November 3, 2012 - 16:08 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The UN investigator for human rights in North Korea said he saw no improvement in human rights under Kim Jong Un and urged the country's new leader to divert money from his "military first" policy to help more than 60 per cent of the population suffering from a lack of food, according to AP.
Marzuki Darusman said in a report and briefing to the UN General Assembly's human rights committee that it was "very disconcerting" to learn that Kim, who succeeded his father last December, had as his "first, second and third priorities" strengthening the military.
Darusman, a former Indonesian attorney-general, said about 16 million of North Korea's 25 million people "continue to suffer from varying degrees of chronic food insecurity and malnutrition."
He said "deeply rooted economic problems and high levels of malnutrition continue to cripple the country" and urged a reallocation of resources from the military to critically needed food, medicine, water and sanitation.
"Slow economic growth coupled with a 'military first' policy will be detrimental to the welfare of the people of the Democratic People's Republic of Korean," Darusman warned, using the country's official name.
He said that beside adopting misguided economic policies and giving priority to the military "the government compounds its failures to fulfil the economic, social and cultural rights of the people" by classifying the population according to loyalty to the regime "which results in unequal access to food, housing, medical care and employment and education opportunities."