North Korea conducting 'rosy' human rights report to show people's 'free and happy lives'

The state dismissed the UN's allegations of atrocities as 'dastardly' plot

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The Independent Online

North Korea is conducting its own human rights report showing its people moving towards a “rosy future” after dismissing the United Nations’ allegations of “unspeakable atrocities”.

A UN report released earlier this year raised the prospect of international prosecutions for state leaders for crimes against humanity.

The 400-page dossier detailed city-sized labour camps, executions, enslavement, torture, rape and forced starvation.

It was immediately dismissed by North Korea as “nothing more than an instrument of political plot aimed at sabotaging the socialist system” and now the regime is planning its own “report”.

In a release on Monday, the state’s official news agency KCNA said the country’s “Association for Human Rights Studies” would carry out the work “in the near future”.

It added: “The report will show the true picture of the people of the DPRK dynamically advancing toward a brighter and rosy future while enjoying a free and happy life under the socialist system centred on the popular masses and contribute to disclosing the dastardly moves of the US and other hostile forces."

A man suffering from extreme starvation shown in an Al Jazeera report on North Korea.

The state’s Association for Human Rights Studies was reportedly established in 1992 and is cited by state media in statements about international human rights allegations and when criticising South Korea.

Hostile forces are trying to mislead the global public with “fabricated” accusations against the North, the KCNA report claimed.

The upcoming report will "let people clear know about human rights performance in the DPRK and help them do away with their prejudice and misunderstanding," it said.

The UN human rights council adopted a resolution in March calling for international action to stop the alleged crimes against humanity and the General Assembly will discuss another resolution on the report’s findings later this year.

Investigators were not allowed into North Korea to conduct their report so had to rely on satellite images and testimony by survivors and defectors at hearings in Britain, America, South Korea and Japan.

"These are not mere excesses of the state; they are essential components of a political system that has moved far from the ideals on which it claims to be founded," the report said, adding that the population lives in a system of fear and surveillance, where denouncing and turning in alleged dissidents is encouraged.

It estimated that between 80,000 and 120,000 people remain in gulags, where the reported horrors included prisoners being forced to haul corpses up a mountain to be burned and a mother being ordered to drown her own baby because it cried.

Video: In June prisoners' drawings emerged of regime's brutality

North Korea has been ruled by the totalitarian Kim family dynasty for more than 60 years, which has crushed political dissent and exerts absolute control over media and information to maintain leadership's personality cult.