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N.K. claims int'l sanctions hurt human rights of those with disabilities

All Headlines 17:53 December 05, 2017

SEOUL, Dec. 5 (Yonhap) -- A North Korean envoy on human rights has slammed the international sanctions on Pyongyang for hampering the North's efforts to protect those with disabilities, the country's state media said Tuesday.

Ri Hung-sik, an ambassador for human rights of North Korea's foreign ministry, made the remark at the high-level inter-government meeting on the rights of persons with disabilities in the Asia and Pacific region, held in Beijing from Nov 27 to Dec. 1.

"The sanctions imposed by the United States and its followers obstruct the enjoyment of human rights of our people in every way and encroach deep into the fields of activities for the protection of the persons with disabilities," he was quoted as saying by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

He said that some countries stopped the delivery of medical equipment and medicines for North Korean pregnant women and infants under the "strenuous pressure" of the U.S.

"(The sanctions) create indiscriminate difficulties even for the production of equipment, prosthesis and orthopedic tools for the persons with disabilities and the purchase of teaching aids and furnishings," the report said.

Ri claimed that the sanctions should be "immediately and unconditionally" lifted to prevent humanitarian ideals from being trampled.

In November 2016, North Korea's rubber-stamp parliament ratified the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It said that the country will further promote the rights and convenience of those with disabilities and strengthen international cooperation.

In May, Catalina Devandas Aguilar, the U.N. special rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, made a rare visit to North Korea at the invitation of the North.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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