U.S. Deeply Concerned with Deteriorating Human Rights Situation in North Korea

Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Tomas Ojea Quintana

Statement by the United States of America
46th Session of the Human Rights Council

As Delivered by Mark Cassayre
Chargé d’Affaires, U.S. Mission Geneva   

March 9, 2021

Thank you, Special Rapporteur Ojéa Quintana, for championing human rights in the DPRK. The United States strongly supports the independence of mandate holders.

The United States is deeply concerned with the deteriorating human rights situation in North Korea. Since the DPRK closed its borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the rigid controls inflicted on the North Korean people have become more restrictive and punishments for noncompliance more severe.

We condemn reports of “shoot to kill” orders along the border and strict controls on freedom of movement and foreign media. We are concerned about increasing reports of starvation, imprisonment, and summary executions.

During this pandemic, transparency and freedom of expression for the media, both online and offline, are even more important. We are troubled by increasing isolation of North Koreans and the lack of transparency into the regime’s large-scale abuses.

What steps can the international community take to promote greater freedom of movement, media freedom, and transparency in the DPRK?