We are currently trialling our new-look independent.co.uk website - please send any feedback to beta@independent.co.uk


North Korea rejects UN report finding atrocities 'on level of Nazi era'

Foreign ministry blames study on 'fabrications cooked up by hostile forces'

North Korea has rejected a UN report comparing the totalitarian state’s crimes against humanity to Nazi-era atrocities.

The foreign ministry claimed the study was based on “lies and fabrications deliberately cooked up by hostile forces and riff-raffs”.

UN investigators called for international prosecutions against North Korean security chiefs and Kim Jong-un for ordering systematic torture, starvation and killings.

Activists and defectors, including prison camp survivors who fled the country, are sceptical that the report will have an impact on the secretive state.

The government shows no sign of acknowledging the alleged crimes against humanity, categorically rejecting the report by the UN Commission of Inquiry, saying it was “set up the US and its satellite forces out of inveterate repugnance towards the DPRK”.

DPRK stands for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and the comments were carried by the official KCNA news agency.

The UN report is "peppered with sheer lies and fabrications deliberately cooked up by hostile forces and riff-raffs such as some 'elements with ambiguous identities who defected from the north', criminals escaped from it after committing crimes against the country to earn money," it said.

Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, urged world powers on Tuesday to refer North Korea the International Criminal Court.

The foreign ministry said such a move would be "an extremely dangerous politically motivated provocation” aimed to tarnish the state’s image and ultimately “bring down its social system”.

Referral to the Hague-based International Criminal Court is considered unlikely given China's probable veto of any such move in the UN Security Council, diplomats have said.

Investigators said China, which is the North's main ally, might also be “aiding and abetting crimes against humanity” by repatriating defectors back to the country to face torture or execution - a charge that Beijing dismisses.

The UN report documented crimes including murder, torture, rape, abductions, starvation and executions perpetrated by the North's security officials who ultimately report to leader Kim.

North Korea's extermination of political prisoners over the past five decades might amount to genocide, the report said.

It documented lavish spending by Kim as his people starved  on luxury items including dozens of pianos and Mercedes-Benz cars, violating sanctions.

Additional reporting by Reuters

A land of 'unspeakable atrocities': UN commission warns North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un he could face trial for human rights abuses
North Korea - starvation nation
Kim Jong-un 'spent over $600m in a year' while North Korean citizens starved to death