N. Korea shows strong discontent over UNSC’s meeting on its human rights situation

June 14, 2024

North Korea expressed strong discontent Friday regarding the U.N. Security Council’s (UNSC) meeting on Pyongyang’s human rights situation held earlier this week.

At the UNSC session Wednesday, diplomats, experts and activists emphasized the need for continued attention to the plight of North Koreans, and discussed the broader security implications.

The meeting was presided over by South Korea’s Ambassador to the U.N. Hwang Joon-kook, who is serving as this month’s rotating UNSC president.

In a statement carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency, Kim Sun-kyung, vice minister of the International Organization Department at North Korea’s foreign ministry, condemned the U.N. meeting, asserting that the United States and South Korea should first address their own human rights violations.

“If the U.N. Security Council is to address human rights issues, it should first consider the severe human rights abuses in the U.S. and South Korea, which are riddled with various social evils,” the statement said.

Referring to the meeting as a “serious political provocation,” Kim, the North Korean official, urged the U.S. and other nations to refrain from interfering in North Korea’s domestic affairs.

He also criticized Seoul’s role as the UNSC president for this month, calling it a “disgrace” to the U.N.

Wednesday’s meeting was the first UNSC discussion on North Korean human rights since August, when the UNSC resumed related talks after a six-year hiatus.

During this period, Seoul, Washington and other members highlighted that Pyongyang has been diverting its scarce resources toward weapons of mass destruction programs, amidst a repressive political environment that suppresses public dissent.