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North Korea Admits to Labor Camps for Political Prisoners

North Korea Admits to Labor Camps for Political Prisoners

Posted September. 17, 2004 22:04,   


British Foreign Office Vice Minister Bill Rammell, who just returned from his trip to Pyongyang, stated on Thursday that North Korean leaders admitted giving human rights issues a lower priority in their policy making and the existence of labor camps for political prisoners.

Rammell held a press conference in London the same day and stated, “As we showed satellite pictures of the labor camps to North Korean officials, they acknowledged that unlike the members of the European Union (EU) or other developed nations, they do not consider human rights issues to be an important agenda.”

Furthermore, he added, “North Korean officials also admitted the existence of re-education programs in their labor camps.” This is interpreted as North Korea admitting to taking political prisoners by coercion.

Rammell also stated, “The North did not refuse the visit by United Nations human rights inspectors into the country.”

Rammell visited North Korea on September 11 for a 3 nights 4 days trip, a first for a senior official of Great Britain, and met with North Korean Foreign Minister Paek Nam-sun and Deputy Minister of Foreign Ministry of Human Rights Choi Su-heon.