The United Nations Human Rights Council [UNHRC] has presented North Korea
with 268 recommendations to improve human rights in the country, 185 of which
the North has said it will consider.
The recommendations were presented in Geneva on the 6th after a Universal Periodic Review [UPR], set to be made public at the upcoming UNHRC meeting in September.
North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations So Se Pyong later slammed the move as “a work of prejudice and a misunderstanding
of the Republic.”
Nevertheless, the North has agreed to review 185 of the recommendations put forth and is expected to let the council know of its decision prior to the September meeting.
Rejected recommendations include the scrapping of “guilt by
association,” future cooperation with the international criminal court, the implementation of recommendations as outlined by the Commission of Inquiry into North Korean human rights,
a visit to to the country by a UN human rights investigation team, the closure of the nation’s political prison camps and the abolition of discrimination based on the songbun class system.
Kwon Eun Kyoung of the International Coalition to Stop Crimes
Against Humanity in North Korea [ICNK] explained to Daily NK, “The
UPR is a mechanism through which all UN member states can demand
detailed and explicit improvements of another country’s human rights situation.
rejected a set of recommendations presented to them in 2009, so that they are
reviewing 185 recommendations this time around indicates they are feeling the
pressure from the international community.”
“Sudan and Malaysia, countries said to be friendly
with North Korea, also made recommendations that the North make an effort to improve
the human rights of its people. The COI or a
special human rights team could be waved aside as ‘political scheming,’ but
these recommendations are not something the North is able to reject 100%,”
Kwon further assessed.