Human Rights Conditions in North Korea Remain Deplorable

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The United States of America today welcomed Special Rapporteur Marzuki Darusman’s report to the Human Rights Council on North Korea/DPRK.

The report revealed that human rights conditions in the DPRK remain deplorable and the people of the DPRK continue to suffer from widespread human rights violations.

On his remarks at the Interactive Dialogue with Mr. Marzuki Darusman, Special Envoy Robert R. King for North Korean Human Rights Issues highlighted a few points in the Special Rapporteur’s report.

First, the Special Rapporteur notes the lack of due process in the DPRK.

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Nursery school children in a village northwest of Pyongyang receive rations of food.

UN Photo/James Bu

He says the United States seek his views on how the DPRK can develop a more transparent and fair judicial system.

“The United States would be happy to work with the Special Rapporteur and the DPRK to develop programs on rule of law issues.” -Mr. King

The United States shares the Special Rapporteur’s concerns about forced and compulsory labor.

The United States would welcome additional recommendations on how the DPRK could improve labor conditions for North Korean workers.

The United States appreciates the Special Rapporteur’s concern about the kidnapped nationals from the Republic of Korea, Japan, and other countries, and his appeal to the DPRK to resolve the issue urgently.

The United States also shares the Special Rapporteur’s specific concerns about the case of Oh Kil-nam and his wife, Shin Suk-ja and daughters, Oh Hae-won and Oh Kyu-won, whose whereabouts remain unknown.

“We reiterate his request that this family be reunited promptly.” -Mr. King

The United States also shares the Special Rapporteur’s assessment of the importance of resuming inter-Korean dialogue and would welcome another round of inter-Korean family reunions.

He stresses that the United States appreciates the modest progress between DPRK officials and the American Red Cross on family reunions between Korean-Americans and family members in the DPRK, but we seek greater progress in this area.

“Finally, we share the Special Rapporteur’s deep concerns about the plight of refugees and asylum seekers from the DPRK.” -Mr. King

He urges the DPRK to end the punishment and imprisonment of North Koreans who have sought asylum abroad as well as their family members.

At the meeting, Mr. King also called for North Korea to recognize the benefits of cooperating with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and thematic special rapporteur.

The DPRK could use this opportunity to obtain valuable assistance from international human rights mechanisms, Mr. King added.

The United States also commends the human rights discussions that have taken place during other meetings.

He underlines that the United States remains committed to building upon this foundation, which the US government hopes serves as a first step towards dialogue on human rights.

He stresses that the United States strongly supports the excellent work of the Special Rapporteur and urges the international community to continue to highlight the significant human rights concerns inside the DPRK by supporting the renewal of this important mandate.

The United States has been intensifying its efforts to promote human rights in North Korea since the 2004 passage of the North Korean Human Rights Act.

In its annual report documenting U.S. efforts to promote human rights around the world, the State Department said the law was enacted “to raise awareness of the serious human rights situation in the country [North Korea], and to find durable solutions for North Korean refugees.”

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.