North Korea

House of Lords written question – answered on 27th November 2014.

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Photo of Lord Eames Lord Eames Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the statement of Mr Marzuki Darusman, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in North Korea, that the United Kingdom should consider implementation of all recommendations made by the United Nations Commission of Inquiry, whether there are any points within recommendations 1224 and 1225 that they consider do not apply to the United Kingdom.

Photo of Baroness Anelay of St Johns Baroness Anelay of St Johns Minister of State, Deputy Speaker (Lords)

Para 1224 of the Report recommends that states and others should support the work of civil society organisations to improve the human rights situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), including efforts to document violations and to broadcast accessible information into each country. We have previously funded projects with South Korean non-governmental organisations related to documenting violations in the DPRK. We have also worked with international and domestic organisations within the DPRK to improve the treatment of disabled people. Our focus on direct engagement complements that of others, like the US, who support broadcasts into the DPRK.

The former Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the right Hon. Baroness Warsi, stated during the debate on Human Rights in North Korea on 23 July (Official Report, columns GC460-464) the UK’s position on the recommendations for the UN Security Council (para 1225(a)) and our commitment to ensuring that the international community takes action in response to the Commission’s report (para 1225(f)). The recommendations in para 1225 (b) and (c) have been taken forward through the UN Human Rights Council and those in (d), (e) and (g) are primarily for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Secretariat. We are currently exploring the prospects for taking forward para 1225(h), which recommends forming a human rights contact group. Para 1225(i) relates to provision of humanitarian assistance. The UK does not have a bilateral aid programme in the DPRK, but agrees fully with points made in this recommendation about how such assistance should be provided.

Para 1225(j) recommends the convening of a high-level political conference to consider a final peaceful settlement to the Korean War. A comprehensive resolution of the situation on the Korean peninsula will require the DPRK to address the international community's legitimate security concerns.

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