North Korea has taken aim at the United States, calling it a “graveyard of human rights,” referring to the shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, and its aftermath. The violent protests and the police's handling of the situation also came in for criticism from the hermetic Asian country widely regarded to have one of the world's worst human rights record.
A spokesperson for North Korea’s foreign ministry said that the U.S. should first “bring to light the real picture of the American society” before passing judgment on other nations, state-run Korean Central News Agency, or KCNA, reported Tuesday. China, Russia, Iran and Egypt too have taken the opportunity to criticize the U.S. following the violent demonstrations and vandalism that followed the shooting death of Michael Brown by a white police officer Darren Wilson in a St. Louis suburb.
"The US is, indeed, a country wantonly violating human rights where people are subject to discrimination and humiliation due to their races and they are seized with such horror that they do not know when they are shot to death," the spokesperson said, according to KCNA. "It should not seek solutions to its problems in suppressing demonstrators, but bring to light the real picture of the American society, a graveyard of human rights, and have a correct understanding of what genuine human rights are like and how they should be guaranteed.”
North Korea, which is frequently condemned by Washington over allegations of numerous human rights abuses, said that the U.S. should “mind its own business, instead of interfering in the internal affairs of other countries.”
North Korea reportedly has an estimated 120,000 political prisoners, and those who are caught fleeing the country are either sent back to jail or are executed.
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According to Agence France-Presse, China’s state media said that "even in a country that has for years tried to play the role of an international human rights judge and defender, there is still much room for improvement.”
Russia's foreign ministry also reportedly condemned the actions of U.S. authorities in Ferguson, which witnessed days of protests, which sometimes turned violent with instances of looting, vandalism and bottle-throwing, while police resorted to the use of tear gas and rubber bullets to control the unrest, and Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon deployed the National Guard.
“The Ferguson unrest and the authorities’ fluctuations from tough suppression to appeals for peace and dialogue reveal once again the deep-rooted problems with human rights and democratic standards in the US,” the statement said.
“As they call other governments to guarantee freedom of speech and avoid violence against political protest, US authorities act harshly against active opponents of continuing inequality, de facto discrimination and the state of second-rate citizens. Journalists also fall victim to this violence, as we have seen over the past few days.”