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North Korea Must Respect and Protect Women!
November 05, 2018


French Committee to Help North Korean Population

President: Pierre Rigoulot p.rigoulot@free.fr

Obsessed exclusively with the nuclear question, diplomats and political leaders of the civilized world apparently no longer care to address the numerous and constant human rights violations in North Korea, though North Korea has the worst human rights record since the fall of the Khmer Rouge.  Human rights no longer seem to interest them, thus allowing North Korea to negotiate as if it were a respectable country that belonged in the club of civilized nations, with no one challenging them on their crimes.  This is a regrettable blind spot in the world of international politics. The total absence of respect for human rights in this Kafkaesque prison state is the primary cause of the nuclear problem.

Why does North Korea need a nuclear arsenal as a sort of life insurance if not to protect its regime of terror and enslavement of the people? Why do 40% of North Koreans go hungry if it isn’t because the Kim family is obsessed with the idea of having a nuclear arsenal, no matter what the cost?

North Korea has succeeded in making itself militarily untouchable. It will no longer be deprived of its nuclear arsenal, nor of the means to produce more if necessary, after having pretended, with complete disingenuousness, to renounce it. Must we accept this and no longer challenge that regime?  

There was another time when good people failed to act.  A policy of non-interference was brilliantly defended by Goebbels at the League of Nations in 1933.  In September 1933, Franz Bernheim, a Jew from Upper Silesia, lodged a complaint against Hitler’s odious and barbaric treatment of opponents to his regime and was detailing it to the Council of the League of Nations.

“Gentlemen,” Goebbels exclaimed, “the Third German Reich is a sovereign State and we are masters of our own home. All that has been said by this individual is not your business. We do what we deem necessary with our own socialists, our pacifists and our Jews.”

Have we become as powerless as our parents and grandparents were in 1933?

Perhaps not.  In the current climate, we may have an unexpected opportunity to influence international public opinion about this regime, and help a population that has been its prisoner for the last 70 years.

In a recently published document, the NGO Human Rights Watch denounced the physical abuse women are subjected to in North Korea. According to numerous testimonies, in North Korean jails as well as at the market, women are raped and abused with total impunity. These crimes are considered normal, so much so that their victims are known to say, “We cry at night and we don’t even know why.”

For women who succeed in fleeing to China, the abuse is equally intolerable. North Korean women refugees in China are forced to go into prostitution or sold as wives to Chinese peasants. A North Korean woman is worth between 700 and 1400 euros, 2000 if she is particularly beautiful.

As the #MeToo movement gains power, it is incumbent upon women and men of conscience to expose this regime. This is why we ask feminists around the world to denounce the victimization of North Korean women. Civilized states must demand that North Korea protect women from this scourge of violence and abuse as a basic and non-negotiable precondition to acceptance in the family of nations.

In this submission, HRNK focuses its attention on the DPRK’s—  1. System of political imprisonment, wherein a multitude of human rights violations are evidenced, including enforced disappearance, amounting to crimes against humanity.  2. Restrictions on freedom of movement, affecting women in particular, as evidenced in sexual violence, human trafficking, and arbitrary detention.  3. Policy of social and political discrimination, known as “so

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