North Korea is demanding that the U.N. Security Council conduct “a thorough probe into the CIA torture crimes,” according to a letter obtained by Fox News.
In the letter, addressed to the president of the Security Council on Monday, Ja Song-nam, Pyongyang’s ambassador to the U.N., accuses the U.S. of conducting “brutal medieval forms” of torture and “the gravest human rights violations in the world.”
The Senate Intelligence Committee’s $40 million report, five years in the making and finally released last week amid criticism from Republicans and the intelligence community, alleges CIA operatives used enhanced interrogation techniques “that at times amounted to torture” against suspected terrorists. While proponents of the report’s release say it shows America owns up to its sins, critics dispute claims of torture and say the interrogation efforts saved lives.
Song-nam also blasted the council for including North Korea’s human rights record on its agenda for debate amid talk of possible referral to the International Criminal Court, calling the focus “politically fabricated” and “not at all relevant to the regional or international peace and security.”
North Korea’s human rights record has been placed on the Security Council debate schedule for Dec. 22, after the U.S., France, U.K. and several other member states requested urgent discussion.
In November, the UN General Assembly endorsed a resolution calling on the Security Council to take up North Korea’s human rights record. Russia and China, Pyongyang’s allies, have resisted the move, which follows a U.N. report published earlier this year that provided horrific details of widespread human rights abuses in North Korea. China, a permanent Security Council member, is expected to veto any effort by western governments to refer North Korea to the ICC.
North Korea fired off a scathing letter several months ago to the Security Council and Secretary-General, accusing the U.S. of committing an act of war by allowing Sony Pictures to produce the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy “The Interview,” which is about an assassination attempt on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
“To allow the production and distribution of such a film on the assassination of an incumbent head of a sovereign state should be regarded as the most undisguised sponsoring of terrorism as well as an act of war,” Nam wrote in a July letter to U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon. “The United States authorities should take immediate and appropriate actions to ban the production and distribution of the aforementioned film; otherwise, it will be fully responsible for encouraging and sponsoring terrorism.”
Jong-un is reportedly outraged over the film, and speculation has ensued that Pyongyang is behind the current crippling cyberattack on Sony.