[UPFRONT] A New Phase in Human Rights Abuses in North Korea
The subject of the October 20 Episode of UPFRONT, Arirang TV's current affairs program, was A New Phase in Human Rights Abuses in North Korea.
Choi Seok-young, Member of Advisory Group at UN Central Emergency Response Fund, and Joanna Hosaniak, Deputy Director General at Citizens' Alliance for North Korean Human Rights, were invited and they had a lively debate.
The discussion began with an analysis of the series of defections by high-level North Korean officials that occurred recently. Choi commented that the defections such as these are highly irregular, and that it signifies an instability in North Korea's internal system. He also mentioned that the sanctions and pressure on North Korea imposed by the international community may be partially responsible for the defection by elite North Koreans.
Meanwhile, Hosaniak stated that elite North Koreans have defected before, but their defections have not been publicized much. She pointed out that this phenomenon occurs whenever there is a change in leadership, and that the causes of defection can be many things such as education for their children rather than just survival.
In regards to the violations of human rights in North korea, Hosaniak talked about how the human rights condition in North Korea has not changed in decades. She also mentioned the discrimination that exists by saying that people receive different treatment according to their ranks and status in North Korea.
The debate ended with a comment on the efforts made by the international community. Choi wrapped up his comment by saying, “The UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea has achieved tremendous results and the international community is strengthening its cooperation to improve the human rights situation in North Korea.”
Hosaniak added that it is important to strengthen the cooperation between Korea and the international community. She also said collecting facts on the human rights environment in North Korea will be the most crucial aspect.
(Link to Video)