North Korea slams UN human rights meeting as a US ‘scheme’

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea slammed a recent United Nations meeting about its human rights record, asserting the United States used the international organisation for a “scheme” against Pyongyang, state media KCNA reported on Saturday.

The U.N. Security Council discussed human rights abuses in North Korea on Thursday, with the U.S. ambassador criticising leader Kim Jong Un for using “repression and cruelty” to develop nuclear weapons and missiles.

U.S. President Joe Biden and the leaders of South Korea and Japan agreed at Camp David on Friday to deepen military and economic cooperation, facing China’s growing power and nuclear threats from North Korea. They also agreed to hold military training exercises annually and share real-time information on North Korean missile launches by the end of the year.

China, North Korea’s major ally, opposed the meeting of the 15-member council on abuses in North Korea but it did not attempt to block it.

“We will never tolerate the U.S. and its followers’ anti-(North Korea) ‘human rights’ slander scheme, and will defend the sovereignty of the state, the socialist system and security interests,” North Korea’s KCNA quoted as an unnamed spokesperson from the country’s human rights think tank as saying.

For decades Pyongyang has highlighted racial discrimination in the United States as what it calls an example of Washington’s hypocrisy.

North Korea said on Wednesday an American soldier, Travis King who crossed into North Korea last month, had fled racism and abuse in America.

(Reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by William Mallard)