Following its recent adoption of a resolution on North Korean human rights, the European Parliament has stepped forward to once again demand human rights improvement in the country.
In a Subcommittee on Human Rights hearing on North Korea in Brussels yesterday, 70 attendees including the U.S. human rights ambassador, Robert King, heard testimony from Kim Tae Jin of Free the NK Gulag and Teruaki Masumoto, a Japanese man whose sister was kidnapped by the North in 1978, and watched a video message from Oh Kil Nam in which he called once again for the return of his wife, ‘Daughter of Tongyeong’ Shin Suk Ja, and their two children.
Delivering his testimony, Kim commented, “If the EU, UN and others constantly talk about North Korean human rights issues, then even if North Korea only pretends to improve them then it has an effect, and this can trigger real improvement.”
Kim Chang Beom, South Korea’s ambassador to the EU, agreed, suggesting close international cooperation to try and bring about human rights improvements in North Korea before adding of Shin Suk Ja, “(North Korea) must immediately release Mrs. Shin and compensate here appropriately.”
In the resolution, adopted on the 24th, the European Parliament demanded that the North Korean regime cease its human rights violations, that China cease repatriating refugees trying to escape from North Korea, and that South Korean human rights campaigner Kim Young Hwan and three other South Koreans be allowed appropriate representation and thereafter swift release by the Chinese government.