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March 21, 2022

Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in DPRK

Statement as Delivered by Daniel Murphy

Delegation of the United States of America

Human Rights Council – 49th Session

March 21, 2022

Thank you, Mr. President.

The United States supports the Special Rapporteur’s mandate, including to report on the DPRK’s level of compliance with its obligations under international human rights law.

We remain deeply concerned about the DPRK’s systematic, widespread human rights violations, including torture, enslavement, and arbitrary imprisonment. We note especially authorities’ use of pressure on other countries to return North Korean refugees, who, reports indicate, face torture and gender-based violence – including compulsory abortions – following their forced repatriation.

Since the DPRK closed its borders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the rigid controls placed on the North Korean people have become ever more restrictive, and punishment has become even more severe. The DPRK’s ‘shoot-to-kill’ order along its borders typifies this increased repression.

We call on the DPRK to acknowledge that serious human rights violations are occurring, to take immediate steps to address them, and to grant international humanitarian organizations and human rights monitors immediate and unhindered access.

Question: Special Rapporteur, how can Member States assist mandate holders in their efforts to obtain access to the DPRK?