SEOUL, Aug. 2 (Yonhap) -- North Korea on Monday slammed an international human rights group for criticizing China's repatriation of defectors, calling the group a "villainous human rights plot organization."
Last month, Human Rights Watch raised concerns after China sent nearly 50 North Korean refugees back to their homeland where they could face torture and imprisonment, saying that more refugees are at risk as Pyongyang has recently reopened its borders.
The North's foreign ministry lashed out at the group, accusing it of making an "anti-China human rights racket" and spreading rumors about forced repatriation.
"When it comes to 'Human Rights Watch', it is a villainous 'human rights' plot organization which, describing itself as an international human rights body, has actively engaged in the anti-China 'human rights' rackets by the successive U.S. administrations," the ministry said on its website.
The ministry also slammed the organization for slandering the "true picture" of human rights in China and spreading "fabrications" that it is violating human rights in Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region.
Human Rights Watch claimed that the Chinese government is currently holding at least 1,170 North Koreans in detention.
S. Korea mistakenly fires machine gun near border with N. Korea
Prosecutors indict head of hotel adjoining site of Itaewon crowd crush
(LEAD) N. Korea rejects alleged arms trading with Russia, warns of 'undesirable result'
S. Korea's new COVID-19 cases fall below 20,000 ahead of lifting of indoor mask mandate
(Yonhap Interview) NATO chief calls for stronger security ties with S. Korea to address China, other global challenges