Months after the publication of a damning United Nations report that catalogued widespread human rights violations in North Korea, the hermit kingdom has issued a human rights report of its own -- but this time, the conclusions drawn have been far more favorable.
North Korea's report, released Saturday, said the "popular masses" in the country "enjoy genuine human rights," according to the Wall Street Journal. The report also claimed that North Korean citizens have the right to free trial and religious freedom, to stand for election, and to not be subjected to slavery or torture.
The 50,000-word report concluded that the country has the "world's most advantageous human rights system," per CNN.
North Korea's report starkly contradicts the findings published earlier this year by a group of United Nations human rights investigators who accused Supreme lLeader Kim Jong-un and his government of committing "systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations" against its people, including mass incarceration in prison camps and the starving of citizens.
"The gravity, scale and nature of these violations reveal a state that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world," said the U.N. report, which was compiled after a year-long investigation and included testimony from North Korean defectors and experts on the country.
North Korea -- which did not allow the U.N. to conduct its inquiry in the country itself -- has denied these abuses in its recent report, which according to the country's official Korean Central News Agency lays "bare the false and reactionary nature of the reckless anti-North Korean human rights racket and to wipe out the prejudice and misunderstanding,” per the New York Times.
The North Korean government "frames all criticism of their human rights situation as a politicized attack from hostile forces," Sokeel Park of Liberty in North Korea, a non-profit that works with North Korean refugees, told CNN in response to the country's recent report.
"Pyongyang knows they are increasingly diplomatically isolated and they are trying to reverse that tide," Park continued, referring to the government by the name of its capital city. "They see the growing international consensus on the seriousness of their human rights violations as one facet of that diplomatic isolation, so it makes sense to try to counter that explicitly too."
As the New York Times notes, the North Korean report was published ahead of this month's U.N. General Assembly, where a discussion of the human rights situation in North Korea is slated to take place.