No one suggests military action makes sense in the case of North Korea. But as Pillay noted last week, “the spotlight is almost exclusively focused on [the] DPRK’s nuclear program and rocket launches . . . While these, of course, are issues of enormous importance, they should not be allowed to overshadow the deplorable human rights situation in DPRK, which in one way or another affects almost the entire population and has no parallel anywhere else in the world.”
Both Democratic and Republican administrations have consistently declined to focus substantial diplomatic efforts on improving the human rights and humanitarian situation in North Korea, for fear that doing so would drive Pyongyang from talks about its weapons programs. Yet if the United States won’t act decisively to end the widespread abuses of the world’s most brutal regime, who will?
When the North Korean regime collapses and its crimes are fully exposed, historians will surely conclude we had enough information to act sooner. Now is the critical moment for President Obama and the United States to take action — and give the North Korean people hope that the world has not forgotten them.