North Korea's war of words has taken quite the turn. After being accused by the UN earlier this year of "unspeakable atrocities" against its people, the country blasted the US as the "world's worst human rights abuser." But it has now stepped back from name-calling and instead put out a report delving into its stellar human-rights history, the Washington Post reports. The nearly 54,000-word manifesto by the Association for Human Rights Studies is published in its entirety on the Korean Central News Agency website; an accompanying statement touts North Korea as having "the world's most advantageous human rights system."
The report explores North Korea's history and geography, notes the Post, then dives into the meat of its human-rights rah-rahing, lauding everything from its "11-year compulsory education system [and] gender-equality legislation" to "labor regulation that saw the introduction of eight-hour days." The Post also runs down a laundry list of supposed North Korean rights that are noted in the report and part of the country's constitution: These include the "basic" rights to work, rest, and speak freely, as well as more recent "civil rights" such as the right to a fair trial, the right not be tortured, and the right not to be made a slave. So who's to blame, then, for North Korea's bad reputation? The US, the EU, Japan, and South Korea, naturally, according to the document.