(CNN) – A North Korean state newspaper denounced what it called “the imperialists’ human rights racket” shortly after the publication of a United Nations report highlighted the country’s dismal human rights record.
“The politicization of human rights and application of double standards have to be rejected at international organizations including the UN Human Rights Council,” wrote Rodong Sinmun on Tuesday. Rodong Sinmun is the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea.
The North Korean criticism comes days after the publication of a report submitted by a UN special rapporteur to the international organization’s Human Rights Council.
“The (North Korean) State’s extensive penitentiary system and severe restrictions on all forms of free expression, movement and access to information, added to the poor access to basic needs, especially food, continue to nurture fear of the State and leave people at the mercy of unaccountable public officials,” the special rapporteur concluded.
North Korea denied the special rapporteur, an Argentinian named Tomás Ojea Quintana, access to the country.
Instead, Quintana relied on interviews with civil society groups and government officials in South Korea and Japan, as well as defectors who fled North Korea in 2016 and 2017.