North Korea has asked the UN security council to address the CIA’s harsh treatment of terror suspects instead of its own human rights situation.
North Korea’s UN ambassador, Ja Song-nam, objected to the inclusion of his country’s human rights record on the security council’s agenda for debate as a first step toward a possible referral to the international criminal court (ICC).
“The so-called ‘human rights issue’ in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is politically fabricated and, therefore, it is not at all relevant to the regional or international peace and security,” Ja wrote in the letter to Chad’s UN ambassador, the current council president.
“On the contrary, the recently revealed CIA torture crimes committed by the United States, which have been conducted worldwide in the most brutal medieval forms, are the gravest human rights violations in the world,” he added, requesting that the council take up the issue with a view to establishing “a thorough probe into the CIA torture crimes”.
It is highly unlikely that the CIA issue will ever make it on to the agenda of the council, where the US has power of veto. There was no immediate comment from the US mission to the UN.
The recent US Senate intelligence committee report detailed brutal interrogations of terror detainees during the George W Bush administration, with tactics ranging from simulating drowning to improvised enemas.
North Korea’s human rights situation was placed on the council agenda after two-thirds of its members, including the US, requested it. That debate would take place on 22 or 23 December, Chad’s ambassador, Mahamat Zene Cherif, said on Monday.