A break in the wall

Ben pic

Human rights diplomacy is putting pressure on North Korea to stop its nuclear program and improve its humanitarian situation. Past attempts by the international community to ensure the Pyongyang regime undergoes these reforms have failed, although slow changes from the international community appear to be happening.

Ben Willis, a PGD student from the University of Leeds, makes these claims in his article “How human rights diplomacy is finally putting real pressure on North Korea”. He discusses how a 400-page report published by the UN highlights the importance of these reforms, and how China would be a key player in ensuring these reforms are carried out.

“2014 was a crucial year for the North Korean reform process,” Willis states, “A 400 pages long report from the United Nations has been published, which gave an insight into the brutal and sadistic affairs of the North- Korean leadership. This inquiry was able to capture the world’s attention and forced the international community to react. Traditionally human rights in North Korea are being ignored because big global players, like the US or Russia, are paying far more attention to the small countries nuclear weapon program instead.”

“The isolated Asian country may have tested hydrogen bombs (H- Bombs) in the past, which have the capability to cause millions of casualties in a big city like New York. The country is said to already be able to produce missiles that could create major damage in South Korea, Japan, and the United States if launched off a freighter.”

This UN report insinuated that human rights crimes can no longer be ignored, and believes they are directly linked to the regime’s behavior. Willis believes that the major problem with North Korea is its isolation policy. This strong elitist country controls everything and is only interested in its own personal advantage.

Willis believes the Peoples Republic is a key factor for change over the next decade. The international community has to continue to persuade China to take a different stand when it comes to North Korea and ensure an end comes to the human rights abuses of the Pyongyang regime.

China is the small countries only economic partner, and they would play a crucial role in the reform process. Although China has displayed increased annoyance with the excessive behavior of its neighbor, they have their own reasons as to why they do not want to intervene. A political conflict might cause a collapse of the area, thousands of refugees and in the worst case scenario for China, a unification of Korea as a country. South Korea, which is traditionally close to the US, might allow American troops to be stationed at the Chinese border, which would be a nightmare for the government in Beijing. For this reason, the Peoples Republic prefers the status quo, vetoing every attempt of the Security Council from sanctioning North Korea. Up to this date, China doesn’t allow North Korean refugees to enter its borders. Once arrested, they are sent back to North Korea and imprisoned in working camps.

Max Mayr

PHOTO: Max Mayr

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