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North Korea to boycott UN rights council: foreign minister

North Korea will boycott the UN Human Rights Council, Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong said Tuesday, deploring the “politicisation” of the body.

“We shall no longer participate in international sessions singling out the human rights situation of (North Korea) for mere political attack,” Ri told the council, charging it was plagued by “politicisation, selectivity and double standards.”

The UN’s top rights body has repeatedly slammed the situation in North Korea, with a massive 2014 report charging the country and its leadership were guilty of a wide range of crimes against humanity.

But Ri insisted Tuesday that the United States and others who have long yearned for the “elimination of the DPRK” (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) were using false allegations of human rights abuses to boost their cause.

He charged they were driving a “human rights racket” against the country.

They were offering more than $5,000 (4,600 euros) to “so-called North Korean defectors” to get them to “fabricate” shocking testimony about the situation in the country, Ri said.

He also claimed that Pyongyang’s enemies were dangling promises of economic aid to entice UN member countries to adopt resolutions on human rights in North Korea.

“In other words, the voting process at the international human rights mechanisms is being commercialised,” Ri said.

North Korea would no longer take part in the process, he said, stressing that from now on, “whether or not such resolutions are to be put to a vote will be none of our business and we will never be bound by them.”

Later Tuesday, the UN Security Council in New York is due to vote on a US-drafted resolution imposing a raft of new sanctions on North Korea following its recent nuclear test and rocket launch.