[imText1]South Korean government decided to vote yes on UN General Assembly’s North Korean human rights resolution. Of course, the decision is welcomed, but without enthusiasm.
Since 2003 the government of the Republic of Korea has been abstained from voting in the UN GA and UN Human Rights Committee’s North Korean resolutions. Every time it rejected to vote, the government, through EOV, Explanation of Vote, argued for construction of inter-Korean confidence as more crucial although it acknowledged presence of human rights violation in North Korea. So, does it mean that South Korean government now regards inter-Korean confidence not that important?
So far, those who have sided with the SK government have been criticizing the UN and the international community’s concern over North Korean human rights violation as ‘political.’ The government in Seoul decided, whether reluctantly or not, to approve the UN human rights resolution 1) as a ‘compensation’ of nonparticipation in Proliferation Security Initiative, 2) in protest against North Korea’s nuclear test, and 3) keeping pace with the designation of a South Korean Ban Ki Moon as next UN Secretary General. Are these reasons less politically-motivated than submission of a human rights resolution in UN?
The South Korean government should have been committed to improvement of North Korean human rights violation by sincerely approving every human rights resolution since 2003. Changing its position according to political environment is self-contradicting.
Nonetheless, I do not mean that South Korean government should have abstained again on North Korean human rights resolution. Even though the approval is too late, there is no reason to condemn the decision.
The core is to ascertain the human rights condition in North Korea. The approval must be with humanitarian purpose, understanding the twenty million North Koreans’ suffering.
I saw an Uri Party delegate Kim Won Woong, chairman of the National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee, appearing in TV debate. Kim opposed the government’s decision to approve the UN resolution. I was disappointed by both arbitrary selection of the panel by TV producers and Representative Kim’s continuous lack of logic.
Kim, for example, denounced the UN for not criticizing a Nazi-like concentration camp in Guantanamo Bay. I am, too, enraged with such human rights violation by the United States for anti-terrorism’s sake. Then, I do want to ask delegate Kim why he neglects North Korea’s concentration camps, one of the worst cases of human rights violation in history, that are not less brutal than Nazi death camps.
The South Korean government must persuade such ‘human rights blinds’ before calculating political outcome of approval or disapproval on human rights resolution so meticulously.
And let us altogether fight for the freedom and human rights of twenty three million North Korean people. I earnestly welcome the UN General Assembly’s North Korean human rights resolution.