GABORONE, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- The government of Botswana announced on Wednesday that it has decided to terminate diplomatic and consular relations with Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) because of "human rights violations" in the country.
A statement from Botswana's foreign ministry said the decision is informed by the recently released report of the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Democratic People's Republic of Korea which details systematic, widespread and grave human rights violations by DPRK authorities.
"The Government of Botswana does not wish to be associated with a Government which continues to display such total disregard for the human rights of its citizens," said the statement.
Last year, Botswana suspended bilateral cooperation with DPRK as the result of "the threat posed by that country to international peace and security."
The deplorable acts catalogued in the United Nations' report are startling and warrant strong condemnation by the international community. As a member of the International Community of nations, DRPK has the responsibility for the welfare and wellbeing of its people and respect for human rights which have unfortunately for too long been seriously lacking in that country, said the statement.
The statement further said the Botswana government wishes to underscore that the severing of diplomatic relations is not in any way targeted at the people of DPRK.
A report released by the UN human rights watchdog accused DPRK of systematically violating the rights of its population through arbitrary arrest, detention, lack of due process, and torture and ill-treatment of detainees.
The report said DPRK practices collective punishment for various anti-state offenses, for which it enslaves hundreds of thousands of citizens in prison camps, including children.
Botswana's diplomatic ties with DPRK are covered by the country's embassy in Beijing of China.