15 February 2014

U.N. report will conclude North Korea has committed crimes against humanity 15FEB14

ACCORDING to the UN, north korea has committed crimes against humanity for over 60 years. DUH! Successive American administrations have been directed to ignore the situation in n korea over the decades because there has been no economic interest, no economic benefit for corporate America for us to get involved other than to protect South Korea, a profitable investment for the American military-industrial complex. If n korea had oil, diamonds, gold, or rare minerals corporate America would have told the government to do something about their insane leadership long ago. But all n korea has had since the Korean War cease fire has been a starving, repressed population and the brutal, murderous, paranoid dictatorship by one family. That is what they still have, along with nuclear weapons and missiles. The UN will ask the Security Council to refer this to the International Criminal Court. Wow, that will make kim jong-un change his ways! From the Washington Post.......

Kns/AFP/Getty Images - This undated picture released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on Feb. 11, 2014 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un applauding during an agriculture conference in an undisclosed location in North Korea.

A yearlong United Nations investigation is set to conclude that North Korea has committed crimes against humanity, according to a leaked outline of the report, in the most authoritative indictment to date of abuses carried out by Pyongyang’s leaders.
SEOUL — A yearlong United Nations investigation is set to conclude that North Korea has committed crimes against humanity, according to a leaked outline of the report, in the most authoritative indictment to date of abuses carried out by Pyongyang’s leaders.
The U.N. panel will also recommend that the North’s crimes be referred to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, according to The Associated Press, which obtained an outline of the findings. The report of the three-member Commission of Inquiry will be released Monday.
By establishing that panel, the U.N. has sought to take aim at one of its most distressing challenges, a nation whose abuses are carried out by an entrenched family-run government that faces almost no threat of international intervention.
Activists and human rights lawyers say the report, at minimum, will bring broader global awareness about the North’s city-sized gulags and systematic abductions of foreigners. But they also say that traditional ally China, which has a permanent seat on the U.N. National Security Council, could block any referral of North Korea’s case to the ICC.
“It is exciting but also risky that the Commission appears to have requested the Security Council refer the situation in [North Korea] to the International Criminal Court,” Jared Genser, an international human rights lawyer and an expert on North Korean abuses, said in an e-mail. “There is no doubt that legally such a referral would be highly justified and appropriate. But it is also bound to infuriate China.”
The ICC describes crimes against humanity as any widespread or systematic attack — using extermination, torture or rape, for instance — carried out against civilians.
Within the last century, the North’s abuses stand apart not necessarily because of their viciousness, but because of their duration. Rwanda’s genocide lasted less than a year, Cambodia’s lasted about four, and Nazi Germany was toppled after more than a decade. But North Korean founder Kim Il Sung set up the camps in the 1950s, and they’ve since been used as a way to purge real and imagined political enemies, as well as their children and parents.
The North holds an estimated 80,000 to 120,000 political prisoners in its camps, which are sealed off in mountainous areas of the countryside and have been documented primarily through satellite imagery and testimony from survivors.
“What you have in North Korea is a stable state system where they’ve had these terrible labor camps and they’re going on for 60 years,” said David Hawk, a researcher who has been at the forefront of documenting the gulags. “Even Stalin’s camps didn’t last that long.”
Last year Navi Pillay, the U.N. human rights chief, said that an investigation into North Korea was “long overdue,” in part because there had been no sign of improvement under third-generation leader Kim Jong Un. North Korea denies committing violations and has repeatedly failed to cooperate with the U.N.
The commission, headed by retired Australian judge Michael Kirby, conducted interviews with more than 80 victims and other witnesses in Seoul, Tokyo, London and Washington. The panel members were also aided by about a dozen staffers and researchers — a major personnel shift for the U.N., which previously had a single appointed volunteer dedicated to North Korean human rights.
In Seoul, the panel members heard from prison camp escapees, torture victims, and children whose parents had been abducted by North Korean agents. They also conducted closed interviews with victims, including Kim Hye-sook, who spent 28 years in Camp 18, which at the time was one of the North’s largest gulags.
Kim arrived there when she was 13, imprisoned because her grandfather had allegedly fled to South Korea. Kim, who has also told her story publicly, survived at the camp on wild herbs, grass and corn powder. While at the camp she went to school, married and worked in a mine. Her husband and brother died in mining accidents. Kim developed a pulmonary tumor from inhaling dust during her 16- or 18-hour work shifts. Once a week, prisoners were forced to memorize tropes about North Korean ideology.
When prisoners came to those ideology sessions, Kim said, security personnel would command the prisoners to get on their knees and open their mouths. Guards would then spit inside. If the prisoners didn’t swallow, they would be savagely beaten.
Reached Saturday, Kim called the commission’s conclusion “very natural.”
“I agree with their findings,” Kim said, “but I don’t expect changes to come any time soon.”
Yoonjung Seo contributed to this report.