North Korea Answers
Two high profile events over the past week drew attention to North Korea’s dismal human rights records: the execution of 22 fisherman who “drifted” into South Korean waters and allegations that rice aid intended for civilian use was being diverted to the military.
North Korea has officially denied these allegations. According to IHT, the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland released a statement via KCNA not only denying the rice diversion, but also going so far as to note the wrongness of such an action:
The alleged rice aid diversion “is something that never actually occurred and should also not occur”
Who, then, is the origin of these accusations? The U.S.? Nah. Japan? Nope. South Korean conservatives? Ding ding ding ding!!
The committee said the suspicions were a “completely baseless plot made by South Korea’s ultraconservative forces.”
On the issue of 22 drifters, IHT notes:
The North’s committee also denied South Korean media speculation that 22 North Koreans who were returned home hours after straying into South Korean waters on fishing boats on Feb. 8 had been executed by a firing squad.