Some Western and Asian countries have united in their charge against North Korea’s crimes in violation of human rights. According to a report based on witnesses, victims and defectors’ testimonies, more than 120,000 are currently held inside political prison camps in the communist country.
Australian and former judge Michael Kirby oversaw the independent inquiry and findings of the investigation, which began a year ago, and will be reported to the United Nations Human Rights Council on Monday. Such charges of torture, starvation and killings likened to Nazi brutality contained in the report will hold Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un and other North Korean security chiefs accountable to international justice. Julie de Rivero from the Human Rights Watch said, “The fact that these violations are now deemed to be crimes against humanity triggers the responsibility of the international community to respond.” She added, “It might be a long route but steps need to be taken.”
While North Korea has been a topic of the U.N. General Assembly in the past, but the Security Council has only tackled the threat of nuclear weapons. De Rivera called for the Security Council to “deal with crimes in North Korea.” However, taking Kim out to international court may be a challenge to the Security Council, as the hermit nation’s sole ally, China, possesses veto powers. China is opposed to the idea of bringing Kim to the International Criminal Court, as noted in the statement by Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying, “To bring human rights issues to the ICC does not help improve a country’s human rights conditions.”
On the other hand, North Korea rebuffed the report with ambassador So Se Pyong saying, “The commission of inquiry on the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] is none other than a marionette representing the ill-minded purpose of its string-pullers including the United States and its followers, who are endeavoring to eliminate the socialist system on the pretext of human rights.” However, many leaders want North Korea to be accountable for its crimes. Many world powers including the United States are in support of bringing North Korea to the ICC by the Security Council. But until the consensus is reached, the inquiry will just remain a report.
[via The Daily Star]