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Date : January 24, 2013
ICNK Presents a Response to the UN and DPRK
On the 22nd, the ICNK held a press conference entitled “Make Public the UN Decision on the Detention of Kang Cheol Hwan’s and Shin Dong Hyuk’s Family in North Korea.” The UN’s decision and the DPRK’s official response to the detention were analyzed by the panel.
 
Last April, the ICNK submitted a petition to the UN which called for the release of Kang Cheol Hwan’s sister and nephew, Kang Mi-ho and Kim Jeong Nam, and Shin Kyung Seop, Shin Dong Hyuk's father, who are all arbitrarily detained in North Korea. After reviewing this petition, the UN Working Group requested that the North Korean government release them last July. The North Korean government replied last September by saying that it “categorically rejects the cases…as one of the anti-DPRK attempts.”
 
Korea's human rights ambassador, Kim Young Ho, said that since 2005, a resolution on the improvement of North Korean human rights issue has been adopted by the UN. Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, also addressed the issue in a recent statement that urged for the establishment of a COI. Kim also added that this show of solidarity with the demands for a COI demonstrates that the atmosphere amongst the international community is changing. This means that through the establishment of a COI, there can be a change in the North Korean government’s attitude.

ICNK’s pro bono counsel, Jared Genser, explained the 3 possible implications of the establishment of a COI. The first possible implication is that a COI would pressure the UN system and member states in to action and spread this issue. The second possibility is that it could pressure China, which continuously acts to protect North Korea, so that the relationship between China and North Korea can be altered. The third is that North Korea itself will feel pressured. Genser went on to explain that toward the end of World War II, the US government decided not to bomb the train track to Auschwitz. Because of this decision, many Jews and others died. This was, he said, a tragic consequence of doing nothing during the War. He therefore added that it is important that the South Korean government and the international community should not make the same mistake that the US did.
 
The ICNK strongly believes that the recent adoption of the resolution on North Korean human rights by consensus, Navi Pillay’s call for the establishment of a COI, and the increasing attention of the international community on the North Korean human rights issue proves that now is the proper time to reveal all the crimes against humanity that are committed by the North Korean government.


 
 

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