According to state media KCNA, North Korea’s foreign ministry has criticized a new UN human rights expert as ‘biased, ‘and the country will not accept what it calls US-led efforts to destroy the isolated dictatorship.
Elizabeth Salmon, the newly appointed United Nations expert on North Korean human rights, is in South Korea for the first time since her appointment last month. Salmon stated in her inauguration speech that the North’s human rights situation has worsened after more than two years of strict measures to stop COVID-19.
According to an unnamed Ministry of Foreign Affairs source quoted by KCNA, ‘we had already made clear our principled stand that we neither recognise nor deal with any ‘special rapporteur’ who is merely a puppet of the US’.
The North Korean government has consistently denied allegations of human rights violations and has criticized UN investigations into the matter as an attempt by the US to meddle in its internal affairs. ‘The DPRK will never pardon the US and its vassal forces’ ‘human rights’ racket against the DPRK, which is aimed at overthrowing its social system,’ the official said, referring to the North by its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
According to a separate recent UN study, North Korea’s efforts to manage the coronavirus have resulted in increased information access restrictions, tighter border security, and increased digital surveillance. Salmon was scheduled to speak at a press conference later that day.