Supreme leader of DPRK Kim Jong-un and Trump

The Foreign Ministry of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Saturday lashed out at the U.S. criticism of its “human rights” issues, saying Washington was “pouring oil over burning fire”, Xinhuanet has reported.

The official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) quoted an unnamed foreign ministry spokesperson as saying that the U.S. State Department’s “reckless” remarks against the DPRK on its human rights issues were “a grave political provocation” against Pyongyang.

In an interview with Voice of America on Thursday, Robert Destro, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor, said the United States remains “deeply concerned” over the human rights situation in the DPRK, and it should engage with the DPRK “to get them to change their behavior.”

“Such malicious words which came at this time when the DPRK-U.S. relations are reaching a highly delicate point will only produce a result of further aggravating the already tense situation in the Korean peninsula, like pouring oil over burning fire,” the ministry said in a statement published by the KCNA.