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N. Korea enraged by opening of U.N. human rights office

All Headlines 20:52 June 23, 2015

SEOUL, June 23 (Yonhap) -- North Korea threatened Tuesday to take "toughest counteractions" against the opening of a United Nations field office in South Korea to monitor human rights violations in the communist nation.

In a statement, the North's Foreign Ministry called it a "ghost agency" aimed at backing the U.S.-led hostile policy toward Pyongyang.

"This is a hideous politically-motivated provocation challenging the dignity and social system of the DPRK and a criminal act of escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula and in the region and inciting confrontation under the pretext of "protecting human rights," its unnamed spokesperson said in the English-language statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency. The DPRK is the acronym for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The ministry claimed it's evident that the organization will be "no more than a center for gathering misinformation cooked up" by North Korean defectors and others.

It said North Korea will "decisively foil the reckless 'human rights' racket against the DPRK through resolute toughest counteractions."

Earlier in the day, the U.N. office opened at a building in central Seoul in a ceremony attended by U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and other dignitaries.

It is a follow-up step to a recommendation by last year's U.N. Commission of Inquiry report on North Korea's human rights violations and the ensuing adoption of a related resolution by the U.N. Human Rights Council.

In a concrete action to protest the new U.N. office, North Korea has already reversed its decision to participate in the Summer Universiade to be held in South Korea next month.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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