SEOUL 2013 (AFP) - North Korea angrily rejected on Friday, March 22, a United Nations inquiry into its human rights record and vowed to step up its all-out struggle against the United States.
The UN's Human Rights Council passed a resolution on Thursday to establish for the first time a commission to probe "the systematic, widespread and grave violations of human rights" in North Korea.
The resolution condemned a long line of abuses, "in particular the use of torture and labour camps against political prisoners and repatriated citizens", and also urged Pyongyang to release all political prisoners.
The resolution is "a political chicanery which does not deserve even a passing note", a foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency.
"We will as always totally reject and disregard the recent 'human rights resolution' against the DPRK (North Korea), a product of political confrontation and conspiracy," he said.
The spokesman also accused Washington of "kicking up an anti-DPRK human rights campaign involving its allies in a ridiculous bid to hurt" Pyongyang.
"The ever-escalating hostile acts of the US to bring down the ideology and system chosen by the Korean people will only intensify their all-out action against the US," he said.
The North rejects widespread international criticism of its rights record.
But in a recent report, UN special rapporteur on North Korea Marzuki Darusman accused Pyongyang of a string of violations that could constitute crimes against humanity.
He also highlighted concerns about a network of political prison camps believed to hold some 200,000 inmates, including those who were born in captivity.
Rights groups have called for UN help to shut down the North's gulag system.