N Korea hits back at rights vote

Pyongyang rejects UN human rights resolution, describing it as "sheer lies".

    The North Korean regime has been labelled
    one of the world's worst human rights abusers

    "The U.S. and the EU had better put an end to their own human rights abuses before finding fault with the human rights performance in other countries.''

    The resolution, sponsored by the European Union, must go before the UN General Assembly for final approval.

    Criticism

    On Sunday, North Korea came in for further criticism from leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) forum meeting in Hanoi.

    Among issues topping their discussions was the fallout from North Korea’s first test of a nuclear weapon on October 9.

    "The Apec leaders express our strong concern over the nuclear situation in North Korea, which could lead to a complicated situation in the northeast region," Nguyen Minh Triet, the Vietnamese president, said.

    Also at the summit Japan sought to draw attention to North Korea's abduction of more than a dozen Japanese citizens.

    Shinzo Abe, Japan's prime minister, urged other countries to work with him to find a speedy resolution to the matter.

    Spy training

    North Korea has admitted to kidnapping about 12 Japanese in the 1970s and 1980s to train its spies in Japanese language and culture but, according to Abe, has "failed to deal sincerely" with the matter.

    Five of the kidnap victims were allowed to return to Japan in 2002. North Korea said the others had died.

    On Monday, Japanese police added a seventeenth person to a list of citizens it believes were abducted by North Korean agents.

    Officials said they would be demanding the immediate return of Kyoko Matsumoto, who disappeared from the western Japanese coastal town of Yonago in 1977.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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