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Tuesday, 27 August 2013 00:00

North challenged on rights

A UN rights probe into North Korea challenged Pyongyang today to back its claims that testimony gathered by the inquiry amounted to "slander."

The three-member commission led by retired Australian judge Michael Kirby had just wrapped up five days of testimony in South Korea, mostly from northern defectors.

Pyongyang branded the hearing an exercise in "slander" on Friday, saying the allegations of rights abuses could reverse a recent thaw in relations with Seoul.

But Mr Kirby said he would welcome proof that "the conditions of political prisoners, abductees, torture, starvation" and more were "untrue."

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