North Korea got its shot at the UN podium during the General Assembly, with Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong denouncing the Security Council as “a forum for telling lies.”
The speech came as rumors have swirled about the health of Kim Jong-un, who’s been out of the public eye for weeks. Seoul’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported that Kim is up to nearly 300 pounds and had surgery for fractures of both of his ankles.
“Despite unprecedently persistent economic blockade, military threat and political obstruction, we have firmly safeguarded national dignity, effectively deterred war and put the stagnant economy onto an upward track, under the leadership of the Great General Kim Jong Il,” Ri told the UN. “Today we have at last secured the reliable springboard to leap into a powerful nation following the guidance of the respected Marshal Kim Jong Un.”
The foreign minister reported “a great leap in our fishing industry and livestock farming and as well as a blooming new civilization of the 21st century in the living environment and cultural and welfare spheres for the future generations and working masses.”
“…However, high-handedness and arbitrariness veiled under the various disguises such as democracy, humanitarian crises, counterterrorism, human rights protection, and non-proliferation are committed in brazen-face form of sanctions, blockade, military threat and armed intervention.”
Ri complained that the Security Council “turned its back” on the DPRK’s referrals of South Korean-U.S. military exercises to the UN body.
“As the joint military exercises were led by its permanent member state, the Security Council was bound to close its eyes, block its ears and shut its mouth, no matter how enormous in scale, aggressive in purpose and dangerous in nature they were,” he said.
“…The claim that these war exercises are annual in nature is just a veiled attempt to succeed in a surprise attack after creating chronic immunity to them.”
The North Korean representative proceeded to claim the Security Council “simply ignores civilian killings of the Palestinian people by Israel” and called the U.S. claim that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction “a big lie of the century.”
“The hostile policy, nuclear threat and stifling strategy pursued by the United States for more than half a century inevitably resulted in the decision of nuclear weapons state of the DPRK,” Ri said. “The nuclear deterrent of the DPRK is not intended to threaten or attack others. Neither is it a bargaining chip to be exchanged for something else.”
“The nuclear issue will be resolved if and when the threat to our sovereignty and right to life is removed in substance with termination of the US’s hostile policy against the DPRK. Politicization, selectivity and double standards should be withdrawn in dealing with human rights issues. Abusing the human rights issues for political purposes is in itself the biggest human rights violation.”
The country that makes anyone deemed a dissident disappear into forced labor camps, including American Kenneth Bae, said it is “always open to dialogue and cooperation for genuine human rights that have nothing to do with political motivation and hypocrisy in all their manifestations.”