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Your July Brief 2017
August 02, 2017


 

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HRNK: YOUR JULY BRIEFING


HRNK Briefs are a series of reports collected by our interns from relevant panels, conferences, and events to deliver timely and useful information to the North Korea community of interest. This is a monthly effort to update HRNK supporters on current events and policy considerations surrounding North Korea. 

Last month, we prepared reports on nine different events in Washington DC and Seoul.

Here is what you need to know:


Human Rights
 
American Leadership in the Asia Pacific (July 12, 2017)

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From left to right: Ambassador Robert King, HRNK Board Member, Derek Mitchell, Murray Hiebart.

On July 12, 2017, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hosted a hearing on American leadership in the Asia Pacific focusing on democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. The witnesses’ primary concern was that an American withdrawal would enable China and undermine democratization efforts in Asia. Speakers concurred that reform in North Korea is difficult and must come from within. Ambassador Robert King, who sits on HRNK’s Board of Directors, was one of the witnesses. He reminded the Committee of the human rights atrocities being perpetrated by the Kim regime and offered five policy recommendations.

 

Meridian International Center Student Visit (July 17, 2017)

Rosa Park with a group of students from the Meridian International Center

On July 17, 2017, HRNK Director ​of Programs Rosa Park welcomed a group of students from the Meridian International Center to speak about our mission, research, and programs. During the meeting, she discussed HRNK’s role in uncovering North Korea’s prison camps in addition to our organization’s extensive research on the human rights situation in North Korea.  
 
UN Human Rights Council: What Is It Good For? (July 25, 2017)
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 HRNK Director of Programs Rosa Park (center) with Ted Piccone (far right) and FIA staff members.

On July 25, 2017, HRNK’s Director of Programs Rosa Park also spoke at a Forum on International Affairs panel on the UN Human Rights Council: What Is It Good For alongside Ted Piccone from the Brookings Institution. The discussion revolved around the OHCHC’s efforts to hold the Kim regime accountable for crimes against humanity, and highlighted the discrepancy between North Korea’s “democratic” constitution and kleptocratic reality.

 
HUFS International Summer Session (July 25, 2017)

​HRNK Executive Director Greg Scarlatoiu, Ambassador Lee Jung-Hoon, Signe Poulsen, Kim Kwang-Jin, 
Tim A. Peters, HRNK Project Offier Amanda Mortwedt Oh, Jeong Kwang-il, and HRNK Editorial Consultant Raymond Ha.
 
Amassing Evidence: Applying Information Technology and Forensic Science in Human Rights Documentation (July 25, 2017)
 
On July 25, 2017, HRNK Executive Director Greg Scarlatoiu, Project Officer Amanda Mortwedt Oh, and editorial assistant Raymond Ha spoke at the 2017 HUFS International Summer Session in Seoul. During the event, they discussed the human rights situation in North Korea and the way forward after the 2014 findings of the UN Commission of Inquiry revealed crimes against humanity are being committed in North Korea. 
 
 
HUFS International Summer Session (July 25, 2017)
 
On July 25, 2017, the Transitional Justice Working Group (TJWG) hosted the international conference “Amassing Evidence: Applying Information Technology and Forensic Science in Human Rights Documentation" in Seoul, during which activists and practitioners from 12 different countries gathered to exchange their visions of human rights documentation worldwide.
 
10th Anniversary of the Passage of House Resolution 121 (July 27, 2017)
 
From left to right: Aileen Chung, Congressman Ed Royce, Congresswoman Judy Chu, Former Congressman Mike Honda
 
On July 27, 2017, the Washington Coalition for Comfort Women Issues (WCCW) hosted "The 10th Anniversary of the Passage of House Resolution 121," an act which sought to "restore the dignity of World War II sex slaves." Representative Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, spoke alongside Mike Honda, former Member of the US House of Represnetatives from 2001-2017. 
 
Meeting with Special Rapporteur Tomás Ojea Quintana​ (July 29, 2017)
 
HRNK Executive Director Greg Scarlatoiu (left) and HRNK Project Officier Amanda Mortwedt Oh (right) meet with Special Rapporteur Tomas Ojea Quintana (center) in Seoul on July 19, 2017.
 
On July 29, 2017, HRNK’s Executive Director Greg Scarlatoiu and Seoul Project Officer Amanda Mortwedt Oh met with Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DPRK Tomás Ojea Quintana to discuss human rights trends in North Korea. Mr. Ojea Quintana was in Seoul for a five-day mission to meet with senior members of the ROK Government and civil society groups from 17-21 July. The Special Rapporteur will provide his findings to the UN General Assembly in October 2017. 



Politics

North Korea: Have We Reached the Point of No Return? (July 10, 2017)
On July 10, 2017, the Wilson Center hosted a teleconference entitled “North Korea: Have We Reached the Point of No Return?," during which speakers tackled difficult questions surrounding North Korea’s strategic thinking in launching ICBMs as well as potential US retaliation. Specifically, they discussed the Kim regime’s rationale for its nuclear program and what leverage the US can use to respond.
One Korea Forum (July 18, 2017)
On July 18, 2017, the Global Peace Foundation hosted the One Korea Forum, during which speakers presented on "the power of freedom in addressing the divided Korean family" and how such freedom is needed to "empower the voice of North Korean defectors." One main conclusion was that defectors could play an instrumental role in reunification.
What a North Korean Ballistic Missile Threat Means for the US Missile Defense System (July 26, 2017)
Photograph Credit: The Heritage Foundation. From Left to Right: Michaela Dodge, Kenneth Todorov, Bruce Klingner, Austin Long
 
​On July 26, 2017, The Heritage Foundation organized a panel on “What a North Korean Ballistic Missile Threat Means for the U.S. Missile Defense System." Panelists addressed the difficulty of staying ahead of a nuclear and aggressive North Korea and how Congress can modernize US missile defense to deter the Kim regime’s nuclear program.
 


​Economics
The First Trump-Moon Summit and the Future of US-Korea Relations (July 13, 2017)

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From left to right: Troy Stangarone, Abraham Denmark, Choi Kang, Bruce Klingner, and Ahn Se Young. 

On July 13, 2017, the Korea Economic Institute of America hosted an event entitled “ The First Trump-Moon Summit and the Future of the US-Korea Relations. ” Featuring panelists from both the US and South Korea, they offered their analyses of the recent June 30th Trump-Moon summit. Panelists agreed that the US and South Korea should coordinate more closely on issues, including THAAD deployment, to effectively deter North Korea.

 

Economic Levers of US Policy Towards North Korea (July 27, 2017)

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"Economic Levers of US Policy Towards North Korea" at Center for a New American Security.

On July 28, 2017, the Center for a New American Security hosted a conference, “Economic Levers of US Policy Towards North Korea.” In his recently published policy proposal, Edward Fishman emphasized that the threat of sanctions is more effective than sanctions themselves, and that the US must be less dependent on UN support to successfully implement coercive sanctions against North Korea.



​Please find a PDF compilation of all event reports here: 

Please note that the views and opinions expressed by the speakers do not necessarily represent the views or official position of HRNK or its Board of Directors. While not verbatim transcriptions, every effort has been made to accurately depict the speakers' presentations and views. Any error or omission is unintentional and will be corrected upon notification and request. These notes are based on events open to a public audience.


About HRNK:
The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK), founded in 2001 and based in Washington DC, is a non-partisan human rights organization whose principal objective is to raise international awareness of North Korea's human rights situation through the publication of well documented reports and by undertaking outreach activities in support of the recommendations in those reports. More information about HRNK is available at www.hrnk.org



Copyright © 2017 Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK). All rights reserved.​​

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