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Twenty-Fourth Human Rights Council, Geneva, 9 to 27 September 2013

UK Statement for the Interactive Dialogue with Commission of Inquiry on Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The UN Office in Geneva
The 24th Session of the Human Rights Council is taking place at the UN Office in Geneva

Mr President,

Let me join others in thanking Justice Kirby for his powerful statement.

The UK remains seriously alarmed by the human rights situation in the DPRK. This includes compelling evidence of the existence of political and non-political prisoner camps, public executions, torture, guilt by association, trafficking and abductions, as well as the wide-spread limitations on freedom of movement, religion, expression and access to information. The UK calls on the DPRK authorities to respect the rights of all its citizens and to comply with its international obligations.

The UK supports the important work of the Commission of Inquiry (COI) to investigate human rights violations in the DPRK to ensure full accountability, in particular where these violations may amount to crimes against humanity. We urge the DPRK authorities to grant full access to the COI and to participate and respond to the detailed, persuasive and shocking testimonies recorded during witness interviews. Co-operation with the UN and the COI is in the DPRK’s interests and will lead to a more credible and objective report.

The UK also calls on DPRK’s regional neighbours to extend meaningful cooperation with the COI, in particular to allow unhindered access to visit the border regions between the DPRK and China and Russia.

We look forward to the DPRK participating in its second Universal Periodic Review scheduled for April 2014. One benefit of participation will be the opportunity to contest scrutiny.

Finally, the UK takes this opportunity to urge others to add their support to the work of the COI by sharing any relevant information and analysis and by ensuring the final report of the COI is publicly welcomed and its recommendations followed up.

Thank you Mr President.

Published 17 September 2013