USA issues stern warning to those smuggling fuel to North Korea


North Korea's leadership has cracked down further on human rights as tensions have escalated over its nuclear and missile tests, including beefing up restrictions on movements and making "horrific" prison conditions more severe, the United Nations rights chief said Monday.

Feltman said that officials had "listened carefully" but voiced disagreements with his delegation during the 15 hour-long talks, and said that the country still needed time to review the issue "internally" and with its leadership.

For the fourth time, China unsuccessfully tried to stop the public meeting by calling a procedural vote. On November 28 North Korea test-fired a nuclear-capable missile that showed the potential to strike anywhere on the continental United States.

"I think again, they have to reflect on what we said with their own leadership and I don't want to try to suggest that I can read their minds or put words in their mouth".

He blasted the meeting on Monday as a "desperate act of the hostile forces which lose the political and military confrontation with [North Korea] that has openly risen to the position of nuclear weapon state".

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Zeid asked the Security Council on Monday to assess the impact of the sanctions on human rights and take action "to minimize their adverse humanitarian consequences".

"I also learned of an anticipated humanitarian funding shortfall that could seriously affect the ordinary citizens of the DPRK, who will need our generosity and help", he said.

"Any country that does not take care of its people ends up in conflict", said Haley.

The document said the North "most stringently defends and fulfills the democratic freedom and rights of the people", through "laws across political, economic, cultural, education and legal arenas".

Zeid pointed to new physical barriers being erected along North Korea's border and increased surveillance.

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Our Kim In-kyung has more in this report.

Pyongyang is accused by a United Nations commission of inquiry of running a vast network of prison camps, resorting to torture, arbitrary detentions among other widespread abuses, AFP noted.

There are reportedly five secret political prison camps that instill fear and function as "a powerful instrument of control", he said.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the council the systematic violations committed by the North Korean regime do more than cause the people's suffering.

"The regime is using that power to develop an unnecessary arsenal and support enormous conventional military forces that pose a grave risk to global peace and security", she said.

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Ji said North Korea is a prison and its leaders are committing genocide. If their baby is born alive, it is killed in an effort to maintain "ethnic purity", she said.