North Korea is not known as a model for international diplomacy. Last weekend, the regime in Pyongyang released two American prisoners, but then the North Korean leadership has always offered an occasional conciliatory gesture like a prisoner release to accompany its aggressive and intransigent policies. Earlier this year, for example, Pyongyang’s state media called President Park Geun-hye of South Korea a “vile prostitute serving the U.S.” and President Obama a “wicked black monkey.” And just last week, the regime threatened to “fully demonstrate its nuclear force … in the decisive battle to bury the U.S. imperialists,” for criticizing its human rights record.… Seguir leyendo »
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In the past weeks, North Korean state media have called the female President of South Korea a “dirty political harlot” and an “old prostitute”; the gay chairman of the U.N. Commission of Inquiry on North Korea “a disgusting old lecher with 40-odd-year-long career of homosexuality”; and, in a loathsome screed, referred to U.S. President Barack Obama as a “monkeyish human monstrosity.”
Still, North Korea’s exceptionally vile words pale in comparison to its criminal actions.
In North Korea, racism isn’t just talk. That U.N. Commission of Inquiry’s report summarizes testimony from North Korean refugee women and former border guards who say that the regime forcibly aborts or murders the babies of refugee women sent back to North Korea by China, on the presumption that the babies’ fathers were Chinese, to maintain the myth of state-mandated “racial purity.” It described a system of hereditary discrimination, based on perceived political loyalty, that denies lower-caste North Koreans opportunities for education, employment, and even food.… Seguir leyendo »
The United Nations Commission of Inquiry’s report on North Korea, released last month, contains so many tragic findings that it is difficult to grasp the scale of the crimes described. But the world owes it to the North Korean victims, both living and dead, to focus on a figure buried in paragraph 664 of the commission’s report: $645,800,000.
That is what the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, is said to have squandered in 2012 on “luxury goods,” including cosmetics, handbags, leather products, watches, electronics, cars and top-shelf alcohol. In that same year, Mr. Kim also spent $1.3 billion on his ballistic missile programs.… Seguir leyendo »
Calls for action have followed a United Nations report that the North Korean regime is culpable for “unspeakable atrocities” and crimes against humanity, including the starvation and murder of millions of people over the past 20 years. China has already said it would block a referral to the International Criminal Court . But the world still has a way to pressure Pyongyang to modify its behavior.
Many believe that U.S. sanctions against North Korea are maxed out. In fact, U.S. sanctions are relatively weak. There are no travel sanctions against North Korea (as with Cuba) nor any against human rights violators (as with Sudan, Iran and Belarus).… Seguir leyendo »
The deliberate policies of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his late father, Kim Jong Il, may have killed millions of North Koreans, either by starving them to death or sending them to die in a system of political prisoner concentration camps unlike any since the regimes of Hitler and Stalin.
For years, the world has been so fixated on the North’s nuclear weapons that it has lost sight of reports of such systematic crimes. Yet they are the very reason we should care that North Korea could develop an effective nuclear arsenal. Indeed one of the very sites of this alleged brutality — Camp 16 — lies right next to North Korea’s nuclear test site.… Seguir leyendo »