The Security Council Chamber had its 7638th meeting on the adoption of the agenda regarding non-proliferation and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The resolution would tighten regimes of international sanctions with the DPRK to shut down financing of the nuclear ballistic programs. The council voted on the draft of the resolution, and it received 15 votes in favor. Thus, the draft has been adopted unanimously.
The floor was then given to Ms. Samantha Power, and she explained that when looking at North Korea, it could seem like looking at two different realities. The first is a country pursuing advanced technologies to build missiles capable of a nuclear strike a continent away. The second is a country where 25 percent of children under the age of 5 suffer from stunted growth due to malnutrition. She said that while they may seem mutually exclusive, they have everything to do with one another. Therefore, the chronic suffering of the citizens of the DPRK is a direct result of the choice made by the North Korean government, prioritizing the nuclear weapons program over its people. In addition, Ms. Power said that the nuclear weapons program is also a growing threat for the world. North Korea is the only country in the world to conduct nuclear tests in the 21st century, and it has actually conducted 4 since 2000.
The resolution that the council has just adopted is much tougher than any other resolution before. The resolution altogether bans North Korea’s exports of specific natural resources like coal, making it tougher for North Korea to receive the funding they need. In addition, the resolution bans all imports of aviation and rocket fuel. After representatives of Japan, China, Russia, and Spain also made comments about the resolution, the President adjourned the meeting.
Meeting: Security Council: 7638th meeting
Date/Location: Wednesday March 2, 2016, 10:00 –11:30; Security Council Chamber
Speakers: H.E. Ms. Samantha Power, United States Ambassador to the United Nations
Written By: WIT Representative Kangho (Paul) Jung
Edited By: WIT Representative Alex Margolick
The Permanent Missions of Australia, Botswana, and Panama co-organized a panel discussion on the human rights situation in the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea, featuring the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the DPRK (COI). Kim Hye-Sook and Jung Kwang-Il gave statements on the “systematic, widespread, and gross human rights violations” in political prisoner camps.
Representing the Commission of Inquiry, Justice Michael Kirby delivered a keynote speech. He, and later the representatives of Canada and the U.S., asserted the transparency of the COI’s 2013 Report on Human Rights in the DPRK. The report aimed to disclose North Korea’s “crimes against humanity” and the need for tribunal in the International Criminal Court. Though acknowledging the DPRK’s recent willingness for engagement, Justice Kirby requested a show of action in which, the DPRK makes the report available to its citizens and allows international machineries to enter the country.
Former North Korean citizen Kim Hye-Sook described the deplorable health and education conditions in labor camps. Former North Korean Jung Kwang-Il described the nine months of severe torture he endured in a prisoner camp, and the lasting physical and psychological damage.
The representative of the DPRK questioned the COI report’s “nature of political plots”, its use of leading questions, and the report’s assumptions of the DPRK’s legal handling of human rights. Justice Kirby assured the use of non-leading questions and lack of political motivation by directing the representative towards the online interview transcripts. Despite Kirby’s request, the representative of the DPRK denounced Kim Jung and other witnesses, as defectors.
The European Union and Japan mentioned a resolution based on the COI report, to soon be presented to the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly. Botswana supported their resolution, having broken diplomatic ties with the DPRK upon release of the COI report.
Meeting: Panel discussion on “The Human Rights Situation in North Korea”
Location: Economic and Social Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York
Date: 22 October 2014
Written By WIT Representative: Alis Yoo
Edited by WIT Representative: Aslesha Dhillon