North Korea Rejects Int'l Human Rights Assessment; Launches Its Own Investigation, Surfing Tours
The United Nations's scathing critique of North Korea’s alleged crimes against humanity has been rejected by Pyongyang. Instead, the dictatorial communist regime has decided it will launch its own investigation into the human rights status within its country.
A North Korean state news network said Monday that an “all-inclusive” assessment would be reported on internal human rights. The state-sponsored statement seemed to already draw the conclusion that North Korean human rights policies are simply misunderstood.
According to the press release, the human rights assessment was being carried out in order to “let people clearly know about the human rights performance in the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic Of Korea) and help them do away with their prejudice and misunderstanding.”
Regional expert Sokeel Park told the Wall Street Journal, “This is Pyongyang’s attempt to get out in front of that and influence some of the non-aligned countries that might waver on stronger condemnatory language.”
A UN commission found in February that North Korea had committed state-sponsored “crimes against humanity.” The report showcased the several crimes committed by the communist regime, including, “extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence, persecution on political, religious, racial and gender grounds, the forcible transfer of populations, the enforced disappearance of persons and the inhumane act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation.”
North Korea has also tried to combat its negative human rights image by beefing up its tourism industry.
To promote tourism, North Korea recently announced it has started offering surfing tours for foreigners on its east coast. The state-owned Korea International Travel Company (KITC) said, “The first surfing tourism ran between July 28 and August 6. North American surfers said they had a very good time in a bathing resort of the DPRK with fascinating scenery and refreshing environment.”