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S. Korea undaunted by N. Korea's threat over human rights issue

2014/11/07 14:51

SEOUL, Nov. 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Friday dismissed North Korea's threat of the breakdown of bilateral ties as retaliation for Seoul's cooperation in a campaign against the communist nation's human rights abuse.

"Our government has a position that North Korea's human rights situation should be improved," unification ministry spokesman Lim Byeong-cheol said at a press briefing.

The North's human rights problem is not only associated with universal value but also an important task in preparations for reunification, Lim stressed.

The South is strengthening cooperation with the international community to deal with the issue, especially actively joining in discussions at the United Nations, he added.

He was responding to Pyongyang's recent warning that inter-Korean relations will collapse if the South takes the side of the United States in trying to address the matter on the global stage.

In New York, the U.N.'s Third Committee began discussions on a draft resolution, co-sponsored by the European Union and Japan, which calls on the U.N. to recommend the referral of North Korea to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

The North's media ratcheted up threats.

The North will use all of its "political and military deterrence including the nuclear capability" in a showdown with the U.S. eager to isolate and suppress Pyongyang, its main newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun, said in a commentary.

lcd@yna.co.kr

leechidong@gmail.com

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