North Korea slams U.S. for human rights report

SEOUL, April 15 (UPI) — North Korea slammed the United States for releasing a human rights report critical of the Kim Jong Un regime.

The State Department’s 2015 report on human rights practices around the world, issued Wednesday, described North Korea as an “authoritarian state” where citizens do “not have the ability to change their government.”

“The government subjected citizens to rigid controls over many aspects of their lives, including denial of the freedoms of speech, press, assembly, association, religion, movement, and worker rights,” the report read.

The State Department also pointed out North Korea continues to operate political prison camps, maintain forced labor and conduct summary executions.

Pyongyang lambasted the statements, and called the report an “atrociously hostile act,” South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.

A North Korean foreign ministry spokesman told Pyongyang’s news agency KCNA the report would be met with a response.

“We will take steps so that would make the United States regret” its actions, the spokesman said Friday.

The spokesman also stated the report was an act of “smearing” North Korea’s international reputation through the “anti-North Korea” act of creating a “human rights disturbance.”

The report is part of a plan to collapse North Korea and overthrow its system, the spokesman said.

North Korea has become increasingly sensitive to criticisms of its human rights record since the publication of United Nations Commission of Inquiry reports that detail human rights abuses. Pyongyang has also reacted strongly to resolutions that have passed at the United Nations General Assembly calling for the violations to be referred to the International Criminal Court.

North Korea called U.S. statements on the country’s political prison camps, forced labor and summary executions “outright lies,” and added the United States will be met with “bone-crushing” consequences.

In 2015, North Korea returned like for like, when it denounced the United States as the world’s most brutal violator of human rights.

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