North Korea will boycott any session of the UN Human Rights Council that examines its record and will “never, ever” be bound by any such resolutions, its foreign minister said on Tuesday.
The announcement signalled further isolation of North Korea whose leadership has been accused by UN investigators of committing crimes against humanity and is poised to be hit with fresh UN sanctions for its nuclear programme.
The foreign minister, Ri Su-yong, also accused the United States, Japan and South Korea of sending agents into his country to recruit criminals to become “so-called North Korean defectors”.
“As a way out and in order to earn their living, they are compelled to continue to fabricate and sell groundless testimonies by trying to make them sound as shocking as possible,” Ri said in a speech to the 47-member state forum.
South Korea rejected the accusations, saying that “questioning the credibility of the defectors’ testimony is nothing but a denial of truth”. Japan urged Pyongyang to take concrete actions to improve human rights at home.
“We shall no longer participate in international sessions singling out the human rights situation of the DPRK [North Korea] for mere political attack,” Ri said.
Any resolutions adopted against the DPRK “will be none of our business and we will never, ever be bound by them”, he said.