Organizations pen letter to South Korean president

(Midland, Texas—March 3, 2020) ChinaAid and 68 other organizations and seven individuals penned a letter to South Korean President Moon Jae-in. In it, they urged him to “clarify and strengthen” his government’s stance on human rights in North Korea.

Moon’s administration has softened pressure on North Korea to respect the rights of its citizens in hopes that it will draw its leader, Kim Jong Un, into dialogue.

North Korea, separated from the South during the Korean war, is known for its routine abuse of citizens under a system of Juche, or allegiance to the state. In the nation, up to three generations of a family can be punished for arbitrary, alleged violation of state rules. Many are sent to gulags within the country, where they are forced to work, abused, and killed.

Owning a Bible or viewing a South Korean TV show can result in execution.

Because of this, many rights activists have criticized Moon’s disengagement with North Korean human rights. According to Human Rights Watch, Eun-Kyoung Kwon, the secretary general of the International Coalition to Stop Crimes Against Humanity in North Korea, said, “Reducing the pressure on North Korea is a betrayal of the long-suffering North Korean people. The South Korean government needs to re-commit to promoting and protecting those most at risk in North Korea.”

The Coalition also hopes South Korea will co-sponsor a North Korea human rights resolution with the United Nations Human Rights Council. It also urges South Korea to reinstate its co-sponsorship of another such resolution with the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

South Korea previously dropped its co-sponsorship of the UNGA resolution.

To read the full letter, please click here.

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