North Korea : Human Rights and International Relations

North Korea at night

North Korea has been described by former Australian justice Michael Kirby, in a report to the United Nations Human Rights Councils, as committing crimes against humanity. The report accused the regime of mass killings and torture and said responsible officials should face the International Criminal Court.

Covering its formation in Cold War politics, the contemporary ideology of Juche self-reliance, and rescinding of the Korean War armistice, the Isocracy Network presents a fascinating eyewitness account by Nick Langdon on the possibilities of human rights, the likely trajectory of the regime, and the practical tasks that we can carry out.

Saturday April 19th at 7pm, New International Bookshop, Trades Hall (54 Victoria Street, Carlton)

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Commenting on this Story will be automatically closed on June 3, 2014.


Note that Abbott has no practical solutions for the problems of North Korea. Is he going to accept North Korean refugees? Of course not. Does he advocate extending the demilitarised zone for the entire peninsula? That would be an interesting proposition!

Instead he's just saying that North Korea has a very naughty government - which it does, clearly one of the worst in the world (as Kirby's report to the UN made clear). But that's a trivial and obvious assessment that paddles in the diplomatic and intellectual shallows and does nothing but show how Australia's Prime Minister really isn't up to the job.

Commission documents and media

Full report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights available here:

Excerpt from the media release:

“These crimes against humanity entail 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 says, adding that “Crimes against humanity are ongoing in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea because the policies, institutions and patterns of impunity that lie at their heart remain in place.”

Whilst i like to see political alternatives to the corporatism that reigns in most of the world the hidden repression in nth korea to keep the population under control is despicable. Cant last forever but hopefully doesnt finish with a bang. The usa continually cries wolf against its political enemies (wmds etc etc) and ignores the usa's own (and allies) breaches of deals with nth korea ( see chomsky) but is on the mark with their condemnation of nth korean human rights breaches. If theusa was more upright and ethical their complaints about nth korea would likel ybe taken more seriously. I have no doubt ( but no proof) that the usa uses various techniques to damage food production in nth korea to destabilise the regime (dropping pests /diseases etc) which the compliant western media never mention. With 100k or so us troops on war footing at the border you would expect the usa to do almost anything possible of course. It shard to sift the real facts from the propaganda of both sides. It is tempting to just take what we hear from the western media about nth korea as fact when im sure a lot of it is far from the truth. We have been burnt before!