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

Israelis Quietly Expand Enclave in Palestinian District of Jerusalem

Estimated 500 settlers, armed or protected by paramilitary police, live in Silwan among 50,000 Palestinians More

Video US, Iran Face Similar Challenges in Syrian Fight Against IS

Both Washington, Tehran back fighters battling Islamic State militants in Iraq -- but in Syria they support opposing sides in country’s civil war More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles 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.
China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Lawi
X
William Ide
October 20, 2014 10:23 AM
China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Nigeria Agrees to Cease-Fire With Boko Haram

Islamist militant group Boko Haram and the Nigerian government have agreed to a cease-fire. The Nigerian government issued an order Friday, telling all military chiefs "to comply with the cease-fire agreement in all theaters of operations. Why now and the significance of the agreement are questions on some people’s minds. VOA's Mariama Diallo reports.
Video

Video Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

The offensive by Islamic State militants against the northern Syrian city of Kobani has caused hundreds of thousands of residents to flee to Turkey. They receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from the town of Suruc a few kilometers from the border.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.

All About America

AppleAndroid