N Korea-UN human rights

SEOUL, March 9 (Yonhap) -- North Korea strongly denounced Japan and the European Union Saturday for trying to set up a U.N. organization specifically charged with investigating human rights in the communist state, calling the move an "unpardonable encroachment" on its sovereignty.

"The DPRK is a genuine people's country in which the rights of all citizens are guaranteed in a responsible manner," the North's Korean Central News Agency said in a commentary, using the acronym of the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"We dismiss this as an unpardonable encroachment upon the sovereignty of the DPRK," it said.

The commentary came as Japan and EU are moving to submit a joint proposal for the establishment of a North Korea-specific human rights body at the United Nations.

The North said it was "illogical" and even a "crime" for Japan to raise an issue about human rights conditions in the country, noting Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

"Japan is the biggest human rights abuser which waged wars of aggression and murder against other countries century after century," the commentary said. "After occupying Korea in the last century, it forcibly walked away more than 8.4 million Koreans and mercilessly killed more than one million and forced 200 000 Korean women into sexual slavery."

It also claimed Japan was seeking to use the issue as an excuse to topple Pyongyang's communist regime.

"By setting up an international body under the pretext of investigating the human rights situation in the DPRK, Japan seeks to distort the human rights situation in the DPRK and attribute it to the social system. This is an unpardonable violation of the sovereignty of an independent state," the commentary said.

"Japan is gravely mistaken if it thinks it can cover up its inglorious past crimes and human rights abuses at present. The army and people of the DPRK will never pardon Japan for taking the lead in the U.S.-backed human rights racket in a bid to infringe upon the dignity and interests of the DPRK and cover up the past crimes," it added.

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