SEOUL (AFP) -North Korea’s top military body warned Sunday of “catastrophic consequences” for supporters of a UN resolution censuring its human rights record, as state media reported its leader presiding over a fresh military exercise.
A resolution urging the United Nations Security Council to refer the North’s leadership to the International Criminal Court for possible charges of “crimes against humanity” passed by 111 to 19 with 55 abstentions at a UN General Assembly human rights committee last week.
The resolution, introduced by Japan and the European Union and co-sponsored by some 60 nations, drew heavily on the work of a UN enquiry which concluded in February that the North was committing rights abuses “without parallel in the contemporary world”.
The North since then has repeatedly slammed the resolution as a political “fraud”. On Thursday it warned that it was being pushed into conducting a fresh nuclear test.
The National Defence Commission (NDC), chaired by the country’s leader Kim Jong-Un, said Sunday the resolution amounted to a “war declaration” which “dared take issue with the dignity of our supreme leadership”.
The resolution makes no mention of Kim but notes the UN enquiry’s finding – that the “highest level of the state” has responsibility for the rights abuses.
The dignity of its leader “cannot be bartered for anything”, the NDC said in a statement, adding that Japan as well as South Korea and the US – co-sponsors of the UN resolution – were Pyongyang’s “primary target”.
“The US and its followers will be wholly accountable for the unimaginable and catastrophic consequences to be entailed by the frantic ‘human rights’ racket against the (North),” it said.