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UN Human Rights Resolution for NK

Posted April. 11, 2003 22:33,   


The EU reportedly submitted a resolution to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, whose 59th meeting is currently being held in Geneva, Switzerland. In the resolution, the European political body demands that North Korean refugees be granted immunity from punishment.

This is the first time in the commission`s 57-year history that it received a resolution criticizing the North Korean regime`s human rights violations. The resolution will be put up for vote at the joint session on April 16 for official adoption by the commission.

The Roh administration has voiced its official concern to the EU. The Roh administration worries that adoption of the resolution may sour relations between the North and South and fail to bring about any substantial improvement. The South Korean administration, however, also said that it appreciated the international community`s concern for North Korea.

The resolution, consisting of a preamble and six articles, voices the EU community`s concern over the systematic, widespread and serious violations of human rights by the North Korean regime, and urges the isolated regime to desist detaining or imposing cruel punishment and the death penalty for North Koreans who flee to neighboring countries for humanitarian purposes.

In addition, the resolution criticizes the Kim Jung Il regime for abridgment of freedom of speech and religion, imposition of torture and cruel punishment, commitment to public and politically motivated executions, operation of labor camps, malnutrition of North Korean children and violation of women`s rights.

The resolution also urges Pyongyang to guarantee international human rights groups free passage into North Korea and to honor various international conventions on civic and political rights for its citizens.

Greece submitted the resolution on behalf of the EU, and many nations including the United States and Japan have reportedly shown their support.

Participating as an observer, North Korean delegate Kim Sung-chul voiced loud opposition to the resolution. "We cannot accept it. The resolution will deteriorate the situation on the Korean Peninsula," he said.

Jei-Gyoon Park phark@donga.com