Thursday, January 25, 2007

US Special Envoy interested in promoting human rights in North Korea seeks international mate with similar interests for friendship or possible relationship

US Special Envoy for human rights in North Korea, Mr. Jay Lefkowitz is in UK and gave a public hearing talk last night hosted by the Henry Jackson Society at the House of Commons. He spoke for about thirty minutes on the terrible human rights situation in DPRK and discussed the need for greater widespread awareness of this situation. This was followed by Q&A on how to make this more public and the challenge of keeping people interested in what appears to be a long-term struggle to improve human rights in North Korea. Questions focused mostly on China's responsibility and how to get them to do more and what countries like US, UK, etc can actually do about this situation given DPRK's refusal to even admit that they have human rights abuses in their country.

The main conclusions (as I see them) were the challenge of getting more information about North Korea that could then be used to make the issue more attention-grabbing to a larger international audience, getting information into North Korea to try and let people know more about what is outside the North's borders, and putting real pressure on North Korea to accept the UN Special Rapporteur to visit the country.

I agreed strongly with his main premise that, those countries with diplomatic ties with North Korea should be putting more pressure on them to do something about human rights and to allow the UN greater access.

Currently reading:

"Hell" by Yasutaka Tsutsui