Out of “very serious concern,” the human rights committee voted 103-18 with 60 abstentions to strongly urge North Korea’s government to immediately end “the systematic, widespread and grave violations of human rights.” Note: South Korea voted in favor of the motion this year.
Co-sponsored by Japan and the European Union, the resolution cites that the Pyongyang regime has breached civil, political, economic, and cultural rights of citizens. Torture and mistreatment of refugees and asylum seekers, public executions, extrajudicial and arbitrary detentions, and imposition of the death penalty for political and religious reasons were listed as violations committed by the communist nation.
They also are cited guilty of misallocation of resources given to them for humanitarian purposes. Malnutrition is chronic, stunting the physical and mental development of a large proportion of their children.
Pyongyang was angered by the rebuke and lashed out at the unfairness of the UN. It condemned the whole gimmick as a set-up and part of a U.S. attempt to overthrow its regime.
Pak Tok Hun, North Korean deputy ambassador, said his country rejects the resolution, calling it “an illegal document.” He said it is a plot cooked up by “evil forces” led by the United States and its supporters that “recklessly encroaches upon our sovereignty.”
According to him, the U.S. is every year plotting against North Korea during the release of human rights reports.
“The resolution fabricated by hostile forces, toeing the US line, is full of sheer lies that can convince no one, as was the case with the similar one adopted last year.”
“Neither slander nor plot against the Korean style socialist system can be made to change or do any harm to it.” North Korea “has been able to advance vigorously along the road it has chosen in spite of consistent political pressure, economic blockade, and military threat from foreign forces for over 60 years.”
The draft resolution must now be approved at a plenary meeting of the 192-nation UN assembly where its adoption is certain.
Travel warning: “The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against entering North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or DPRK), without first having received explicit official permission and an entry visa from the Government of North Korea. The North Korean government will prosecute and sentence those who enter the DPRK without proper documentation.”
“UN Committee criticizes NKorea human rights,” click here.
U.S. Department of State, Korea Democratic People’s Republic of, click here.
Human Rights Commission, 32 N 3rd St/Ste 422, Yakima, WA 98901
Daejon, Korea, is Seattle’s sister city.