Muntarbhorn Concerned About the North Korean Guilt By-Association System.

[imText1]Vitit Muntarbhorn, the special rapporteur of the UNHRC on the situation of human rights in North Korea, had a press conference at Seoul President Hotel in the afternoon of the 10th as he was wrapping up an eight day visit to South Korea. He presented a Six-Points Human Rights formula.

In the formula, he calls upon the North Korea “to end the various discrepancies and transgressions considering respect for human rights in the civil, political, economic, social and cultural fields in the country.”

He also urges North Korea “to invite the Special Rapporteur and other UN human rights mechanisms to visit the country to take stock of the human rights situation and recommend reforms and related follow-up.”

It is also stated that he supports South Korea “to sustain humanitarian aid, including food aid,” and encourages the south “to continue its humanitarian policy of accepting those who have sought refuge from North Korea and facilitate their social recovery and reintegration.”

“A number of civilians and prisoners of war remain missing today from the time of the Korean War,” he said. “Subsequent to the war, there have also been various alleged abductions carried out by North Korea in relations to persons from ‘the South’ which need effective clarification and peaceful resolution.”

In response to a reporter’s question whether he thought it would be possible to improve the situation of human rights in North Korea under an authoritarian regime, he answered that it could lend assistance to improvement of the situation to call on North Korea to nurture children, and to urge it to improve prison facilities.

Regarding a question about the attitude of the South Korean government toward the North Korean human rights issues, he mentioned that he was aware of the variety of views on what the national policy on human rights in North Korea should be and that could be considered progress. He also emphasized that much international attention began to be paid to the North Korean human rights situation after the previous resolution on North Korean human rights in UNHRC had been carried though. About Seoul’s policy of abstaining from voting in UN on human rights in the North, he said “Countries take different approaches.”

He said that he came to be concerned about the North Korean guilt by-association system by which innocent people are punished because they are related to criminals by birth, and that he planned a report which would contain some concrete examples about it.

The rapporteur departed for Thailand on the 11th after an eight-day trip from the third day of this month.