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Situation of Human Rights in the DPRK
March 16, 2009

UN Human Rights Council Tenth Regular Session
Interactive Dialogue on the Reports of the Special Rapporteurs
on the Situation of Human Rights in the DPRK

Statement by Chargé

Mark C. Storella
Head of Delegation

Thank you, Mr. President.

The United States thanks Special Rapporteur Vitit Muntarbhorn for his detailed and informative report on the situation in the DPRK. We appreciate the difficult circumstances under which the Special Rapporteur is working.

We support the Special Rapporteur’s calls for an end to the punishment of those who seek asylum abroad, an end to public executions, an end to violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms, cooperation on resolving the cases of abducted foreigners, and cooperation with the Special Rapporteur’s mandate. The United States is deeply troubled by the plight of DPRK asylum seekers. The report indicates that asylum seekers face severe hardships in initial destination countries and severe persecution if returned to the DPRK. We ask if the Special Rapporteur has views on ways that the DPRK’s neighbors and the international community can further promote respect for human rights in the DPRK.

The United States has repeatedly stated that improvements in the DPRK’s human rights record would be necessary for the DPRK to have normal relations with the United States and the international community. We will continue to explore and identify concrete ways to address human rights problems, including with bilateral partners and through international organizations.

Thank you.