North Korea minister denounces U.N. suspending Russia from human rights body

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SEOUL, April 11 (Reuters) - North Korea's minister of foreign affairs on Monday denounced last week's suspension of Russia from the U.N. Human Rights Council, calling it an "unreasonable act" led by the United States and the West to maintain political hegemony.

The U.S.-led push to suspend Russia from the U.N. body over reports of "gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights" garnered 93 votes in favor, while 24 countries voted no and 58 countries abstained, prompting Moscow to announce it was quitting the body. read more

"What the U.S. is after ... is to isolate the independent countries, and forces challenging them at the international arena, so as to maintain its illegal and inhumane U.S.-led hegemonic order," the minister said, according to a statement carried by state news agency KCNA.

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The statement didn't name the minister.

Noting that North Korea had opposed the adoption of the "double-standard" resolution, the minister said international organizations should not be "abused" as a means for the United States to put political pressure on countries.

North Korea has test-fired a range of increasingly powerful missiles this year, while officials in Seoul and Washington also fear it may be preparing to resume testing nuclear weapons for the first time since 2017 amid stalled negotiations. read more

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Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by David Holmes

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