North Korea says U.S., South Korea smear it to hide own rights abuses

UNITED NATIONS Tue Jun 3, 2014 6:07pm EDT

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (L) acknowledges the crowd during a visit to a construction site of a resort for scientists in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang May 29, 2014. REUTERS/KCNA

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (L) acknowledges the crowd during a visit to a construction site of a resort for scientists in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang May 29, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/KCNA

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - South Korea and the United States are waging a smear campaign against North Korea to distract from their own records of human rights abuses, Pyongyang has complained to the United Nations, warning that "curses, like chickens, come home to roost."

In a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon - dated May 7 and released on Tuesday - North Korea's U.N. Ambassador Ja Song Nam included analyses by the reclusive Asian state of the human rights records of the United States and South Korea.

"It is none other than the U.S. that should be brought to the dock for the human rights violations it committed," according to the North Korean 'Memorandum on United States crimes against human rights.'

"It's time for the U.S. to behave rationally and realize why our nation condemns the U.S. as sworn enemy with great fury and why our army prepares for the final nuclear confrontation with the U.S., holding the slogan of 'Destroy the U.S. imperialist aggressors, sworn enemy of the Korean people!'" it said.

The complaint comes after a U.N. inquiry concluded that North Korean security chiefs and possibly even Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un should face justice for ordering systematic torture, starvation and killings comparable to Nazi-era atrocities.

The investigation recommended that the U.N. Security Council refer the situation in North Korea to the International Criminal Court for prosecution of human rights violations that it said amounted to crimes against humanity.

But China, a veto-wielding Council member, has signaled it could shield its North Korea from potential prosecution.

"There exist no human rights issues in the DPRK (North Korea) where the sovereign rights and dignity of the popular masses are firmly guaranteed and people-loving policy is applied in all areas," Pyongyang wrote in a 'White paper on the human rights record in South Korea.'

"Instead, human rights issues raise serious concerns in fully corrupted south Korea and U.S. where the jungle law is applied and rich gets richer while poor gets poorer," it wrote in the document attached to the letter to Ban, a former South Korean foreign minister.

Pyongyang said that comments by South Korea on human rights in North Korea would be "regarded as a dog barking at the moon."

It demanded an end to what it called a smear campaign by South Korea and the United States, which it described as a last ditch effort in the face of "the promising future and soaring spirit" of North Korea.

North Korea is already under an array of United Nations, U.S. and other national sanctions for repeated nuclear and ballistic missile tests since 2006 in defiance of international demands to stop.

The U.S. and South Korean missions to the United Nations were not immediately available for comment on the accusations.

(Editing by Eric Walsh)