US Statement at the UPR of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK),
19th Session, May 1, 2014
As Delivered by Ambassador Robert King
Thank you Mr. President.
The United States welcomes the DPRK delegation, and expresses hope that today’s meeting begins a substantive dialogue with the DPRK on human rights.
We remain deeply concerned by what the Commission of Inquiry termed the ongoing “systematic, widespread, and gross human rights violations” committed by government officials and institutions, which the COI concluded may in some cases amount to crimes against humanity.
We are alarmed by the widespread use of forced labor, including child labor in detention facilities, and we remain concerned about instances of violence against women, forced abduction of foreign nationals, and reports of torture and abuse in detention facilities.
We are disappointed in the DPRK’s continued refusal to cooperate with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the DPRK, and urge the government to accept technical assistance from OHCHR in setting up a national human rights institution. We recommend that the DPRK:
1. Acknowledge the human rights violations in the country and take steps to end such violations and abuses by implementing the recommendations in the COI’s final report and cooperating with the Special Rapporteur and OHCHR;
2. Immediately dismantle all political prison camps, release all political prisoners, and institute protections against arbitrary detention that guarantee fair trial and due process;
3. End state-sponsored discrimination based on the “songbun” system, as well as pervasive discrimination against women.
Thank you very much Mr. President.