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KOR

Ministry News

Foreign Minister Meets with UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in DPRK

Date
2017-07-17
hit
642

 photo

1. Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha met with UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK, North Korea) Ojea Quintana on July 17. In the meeting, the Minister shared with the Special Rapporteur the Republic of Korea government’s policy on North Korean human rights and expressed firm commitment to work with the UN and the rest of the international community to improve the grave human rights situation in the North.

※ The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on human rights in the DPRK was established in 2004 pursuant to Resolution 2004/13 of the then UN Commission on Human Rights to probe the human rights situation in North Korea and report its outcome to the UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council.

- Special Rapporteur Ojea Quintana is the third such official after Special Rapporteurs Muntarbhon and Darusman.

2. Minister Kang spoke of the ROK government’s plan to both continuously seek dialogue with North Korea and keep sanctions and pressure on the North in place in coordination with the international community in response to nuclear and missile threats from the North. On that note, she stressed that the ultimate purpose of the sanctions and pressure is to induce North Korea to come forward to denuclearization talks and thereby achieve denuclearization.

° Expressing concern over the grave human rights situation in North Korea, the Minister highlighted the importance of engagement as a way to see substantive improvements in the human rights situation in the North, and asked the Special Rapporteur to pay attention to and support the efforts to resolve relevant issues, including those concerning families separated during the Korean War and detainees in the North.

3. The Special Rapporteur, concurring in the need to resolve the aforementioned issues -- those regarding separated families and detainees -- as soon as possible, mentioned the importance of taking a balance approach -- simultaneously holding a firm position on the North Korean human rights issue and engaging with the North.

4. The purpose of the visit to the ROK by Special Rapporteur Ojea Quintana, who made his first such visit in November 2016 after taking up the post in August in the same year, is to gather information necessary for writing his report that will be submitted to the UN General Assembly in September 2017.

° During his visit to the ROK from July 17 till 21, the Special Rapporteur will meet with officials of such government agencies as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Unification and the Ministry of Justice, as well as North Korean defectors and members of civil society. He will also hold a press conference at the Seoul Global Center at 14:00, July 21.


* unofficial translation