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U.S. Statement on DPRK and Myanmar at the Human Rights Council 7th Session
March 13, 2008

Human Rights Council 7th Session

U.S. Statement on DPRK and Myanmar (Burma) – Interactive Dialogue

Delivered by Ambassador Warren W. Tichenor
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva

Thank you, Mr. President.

My government appreciates the most recent report of the Special Rapporteur for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, as well as that for Burma. We regret that these rapporteurs have faced significant lack of cooperation from the governments of these countries in carrying out their mandates. While it is important to be able to visit countries of concern and to speak both with government officials and with civil society on the ground about human rights issues, the reports under discussion in today’s interactive dialogue demonstrate that valuable information can be brought to light through other credible sources as well.

The situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea remains one of the world’s worst, yet the Special Rapporteur has never been permitted to visit. We agree with Special Rapporteur Muntarbhorn’s assertion that “the longstanding and systematic nature of human rights transgressions in the country [is] highly visible, substantial and exponential.” Recent reports of the DPRK’s public executions of North Koreans who had attempted to leave the country illegally and others considered enemies of the state are also deeply disturbing. The U.S. urges the Council to support fully the mandate of the Special Rapporteur to spotlight the severity of the human rights problem and to continue to offer recommendations to improve the lives of all North Korea’s citizens.

Thank you, Mr. President.