US Korea Institute

Thursday July 30th 2015
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Human Security

Looking at North Korea through the UN’s human security lens including: economic, food, health, environmental, personal, community, and political security.

Moving Forward on North Korean Human Rights

Moving Forward on North Korean Human Rights

The United Nations (UN) last month opened a long-awaited “field-based structure” in Seoul to address the human rights situation in North Korea. The June 23 milestone fulfills a key recommendation by the Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), and promises to intensify expectations of [...]

Is the Drought Over?

Is the Drought Over?

After a month of concern, DPRK farmers have received substantial rains in the last few days, which will at the very least break the current drought. Except for Sinuiju on the Chinese border, weather stations in the western farming region have reported between 3.5 and 7.5 inches of rain between July 10 and 14, with similar amounts falling in [...]

Must UN Agencies Also Fail in North Korea?

Must UN Agencies Also Fail in North Korea?

In 2011, a United Nations Panel of Experts found the UN system to have acquitted itself poorly in the face of widespread human rights violations in Sri Lanka. According to a 2012 Internal Review, some field staff “failed in their mandates to protect people,” some “under-reported Government violations,” and some in senior positions at [...]

Beyond the Security Council: Keeping Focus on North Korean Human Rights

Beyond the Security Council: Keeping Focus on North Korean Human Rights

Introduction On November 18, 2014, the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a strongly worded resolution condemning the human rights situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) including encouragement to the Security Council that it consider referring the country to the International Criminal [...]

A Human Rights Dialogue with North Korea: Real or Illusory?

A Human Rights Dialogue with North Korea: Real or Illusory?

Workers' Party Secretary Kang Sok Ju in Bern, Switzerland as part of his recent European tour. (Photo: Keystone) North Korea has made a number of intriguing gestures recently on human rights. At the United Nations, its Foreign Minister announced his country’s readiness to hold a “human rights dialogue with countries not hostile to it.” [...]

North Korea Responds to the UN Commission of Inquiry

North Korea Responds to the UN Commission of Inquiry

DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong at the United Nations (Photo: UN/Kim Haughton) The UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) released its highly-critical report last February, of which, the findings and recommendations were strongly endorsed by UN Member States at the March UN Human Right Council meeting. In May, and then further in September and [...]

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Credit for photo of young North Korean girl: T.M. All rights reserved, used with permission.