News / Asia

UN Investigators Call for Action Against N. Korea Abuses

Michael Kirby, Chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea holds a copy of his report during a news conference at the United Nations in Geneva on February 17, 2014.Michael Kirby, Chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea holds a copy of his report during a news conference at the United Nations in Geneva on February 17, 2014.
x
Michael Kirby, Chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea holds a copy of his report during a news conference at the United Nations in Geneva on February 17, 2014.
Michael Kirby, Chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea holds a copy of his report during a news conference at the United Nations in Geneva on February 17, 2014.
Lisa Schlein
United Nations investigators are challenging the international community to take immediate and urgent action to stop, what they call, North Korea’s unspeakable atrocities against its population.

In an impassioned plea before the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday, Inquiry Commission Chairman Michael Kirby criticized the international community for indifference in the face of horrendous, but credible accounts of suffering endured by the people of North Korea.

He accused North Korea of unspeakable atrocities he compared to the terror of the Nazis.  He said the world can no longer remain oblivious and fail to act against the monstrous crimes being committed with impunity by Pyongyang.

“The gravity, scale, duration and nature of the unspeakable atrocities committed in the country reveal a totalitarian state that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world," Kirby said. "These are the ongoing crimes against humanity happening in the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea], which our generation must tackle urgently and collectively.  The rest of the world has ignored the evidence for too long.  Now there is no excuse, because now we all know.”  
 
As in the past, Pyongyang refused to cooperate with the three member U.N. Commission, forcing them to interview survivors and witnesses in other countries.

The report, released last month, documents the testimony of hundreds of witnesses who spoke of extermination, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence.  It recommends North Korea be referred to the International Criminal Court.

North Korean Ambassador So Se Pyong condemned the commission's report.  He said his government does not recognize the legitimacy of the Commission.

“Furthermore, its 'report,' which contains so-called 'testimonies' of fabricated natures as provided by those of “defectors from the north” with ambiguous identities, and criminals who escaped from the DPRK after committing crimes, is only a deceptive document that cannot convince anyone at all," said So, adding that North Korea's socialist system guarantees human rights and fundamental freedoms for all its people, legally and in practice.  

China also questioned the Commission’s impartiality and the believability of its information.  The Chinese representative told the U.N. Council the North Koreans who enter his country are economic migrants and not refugees in need of protection.

You May Like

US Border Patrol Union Accused of Taking Sides on Immigration

Report alleges agents leaking info to immigration opponents, appearing at their private events; Center for Immigration Studies director defends agents' actions More

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Reporting from Somali capital for past decade, Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal has been working at one of Mogadishu's leading radio stations covering parliament More

Video Rights Monitor: Hate Groups' Use of Internet to Inflame, Recruit Growing

Wiesenthal Center's Abraham Cooper says extremists have become skilled at celebrating violence, ideology on Web More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Doug from: Canada
March 17, 2014 2:36 PM
As always the commie leaders in Red China
will support North Korea but then of course its not a huge suprise either the Chinese reds aide and abet mass murder by their neighbor for they themselves since taking power in 1949 brutally suppress,inprison,torture and murder their own citizens who demand democratic freedoms.

by: William from: Switzerland
March 17, 2014 1:47 PM
"The report, released last month, documents the testimony of hundreds of witnesses who spoke of extermination, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence."

So, when are the actions against USA going to happen? That's pretty much how they built that country on.

by: dixiedog44 from: USA
March 17, 2014 1:15 PM
Fat Kim perpetrating human rights atrocities? Heaven forbid! A little mild reproachment like cutting a few heads off, maybe, but he is really more into getting drunk and singing Happy Birthday with has-been basketball players. He was probably like Oliar - didn't know a thing about it until he read it in the newspapers and it was all Bush's fault, anyway. He is not guilty of a smidgeon of cruelty and this is all a phony scandal. If you like your fat little despot, you can keep him. And you had BETTER like him!

by: Nivek Yentrouc from: Minneapolis, Mn
March 17, 2014 12:51 PM
This is not surprising. China uses N Korea much like a thug might use a pit bull. Intimidation and it keeps others from getting close. Human life or freedom still means nothing to Bejing, they should not be allowed to sit on the Security Council nor should any autocratic nation. This was stated decades ago when they allowed the Soviet Union into the UN but foolish men won the day. The results show that they were wrong, you can only allow free democracies a seat in the important committees and make the dictators sit in the observation gallery with no voice.

by: Scott Sinnock from: USA
March 17, 2014 12:31 PM
This is pure moralistic hubris. "We" decent, caring, humanitarian, Christian (used to be now "Christian atheists") know God's intent in how to organize and treat humans. Anyone who disagrees is evil and needs to be killed. Such compassion for diversity.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs