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UN Resolution on North Korean Human Rights Due Today

Posted November. 02, 2005 05:07,   


After special rapporteur Muntarbhorn’s report about the possibility of harsh punishment and a food crisis against North Korea defectors recurring, the discussion among each country’s representatives followed at the General Assembly’s third committee on October 28.

Canadian representative: It is really worrying that such serious human rights violation is overtly happening.

Japanese representative: It is not acceptable by the international community’s custom that North Korea is refusing inspection from the special rapporteur.

Chinese representative: Why don’t we give some more time to North Korea? This issue should be viewed from all aspects of the situation in northeast Asia.

These days, the third committee is discussing various current issues related to human rights such as food issues, women and race, as well as human rights situation in individual countries such as North Korea, Myanmar, and Palestine. Members of human rights groups from all countries of the world filled up the seats for the public, and the heated atmosphere there was like that of the World Conference on Human Rights.

Human rights issues are not just related to certain countries, but they have become issues which should be discussed and improved at the U.N. level and have becom a “global standard” by which all countries should abide.

The tensest moment in the committee is when U.N. special rapporteur on human rights brings up squarely human rights violation issues in the presence of concerned countries’ representatives.

Generally, concerned countries resist. However, North Korea’s response is quite distinctive compared to other countries. For example, Myanmar representatives try to highlight that the report is wrong, saying, “The report is unbalanced and exaggerated. The view is biased.”

On the other hand, North Korea mentions “America’s conspiracy” without exception. North Korean representatives criticized on October 31, “The U.S. seeks to establish an American style world order under the plausible banner of human rights and democracy, and it raises an issue of our human rights with the intention of overturning our political system.”

North Korean representatives reproached EU which is initiating the resolution on North Korea’s human rights in the U.N. General Assembly for helping the U.S. which seeks to overturn their political system.

While the human rights issues are becoming a global standard in the international community, North Korea has yet to outgrow its own standard, just like a big fish in a little pond.

Muntarbhorn express pity, saying, “The purpose of raising an issue of human rights is not to trouble North Korea. Many improvements can be expected if the North Korean authorities cooperate even just a little bit.”

Jong sik Kong kong@donga.com