“We oppose a peace treaty which guarantees the security of the North Korean regime without improvement of human rights!”
- Giving the North Korean regime security without improving human rights is protecting the dictatorship of North Korea
- It is anti-humanitarian to make a peace treaty with North Korea which ignores the Human Security of the North Korean people and the responsibility to protect them.
Today is the 65th anniversary of the Korean Armistice Agreement. North Korea has been insisting that the Armistice Agreement be replaced with a peace agreement since 1974. North Korea continues to insist that because the U.S. signed the Armistice Agreement, as the commander of the Allied Forces in Korea at the time, any peace agreement they make must be signed by the U.S. rather than South Korea. In an effort to end North Korea’s hostile relationship with the U.S., North Korean Chairman Kim Jong Un attended a summit with the United States on June 12th of this year. In his Panmunjom meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae In, Kim Jong Un reaffirmed that he would like to commit to a permanent ceasefire within this year, and declared that as a goal for the U.S. summit. At the moment, there is no one who opposes an official end to the Korean War and a permanent ceasefire on the peninsula. However, because the complete and irreversible denuclearization of North Korea is not something that can be negotiated in such a short time, this is starting to seem like an impossible goal. In order to negotiate North Korean denuclearization, the suffering and oppression of the North Korean people, and lack of human rights in the country is being almost completely ignored in negotiations.
The United Nations Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry Report of North Korean Human Rights was released in 2014 by the 25th Human Rights Council. The report details the human rights violations committed by North Korea, including crimes against humanity, and forced labor and exploitation and oppression of its citizens in order to further develop its nuclear capabilities.
The first thing the report mentions in relation to nuclear weaponry is that because of North Korea’s nuclear development, citizens and workers are suffering from a number of side effects of radiation, especially in areas near North Korea’s nuclear facilities, and this is a violation of the human rights of these individuals. Even for just this reason alone, it is imperative that the U.S., South Korea, and the rest of the international community not exclude human rights, and the current human rights conditions in North Korea from discussions about denuclearization and inspections of nuclear facilities.
In negotiations with North Korea to change the Armistice Agreement into a peace agreement, something that would provide the North Korean regime with more security, the human rights abuses and crimes against humanity that the North Korean regime has been committing for the last 70 years can no longer be ignored. In order to compensate the victims of North Korea’s human rights abuses and crimes against humanity the efforts and resolutions of the UN General Assembly and the UN Human Rights Council to bring those responsible for committing these atrocities before the International Criminal Court and a special international court must not be forgotten.
Negotiating peace with North Korea and giving the regime security without also discussing human rights will only allow its abuses to become more brutal, and will make the international community complicit in the atrocious crimes committed against the North Korean people. Therefore, North Korea’s complete, brutal and cruel crimes against humanity, as outlined in the COI report must have a central place in any and all negotiations with North Korea.
If President Trump and President Moon Jae In remain consistent in their silence about North Korea’s human rights violations, and in order to achieve political or economic benefits, walk away from negotiations with North Korea without having mentioned human rights, that will be remembered in history as a loss for humanity, and a grave mistake.
July 27th, 2018
CEO of Justice For North Korea, Peter Jung
크리스천투데이 (2018.7.27) “정전협정 65주년… 북한인권개선 및 인권대화 촉구”
자유아시아방송 (2018.7.27) “북한 인권단체, 미 상원에 ‘북한 인권대화 촉구’ 서한 전달 예정”
서울평양뉴스 (2018.7.27) “북한정의연대 “北 인권문제, 비핵화 문제와 병행해 다뤄야””, http://www.spnews.co.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=11755
가스펠투데이 (2018.7.31) “북한인권 개선 없는 평화협정을 반대한다!”
BBC 코리아 (2018.7.27) “북한 인권: ‘인권개선 없는 평화협정 체결은 북한 독재 옹호하는 셈'”
문화일보 (2018.27) “펜스 “北, 고문·공개처형·강제노동으로 권력 유지””
문화일보 (2018.8.2) “北 인권문제에 정치논리 개입 안돼… 非核化와 함께 해결해야”
통일신문 (2018.7.26) “대북문제에 반드시 인권대화 포함돼야”
“북한 인권단체, 미 상원에 ‘북한 인권대화 촉구’ 서한 전달 예정”
‘비핵화만큼 중요한 건 북한 인권 개선’