north korea missile tests 2016
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets scientists and technicians in the field of researches into nuclear weapons in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) REUTERS/KCNA

Marzuki Darusman told the UN Human Rights Council that Jong-Un spends huge amounts on developing nuclear and other weapons while citizens suffer "slave conditions."

Political prison camps, torture, "slave-like labour" and religious persecution remain features of the state apparatus, two years after a UN investigation into crimes against humanity, Darusman said on 14 March. "We are now at a crucial stage, therefore there is a fundamental need for countries to make that next step in ensuring accountability is undertaken."

Darusman, a former foreign minister of Indonesia, said that investigations could be pursued via the International Criminal Court (ICC). Ambassador Robert King, US envoy on North Korea, denounced the "egregious human rights violations committed by the DPRK" and added the US would "seek accountability."

America and South Korea are currently engaged in major joint military exercises with each other and the US has 30,000 troops stationed in the south. John Fisher of Human Rights Watch said that North Korea had "horrific" forced labour camps, public executions and a history of mass malnutrition and even "mass starvation".

"Generations of North Koreans have suffered at the hands of the Kim family and its elite."

The delegation of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) boycotted the session. Japan, South Korea, the EU and the US supported Darusman's call for accountability.

North Korea threatened to retaliate with an attack on Manhattan. A nuclear scientist named Cho Hyong-Il, said in a report by the state-run DPRK: "Our hydrogen bomb is much bigger than the one developed by the Soviet Union."

"The H-bomb developed by the Soviet Union in the past was able to smash windows of buildings 1,000km away and the heat was strong enough to cause third-degree burns 100km away," the report added.

However, many experts, including those from the US, were dubious of the claim, although some said the North may have been trying to test components of a hydrogen bomb.