Vox Populi

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Jake Johnson: From Lack of Paid Maternity Leave to ‘Hell’ of Student Debt, North Korea Catalog of US Rights Violations Makes Convincing Case

US “can never camouflage its true identity as the gross violator of human rights,” Pyongyang says.

Just as U.S. President Donald Trump was preparing to lambast North Korea as “a menace that threatens our world” in his State of the Union address Tuesday night, Pyongyang attempted to undercut Trump’s “ominous” rhetoric by releasing a white paper that highlights America’s “gross” human rights violations and deep inequities, from its failure to “embrace paid maternity leave” to its exorbitant healthcare costs.

“In the U.S. the absolute majority of the working masses, deprived of elementary rights to survival, are hovering in the abyss of nightmare,” the report declares, according to the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Officially titled the “White Paper on Human Rights Violations in the U.S. in 2017,” the report also highlights other major American social and economic issues, including:

  • “Soaring school expenses,” which “are plunging the students into the hell of loans”;
  • The number of deaths caused by the “flu, lung diseases, and asthma”;
  • Pay disparities between men and women;
  • Rampant sexual abuse; and
  • Homelessness and “number of the poor families living in rented rooms devoid of elementary facilities for living.”

In addition to slamming the broader and long-standing facts of American life that consistently put the U.S. behind other wealthy nations, Pyongyang also took aim at the Trump administration, which it characterized as a collection of racist “billionaires” and “their mouthpieces” who only serve the “interests of a handful of the rich circles.”

“Racial discrimination and misanthropy are serious maladies inherent to the social system of the U.S., and they have been aggravated since Trump took office,” the paper declares. “The racial violence that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12 is a typical example of the acme of the current administration’s policy of racism.”

The report goes on to spotlight what it calls the Trump administration’s “crackdown on the press,” which has “intensified” over the past year.

“Genuine freedom of the press and expression does not exist” in the U.S., the paper argues.

Pyongyang concludes by ridiculing the U.S. for lecturing other nations about human rights while continuing to commit violations of its own, both at home and abroad.

“The U.S., ‘guardian of democracy’ and ‘human rights champion,’ is kicking up the human rights racket but it can never camouflage its true identity as the gross violator of human rights,” the white paper states.


 

First published in Common Dreams. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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In addition to slamming the broader and long-standing facts of American life that consistently put the U.S. behind other wealthy nations, Pyongyang also took aim at the Trump administration, which it characterized as a collection of racist “billionaires” and “their mouthpieces” who only serve the “interests of a handful of the rich circles.” (Photo: KCNA via Reuters)

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