New York: A key UN committee has expressed "very serious concern" about North Korea`s widespread and grave violations of virtually all human rights, from its use of torture to severe restrictions on freedom of expression, assembly and religion.
North Korean Deputy Ambassador Pak Tok Hun said his country "categorically rejects" the resolution by the General Assembly`s human rights committee, calling it "an illegal document" cooked up by the United States and its supporters that "recklessly encroaches upon our sovereignty”.
The human rights committee on Thursday voted 103-18 with 60 abstentions to strongly urge North Korea`s government to immediately end "the systematic, widespread and grave violations of human rights”.
The resolution must now be approved at a plenary meeting of the 192-member world body where its adoption is virtually certain.
The resolution cited torture, public executions, extrajudicial and arbitrary detentions, and imposition of the death penalty for political and religious reasons as some of the most severe violations in the reclusive communist nation.
It also expressed serious concerns about restriction on freedom of movement and the mistreatment of refugees and asylum-seekers, as well as tight controls on basic civil rights such as freedom of religion, expression, assembly, association and privacy.
This year, the committee additionally voiced a "very deep concern" about the precarious humanitarian situation in North Korea, which it blamed in part on natural disasters, compounded by the government`s misallocation of resources.