Thought for the Day

"By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest." - Confucius

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

North Korea and the Responsibility to Protect

The 5 page report can be downloaded in PDF format at the link below.  This is the first paper I have read that explicitly discusses Responsibility to Protect (R2P) in terms of north Korea.  Excerpt:

This Policy Brief clarifies 
the application of R2P in the case of DPRK, outlining the 
responsibility of the international community in relation 
to the government’s commission of crimes against 
humanity. While the situation remains complex and 
dangerous, the international community, especially the 
UNSC, has not exhausted all options and can no longer 
continue to overlook ongoing mass atrocity crimes in 
DPRK. 


North Korea and the 
Responsibility to Protect

INTRODUCTION 
The human rights and humanitarian situation in the 
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is dire. 
Crimes against humanity as well as other systematic and 
widespread human rights violations continue to be 
committed by the government under the current 
“Supreme Leader,” Kim Jong-un. Despite testimony 
from defectors and other credible evidence accumulated 
over the last decade, the government has never 
acknowledged the existence of abuses, nor amended its 
repressive policies. Extreme political isolation and 
governmental intransigence continue to hamper further 
investigation and accountability. 
Amid mounting human rights concerns in DPRK, on 21 
March 2013 the United Nations (UN) Human Rights 
Council adopted resolution 22/13, establishing a 
Commission of Inquiry (CoI) to investigate systematic, 
widespread and grave violations of human rights, 
particularly where “these violations may amount to 
crimes against humanity.”1 
The CoI published its findings on 7 February 2014, 
establishing responsibility at the highest level of 
government for ongoing crimes against humanity, 
including “extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, 
imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual 
violence, persecution on political, religious, racial and 
gender grounds, the forcible transfer of populations, the 
enforced disappearance of persons and the inhumane 
act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation.” The 
report noted the government’s failure to uphold its 
primary responsibility to protect its population. 


For nearly a decade UN bodies, including the General 
Assembly, Human Rights Council and Secretariat, have 
expressed concern over grave human rights violations 
and called upon the government to improve the 
situation. While the UN Security Council (UNSC) has 
been engaged on DPRK in relation to nuclear weapons, 
it has never directly addressed ongoing human rights 
abuses. DPRK’s provocative nuclear policies, as well as 
security concerns over the ongoing division of the 
Korean Peninsula as a result of the 1950-1953 Korean 
War, have continued to overshadow human rights 
issues. 
The DPRK government bears the primary Responsibility 
to Protect (R2P) its population from genocide, ethnic 
cleansing, war crimes and crimes against humanity, but 
is manifestly failing to do so. This Policy Brief clarifies 
the application of R2P in the case of DPRK, outlining the 
responsibility of the international community in relation 
to the government’s commission of crimes against 
humanity. While the situation remains complex and 
dangerous, the international community, especially the 
UNSC, has not exhausted all options and can no longer 
continue to overlook ongoing mass atrocity crimes in 
DPRK. 

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