawn international attention particularly since the U.N. Commission of Inquiry (COI) issued a report in February after a year-long probe, saying its leaders are responsible for "widespread, systematic and gross" violations of human rights.

Later this month, a ministerial-level meeting on the North's rights record is scheduled to be held in New York on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly for the first time. It is expected to be attended by South Korea's top diplomat Yun Byung-se and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Claiming that "the hostile forces are peddling the issue in a bid to tarnish its image and bring down the social system and ideology" and that it has never opposed dialogue on the matter, the North said the release of its own report shows "its will to creditably fulfill its responsibility in the field of human rights and a positive measure to promote international cooperation."

"We will continue to exert our utmost efforts to foil the anti-North Korean human rights campaign of the hostile forces and meet all their challenges, step up the peaceful economic construction, steadily improve the people's living standard and thus provide the people with better conditions for enjoying their rights," according to the KCNA.

The full text of the report is posted at www.kcna.kp and www.naenara.com, the KCNA said.

The association behind the report was established in 1992 and has played a role in countering international campaigns aiming to improve the communist country's rights situation and to protect defectors.

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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