In one of the most comprehensive reports to date, a UN Commission on Inquiry into the country's rights record published its findings in February, detailing a wide range of systemic abuses including murder, enslavement and torture. The commission concluded that many of the violations constituted crimes against humanity, and suggested they could be placed before the International Criminal Court.
"The gravity, scale and nature of these violations revealed a state that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world," it said.
North Korea rejected the report as a "sheer fabrication" invented by the United States and its allies. A spokesman from North Korea's rights association said its own report would help people "do away with their prejudice and misunderstanding" about the rights situation.
"The report will show the true picture of the people of the (North) dynamically advancing towards a brighter and rosy future," he said in an interview with the North's official KCNA news agency. No release date was given, with the spokesman only saying the report would be published in "the near future".
The impoverished but nuclear-armed North has been ruled for more than six decades by the Kim family dynasty that has maintained power with an iron fist and zero tolerance for political dissent. The country is estimated to have 80,000 to 120,000 political prisoners in its sprawling gulag system.
Those who are caught crossing the border to China in a bid to flee poverty and repression at home are often sent to jail or executed.