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

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

Report from member of British think tank says Russian extradition requests keep targets from traveling More

US Lawmakers Weigh Turkish Anti-terror Moves

Turkey’s two-pronged campaign against Islamic State militants, Kurdish PKK forces provokes mixed reactions on Capitol Hill More

What Happens When Americans Eat What They Tweet

You are what you tweet, according to new maps that show a correlation between obesity and tweeting about high-fat foods 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.
Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponentsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
July 28, 2015 9:53 PM
A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video Special Olympics Athletes Meet International Friends

The Special Olympics are underway in Los Angeles, California, with athletes from 165 countries participating in an event that gives people with intellectual disabilities the chance to take part in an international competition. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that for athletes and their families, it's also an opportunity to make new friends in an international setting.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs