UN expert on human rights in North Korea to visit Seoul

un expert on human rights in north korea to visit seoul

un expert on human rights in north korea to visit seoul

Elizabeth Salmon, the UN Human Rights Office’s special rapporteur on North Korea, will conduct her second official visit to the South from September 4 to 12.

During her visit, the expert will meet South Korean government officials, civil society organisations, victims and their families, and defectors from the reclusive regime.

A press conference is also on the cards, with Salmon holding the same on September 12 from 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm (local time) at the Seoul Foreign Correspondents’ Club.

Appointed to her current role by the Human Rights Council on August 1, 2022, the UN expert will present her report to the General Assembly next month.

Political Repression And Worsening Economic Conditions

Salmon’s trip to the Republic of Korea follows a recent UN Security Council hearing, where the North was accused of heavily investing in its weapons programme while its citizens go hungry.

Requested by the US, last month’s hearing was the first in the Security Council on North Korea’s human rights issues in six years.

It came as the regime continues to elevate tensions across East Asia by accelerating its testing of nuclear-capable missiles.

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The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk, raised serious concerns over DPRK’s severe political repression and worsening economic conditions.

The UN official also shined the spotlight on the widespread use of forced labour, involving children as well, to support the country’s ability to develop weapons.

China And Russia Slam Talks As Unconstructive

The deterioration of living conditions and human rights in North Korea grabbed the limelight in the hearing, with most Council members denouncing the same.

North Koreans’ plight continues to worsen amid the country grappling with stringent sanctions imposed by the Council and major countries over its weapons programme.

A defector highlighted their allegedly precarious condition, stressing he had to work in fields without compensation at a young age with the grain they harvested all sent to the military.

While the hearing didn’t involve delegates from DPRK, representatives from China and Russia called the discussion unconstructive and said they offered no solutions to reduce tensions.

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