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N. Korea says willing to respond to dialogue, cooperation on human rights

All News 16:37 June 14, 2017

SEOUL, June 14 (Yonhap) -- North Korea said Wednesday it is willing to respond to suggestions of any dialogue and cooperation on the humanitarian front, announcing the result of a meeting with a United Nations human rights investigator.

Ri Hung-sik, North Korea's human rights ambassador, met with U.N. Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities Catalina Devandas-Aguilar at the U.N. on Monday during which they discussed ways to promote human rights, the North's state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.

A North Korean delegation led by Ri is currently in New York to attend the 10th meeting of state parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities held from Tuesday-Thursday.

"The ambassador made it clear again the DPRK's stand ... to willingly respond to any dialogue and cooperation suggested for promoting the genuine human rights if it is to truly help the DPRK," the KCNA quoted Ri as saying in the meeting. DPRK is the acronym of North Korea's official name, Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Catalina Devandas-Aguilar (2nd from L), U.N. special rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, meets with North Korean Foreign Ministry Ambassador for Human Rights Ri Hung-sik (2nd from R) in Pyongyang on May 3, 2017. (AP-Yonhap file photo)

But the country will "flatly reject any human rights debate or cooperation, which is extremely politicized on the basis of testimonies made by the human scum defectors from the North and their fabrications," according to the KCNA report.

The meeting followed the U.N. rapporteur's rare visit to North Korea early last month. She was the first U.N. official allowed into North Korea to study the country's human rights situation. It was largely seen as aimed at defending the country's human rights conditions against the international community's growing abuse accusations.

During the Monday meeting, Ri reiterated the country's will to sincerely implement the recommendations the rapporteur made during her North Korean visit, the KCNA said. The rapporteur vowed efforts to let the U.N. cooperative bodies pay attention to cooperation with North Korea for the disabled, according to the media.

pbr@yna.co.kr
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