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Investigating DPRK Human Rights: Satellite Imagery, Lines of Responsibility, Accountability
Date and Time:
October 28, 2022 01:15 pm ~ October 28, 2022 02:45 pm
Location:
Permanent Mission of Lithuania to the UN in New York / Zoom (virtual)
Speakers:
H.E. Rytis Paulauskas, H.E. Jakub Kulhánek, H.E. Hwang Joon-kook, H.E. Lee Shin-wha, Dr. Elizabeth Salmón, Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., Robert Collins, Greg Scarlatoiu (moderator)
Host Organization:

 

Description:

The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK), The Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights (JBI), the Permanent Mission of Lithuania to the United Nations, the Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations, and the European Union Delegation to the UN hosted a side-event, “Investigating the DPRK Human Rights: Satellite Imagery, Lines of Responsibility, Accountability” on Friday, 28th October 2022, 1:15-2:45 PM (EST) in a hybrid format: virtually on Zoom and in-person at the premises of the Permanent Mission of Lithuania to the UN.

This event highlighted the human rights infringements and crimes against humanity perpetrated at DPRK detention facilities as well as the chain of command and control responsible for those violations, in order to emphasize the importance of human rights accountability in the DPRK.

Following presentations by ROK Ambassador-at-Large Lee Shin-wha and UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the DPRK Dr. Elizabeth Salmón, the event featured briefings by HRNK Senior Advisors Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr. and Robert Collins, based on an ongoing HRNK investigation of DPRK detention facilities, which uses a methodology combining satellite imagery, witness testimony, and open-source research.

Over three decades since the end of the Cold War, the DPRK has persisted as an egregious human rights violator. In the third decade of the 21st century, the DPRK continues to run a system of political prison camps and other unlawful detention facilities. Up to 200,000 men, women, and children are imprisoned at the
DPRK’s political prison camps, pursuant to a feudal-inspired system of guilt-by-association, which punishes up to three generations for the perceived wrongdoing of one family member.

To this day, the DPRK continues to discriminate against its own citizens, based on the songbun system of perceived loyalty-based social classification. To procure the resources it needs to develop its nuclear and missile programs and to keep key elites content through access to luxury goods and hard currency from the outside world, the DPRK continues to exploit and oppress its people at home and abroad. This side event aimed to draw attention to the worsening human rights situation in the DPRK as well as the deepening rift between the degrading human security situation of North Koreans and the continued obstinate focusing of resources not on the people, but on the development and testing of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

 

Program Agenda

Moderator: Greg Scarlatoiu, HRNK Executive Director

Welcoming Remarks

  • H.E. Rytis Paulauskas, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Lithuania to the United Nations
  • H.E. Jakub Kulhánek, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the United Nations
  • H.E. Hwang Joon-kook, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations

Part I: DPRK Human Rights: Past, Present, Future

  • H.E. Lee Shin-wha, Ambassador-at-Large for North Korean Human Rights, Republic of Korea
  • Dr. Elizabeth Salmón, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DPRK

Part II: Satellite Imagery, Lines of Responsibility, Accountability

  • Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., HRNK Senior Advisor
  • Robert Collins, HRNK Senior Advisor

Q&A Session

Concluding Remarks

  • Greg Scarlatoiu, HRNK Executive Director

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