Remarks at a Third Committee Interactive Dialogue on the Situation of Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (via VTC)

Patrick Elliot
ECOSOC Advisor
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
October 23, 2020


Thank you, Special Rapporteur Ojéa Quintana for the report and for championing human rights in the DPRK.

May we ask: How would you characterize the international effort to spotlight the DPRK government’s egregious human rights record and what more can likeminded partners do to support and promote the human rights of the North Korean people?

Your latest report reaffirms the 2014 Commission of Inquiry findings of continued patterns of systematic, gross, and widespread human rights violations and abuses by the Kim regime. Appalling and life-threatening prison conditions, including within the regime’s network of political prisons and labor camps, concern us deeply.

We join your call for the immediate release of all those arbitrarily detained, including those imprisoned for their beliefs, and an end to severe restrictions on fundamental freedoms. We also urge the regime to end its repression of information and communication into and within the country.

The United States condemns the DPRK government’s involvement in international abductions and forced disappearances. Migrant smuggling and trafficking in persons, especially to China, are increasing. We are gravely concerned about the regime’s reported use of torture, coerced abortions, and infanticide following individuals’ forced repatriations to the DPRK.

The United States also remains deeply concerned about abuses of labor rights, including forced labor, child labor, unsafe working conditions, and inadequate pay, as well as chronic food insecurity and malnutrition shaped by government mismanagement, misappropriation, and widespread corruption.

Thank you.