Tuesday, 18 February 2014

UN Report Bolsters US Case On North Korea

Nearly one year ago, North Korea unleashed an unrelenting barrage of rhetoric against the US, with hard talk of "pre-emptive nuclear strikes on the headquarters of the aggressors".
These kind of threats had been heard before, but this time the continual verbal bombardment was striking. The reason? North Korea's deep and raw anger at the latest UN resolution on sanctions which were unanimously approved.
The current UN inquiry says North Korea's crimes against humanity resemble those committed by the Nazis and that the leadership is committing systematic and appalling human rights abuses against its own citizens on a scale unparalleled in the modern world.
There's no doubt this will have, once again, enraged the Democratic People's Republic of Korea leadership.
The UN report detailed North Korea's alleged crimes against humanity
The UN report isn't just a proclamation, it is evidence - evidence that would be crucial in prosecuting leaders after the regime collapses.
It also makes China's continued support of North Korea increasingly difficult.
That's a notion that America is already trying to capitalise on.
John Kerry
Secretary of State John Kerry could use the UN report to pressure China
Secretary of State John Kerry has been pushing it on his "pivot to Asia tour". He described his meeting with President Xi Jinping as "very constructive", adding that Chinese officials have reassured him that they will co-operate in reining in North Korea's nuclear programme.
The UN report on human rights abuses only bolsters his argument.
The State Department has welcomed the findings, saying it "reflects the international community's consensus view that the human rights situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is among the world's worst".
Kenneth Bae speaks to a small news conference in Pyongyang, North Korea.
American Kenneth Bae has been held in North Korea since November 2012
There is also a more personal issue still at stake - the life of Kenneth Bae - the US citizen held for more than a year in North Korea, who has recently been moved back to a labour camp.
North Korea says he used his tourism business to form groups to overthrow the government and has refused US requests to grant him special amnesty and immediate release on humanitarian grounds.
The UN report is unlikely to change their minds.

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