North Korean Human Rights Report Released


Protests in South Korea over human rights abuses in the Republic. BBC News/

North Korean Human Rights Report Released

By Nicole Halseth, News Editor

According to the BBC, “China has dismissed a UN report that compared human rights abuses in North Korea to those in Nazi Germany.” (North Korea is officially known as the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, or the DPRK).

A Chinese diplomat, Chen Chuandong, responded by claiming that some of the report’s recommendations were not an accurate reflection of reality, and that it essentially lacks credibility. This response may support speculation that China will block further attempts at action over the subject.

North Korea’s response was to call the report “a fabrication by hostile forces.”

UN­-appointed jurists created the report to document the state of human rights abuses in North Korea.

According to the BBC, “The report accused the state of systematic murder, torture, enslavement and starvation on a scale unparalleled in the modern world.”

Michael Kirby, head of the international panel of inquiry, called for action in North Korea.

Despite this push for action, China has already made clear it will not back the report, and has indicated it will likely veto any resolutions made at the UN Security Council.

As one of China’s main reasons for refusing to back the report, Chuandong said “The inability of the commission to get support and co­operation from the country concerned made it impossible for the commission to carry out its mandate in an impartial, objective and effective manner.”

The UN panel who created the report were not able to enter North Korea itself, or talk to any officials within the country. The report is based solely on testimonials from refugees and defectors.

China calls for “constructive dialogue” with the government of North Korea, in order to address these human rights concerns.

Sponsors for the proposal to investigate the state of human rights in North Korea, the European Union and Japan (with US support), wish to submit the report to the Security Council, in order to get it referred to the international criminal court or another body that may be able to hold North Korea accountable for its actions.

This move is expected to meet substantial opposition, and as such, it remains to be seen just how effective this report will be in creating positive change.