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Russia Vetoes UN Panel of Experts, HRNK Calls for Alternative Monitoring Procedure
March 29, 2024


A Russian veto has terminated the UN Panel of Experts, a subsidiary body established pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1718, which followed North Korea’s first nuclear test in 2006.

For fifteen years, the Panel of Experts reported on North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, the threat they posed to international peace and security, and the illicit procurement of resources fueling the regime's tools of death.

Several HRNK Board members react to this distressing development, deploring the failure to renew the Panel's mandate and calling on the UN to establish an alternative monitoring procedure:


Rabbi Abraham Cooper (Chair, U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom)

  • "Russia’s move to becloud ongoing human rights outrages committed by its ally North Korea must be countered by the United Nations and other member states. Let Secretary-General Guterres announce that he is appointing a personal envoy or rapporteur. Otherwise, the downward moral spiral of the UN will only accelerate."


The Honorable Jack David (Senior Fellow & Trustee, Hudson Institute)

  • "North Korea is the world’s worst human-rights abuser of its own people, even as it threatens the rest of the world with its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. The Russian veto bringing an end to the UN Panel of Experts, which helped address the North Korean missile and nuclear threat, is morally repugnant and should be condemned."


Dr. Nicholas Eberstadt (Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy, American Enterprise Institute)

  • "It should be no surprise that the Kremlin just sabotaged sanctions monitoring for North Korea. Pyongyang is now a supplicant state for Putin, supplying arms for his invasion of Ukraine and cheering for his victory. Countries of conscience must impel the UN to continue to shine a light on the Kim regime's crimes and the villains who finance them, despite this latest betrayal by Moscow."


Ambassador Robert Joseph (Senior Scholar, National Institute for Public Policy)

  • "By abetting North Korea’s ongoing evasion of sanctions, Putin’s Russia has become even more complicit in Pyongyang’s many crimes. It is imperative that all civilized nations endeavor to monitor and enforce sanctions imposed on the Kim regime, the world’s most grievous offender of human rights."


Ambassador Jung-Hoon Lee (Dean, Yonsei University Graduate School of International Studies)

  • "Russia sabotaging the renewal of a UN panel that monitors the enforcement of international sanctions against North Korea is egregious, cowardly, and simply irresponsible. Will the world ever see a Russia deserving of its privileged P5 status?"


Ambassador Winston Lord (Former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, U.S. Department of State)

  • "Russia’s sabotaging of sanctions on North Korea is as ugly as it is unsurprising. The United Nations must find another way to monitor compliance, as well as continuing to shine a light on the world’s worst human rights landscape."

 
Colonel David Maxwell, USA, Ret. (Vice President, Center for Asia Pacific Strategy)

  • "Russia, as a founding member of the axis of dictators, again demonstrates that it is not a responsible member of the international community as it exposes its collaboration with the mafia-like crime family cult of the Kim regime and uses its veto power to protect Kim Jong-un's malign activities. The international community spends too much time worrying about what Putin and Kim might do. Instead, the international community should make them worry about what it is capable of doing, and that it has the will to do it."


Dr. Suzanne Scholte (President, Defense Forum Foundation)

  • "The UN Panel of Experts has done a vital service for the international community in documenting the Kim regime's evasion of UN sanctions, its illicit activities, and cybercrimes that have enabled the DPRK to develop nuclear weapons while the North Korean people starve. Putin's decision to end this vital initiative shows his further embrace of the brutal Kim dictatorship, which has been found guilty of crimes against humanity and gross violations of human rights by the UN's own inquiry."


General John H. Tilelli Jr., USA, Ret. (Former Commander, UNC/CFC/USFK)

  • "Once again, Russia has proven that it is not a reliable, stable, or rational member of the international community. Russia's new coalition with the Kim family regime demonstrates Putin's self-interest rather than the greater good, and again defines for us the 'Axis of Evil.' The UN must take a different approach when one member state blocks issues that affect international peace and security."

In this submission, HRNK focuses its attention on the following issues in the DPRK: The status of the system of detention facilities, where a multitude of human rights violations are ongoing. The post-COVID human security and human rights status of North Korean women, with particular attention to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). The issue of Japanese abductees and South Korean prisoners of war (POWs), abductees, and unjust detainees.

North Korea's Political Prison Camp, Kwan-li-so No. 25, Update
Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., Greg Scarlatoiu, Raymond Ha
Feb 17, 2024

This report provides an abbreviated update to our previous reports on a long-term political prison commonly identified by former prisoners and researchers as Kwan-li-so No. 25 by providing details of activity observed during 2021–2023. This report was originally published on Tearline at https://www.tearline.mil/public_page/prison-camp-25.

This report explains how the Kim regime organizes and implements its policy of human rights denial using the Propaganda and Agitation Department (PAD) to preserve and strengthen its monolithic system of control. The report also provides detailed background on the history of the PAD, as well as a human terrain map that details present and past PAD leadership.

HRNK's latest satellite imagery report analyzes a 5.2 km-long switchback road, visible in commercial satellite imagery, that runs from Testing Tunnel No. 1 at North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear test facility to the perimeter of Kwan-li-so (political prison camp) no. 16.

This report proposes a long-term, multilateral legal strategy, using existing United Nations resolutions and conventions, and U.S. statutes that are either codified or proposed in appended model legislation, to find, freeze, forfeit, and deposit the proceeds of the North Korean government's kleptocracy into international escrow. These funds would be available for limited, case-by-case disbursements to provide food and medical care for poor North Koreans, and--contingent upon Pyongyang's progress

National Strategy for Countering North Korea
Joseph, Collins, DeTrani, Eberstadt, Enos, Maxwell, Scarlatoiu
Jan 23, 2023

For thirty years, U.S. North Korea policy have sacrificed human rights for the sake of addressing nuclear weapons. Both the North Korean nuclear and missile programs have thrived. Sidelining human rights to appease the North Korean regime is not the answer, but a fundamental flaw in U.S. policy. (Published by the National Institute for Public Policy)

North Korea’s forced labor enterprise and its state sponsorship of human trafficking certainly continued until the onset of the COVID pandemic. HRNK has endeavored to determine if North Korean entities responsible for exporting workers to China and Russia continued their activities under COVID as well.

George Hutchinson's The Suryong, the Soldier, and Information in the KPA is the second of three building blocks of a multi-year HRNK project to examine North Korea's information environment. Hutchinson's thoroughly researched and sourced report addresses the circulation of information within the Korean People's Army (KPA). Understanding how KPA soldiers receive their information is needed to prepare information campaigns while taking into account all possible contingenc

North Korea’s Political Prison Camp, Kwan-li-so No. 14, Update 1
Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr., Greg Scarlatoiu, and Amanda Mortwedt Oh
Dec 22, 2021

This report is part of a comprehensive long-term project undertaken by HRNK to use satellite imagery and former prisoner interviews to shed light on human suffering in North Korea by monitoring activity at political prison facilities throughout the nation. This is the second HRNK satellite imagery report detailing activity observed during 2015 to 2021 at a prison facility commonly identified by former prisoners and researchers as “Kwan-li-so No. 14 Kaech’ŏn” (39.646810, 126.117058) and

North Korea's Long-term Prison-Labor Facility, Kyo-hwa-so No.3, T’osŏng-ni (토성리)
Joseph S Bermudez Jr, Greg Scarlatoiu, Amanda Oh, & Rosa Tokola
Nov 03, 2021

This report is part of a comprehensive long-term project undertaken by HRNK to use satellite imagery and former prisoner interviews to shed light on human suffering in North Korea by monitoring activity at civil and political prison facilities throughout the nation. This study details activity observed during 1968–1977 and 2002–2021 at a prison facility commonly identified by former prisoners and researchers as "Kyo-hwa-so No. 3, T'osŏng-ni" and endeavors to e

North Korea’s Political Prison Camp, Kwan-li-so No. 25, Update 3
Joseph S Bermudez Jr, Greg Scarlatoiu, Amanda Oh, & Rosa Tokola
Sep 30, 2021

This report is part of a comprehensive long-term project undertaken by HRNK to use satellite imagery and former detainee interviews to shed light on human suffering in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, more commonly known as North Korea) by monitoring activity at political prison facilities throughout the nation. This report provides an abbreviated update to our previous reports on a long-term political prison commonly identified by former prisoners and researchers as Kwan-li-so

North Korea’s Potential Long-Term  Prison-Labor Facility at Sŏnhwa-dong (선화동)
Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr., Greg Scarlatoiu, Amanda Oh, & Rosa Park
Aug 26, 2021

Through satellite imagery analysis and witness testimony, HRNK has identified a previously unknown potential kyo-hwa-so long-term prison-labor facility at Sŏnhwa-dong (선화동) P’ihyŏn-gun, P’yŏngan-bukto, North Korea. While this facility appears to be operational and well maintained, further imagery analysis and witness testimony collection will be necessary in order to irrefutably confirm that Sŏnhwa-dong is a kyo-hwa-so.

North Korea’s Long-term Prison-Labor Facility Kyo-hwa-so No. 8, Sŭngho-ri (승호리) - Update
Joseph S Bermudez, Jr, Greg Scarlatoiu, Amanda M Oh, & Rosa Park
Jul 22, 2021

"North Korea’s Long-term Prison-Labor Facility Kyo-hwa-so No. 8, Sŭngho-ri (승호리) - Update" is the latest report under a long-term project employing satellite imagery analysis and former political prisoner testimony to shed light on human suffering in North Korea's prison camps.

Human Rights in the Democratic Republic of Korea: The Role of the United Nations" is HRNK's 50th report in our 20-year history. This is even more meaningful as David Hawk's "Hidden Gulag" (2003) was the first report published by HRNK. In his latest report, Hawk details efforts by many UN member states and by the UN’s committees, projects and procedures to promote and protect human rights in the DPRK.  The report highlights North Korea’s shifts in its approach

South Africa’s Apartheid and North Korea’s Songbun: Parallels in Crimes against Humanity by Robert Collins underlines similarities between two systematically, deliberately, and thoroughly discriminatory repressive systems. This project began with expert testimony Collins submitted as part of a joint investigation and documentation project scrutinizing human rights violations committed at North Korea’s short-term detention facilities, conducted by the Committee for Human Rights