Elizabeth Salmon, the UN special rapporteur for human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, listens to the Republic of Korea’s Unification Minister Kwon Youngse during their meeting at the Government Complex in Seoul, on Sept 2, 2022. (AHN YOUNG-JOON / AP)
SEOUL – The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea's foreign ministry criticized a new United Nations human rights expert as "biased", saying the country will not tolerate what it called US-led efforts to topple the isolated regime, state media KCNA reported on Friday.
Elizabeth Salmon, the new UN expert on human rights in the DPRK, is on her first official visit to the Republic of Korea since taking office last month.
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The DPRK will never pardon the US and its vassal forces' 'human rights' racket against the DPRK which is aimed at overthrowing its social system.
Official, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The DPRK
In her inaugural statement, Salmon said the DPRK’s human rights situation has worsened following over two years of strict measures to curb COVID-19.
"We had already made clear our principled stand that we neither recognize nor deal with any 'special rapporteur' who is merely a puppet of the US," KCNA cited an unidentified spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as saying.
Pyongyang has repeatedly rejected accusations of human rights abuses and criticized UN investigations into the matter as a US-backed scheme to interfere with its internal affairs.
"The DPRK will never pardon the US and its vassal forces' 'human rights' racket against the DPRK which is aimed at overthrowing its social system," the official said.
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A separate recent UN report also said DPRK coronavirus containment measures have exacerbated the country's human rights violations, citing alleged extra restrictions on access to information, tighter border security and heightened digital surveillance.