Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (11 December) on the publication of a report on serious human rights abuses and censorship in North Korea:
The report published yesterday by the US Administration concerning serious human rights abuses and censorship in North Korea once again shines a terrifying light on conditions within the country. In spite of all of the efforts made by the international community, the situation has not improved. This is now the fourth report of its kind published by the US Administration. With unusual explicitness it names the individuals and agencies responsible for egregious human rights abuses. Germany supports the efforts of the international community to document and – where possible – to prosecute the culprits.
In addition, the human rights situation in North Korea must be addressed in all political contacts with the regime. We will highlight this in particular in the context of the Universal Periodic Review, which North Korea is due to undergo in 2019. Germany is especially committed to this goal. It was the first country in the world to include dialogue on human rights as part of the protocol on establishing diplomatic relations with North Korea.
On 10 December (local time) the United States Department of State published, on behalf of Congress, what is now the fourth report on the human rights situation in North Korea. The report outlines serious human rights abuses and, in particular, the state mechanisms used to suppress basic liberties. Following its publication, the US Administration has imposed sanctions upon some of the individuals in North Korea directly involved in these grievous human rights offences, including the Minister of State Security and the director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department of the Workers’ Party of Korea.