North Korea has singled out Japan, criticizing Tokyo's leading role in crafting a U.N. resolution condemning human rights violations and the abductions of foreign nationals by the nuclear-armed country, amid its ongoing thaw with the outside world.

In a commentary published late Monday, the North's state-run Korean Central News Agency blasted "dishonest forces including Japan" for "working hard to cook up" the resolution as denuclearization talks between Pyongyang and Washington continue.

"No one in the international community has ever given those countries a privilege to set the world 'human rights standard,' " it said.