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Pyongyang raps Seoul for seeking to pass bill on N.K. human rights

North Korea denounced South Korea on Wednesday for seeking the parliamentary passage of a bill aimed at improving the North's dismal human rights situation, calling Seoul's move an ugly farce aimed at disgracing the North.

The National Assembly is poised to approve the bill, which calls for efforts to improve the North's human rights situation and set up a center tasked with investigating abuses and managing an archives.

Similar bills on North Korea's human rights were scrapped in South Korea in recent years, as liberal lawmakers have shied away from the issue of the North's human rights out of concern that it could strain inter-Korean relations.

The North vehemently slammed South Korean lawmakers for seeking to cast a yes vote on the bill, saying they are pursuing unilateral unification against the North's will.

"South Korea's move is an ugly farce to disgrace our nations' political system, which cherishes people," said Uriminzokkiri, the North's main propaganda website. "The aim of Seoul's move is to seek anti-national unification."

Pyongyang has long been labeled one of the worst human rights violators in the world. The communist regime does not tolerate dissent, holds hundreds of thousands of people in political prison camps and keeps tight control over outside information.

In December, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution for the second consecutive year that calls for referring the North to the International Criminal Court for human rights violations. (Yonhap)

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