North Korea on Saturday lashed out at the UN for accusing the Pyongyang regime of widespread systematic human rights violations and called North Korean defectors who had escaped from hardships “human scum”, according to state media.
The name-calling came after the nuclear-armed state was held accountable at the UN Security Council meeting on Thursday for spending heavily on its nuclear arms program while its people go hungry and lack basic necessities.
Ilhyeok Kim, a North Korean defector, told the council that he had been forced at a young age to work in fields without compensation, and that the grain they grew all went to the military.
“The government turns our blood and sweat into a luxurious life for the leadership and missiles that blast our hard work into the sky,” he said.
“The money spent on just one missile could feed us for three months.”
But the meeting was an “insult and infringement” to the spirit of he UN Charter, an unnamed spokesman of the Korea Association for Human Rights Studies said in a statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency.
Pyongyang “strongly denounces and rejects the UNSC for having haggled about the human rights situation in an individual country,” the spokesman said.
“The DPRK people know well about their human rights situation and they make a right appraisal of it by themselves,” they added, referring to the North by its official name.
The North Korean defectors are “human scum, who fled after abandoning their homeland and parents, wives and children only to save their dirty lives,” the official said.
The hearing, requested by the United States, was the first in the Security Council on human rights in North Korea in six years, and came as Pyongyang has sped up its testing of nuclear-capable missiles in the past year, heightening tensions across East Asia.
No delegates from Pyongyang were present at the hearing.