PSCORE visited conference about the Human Rights situation in North Korea and presented their findings.This conference took place at the European Parliament in Brussels and was hosted by MEP László TŐKÉS, EPP. The topics PSCORE brought to the table were Children’s rights in North Korea and the Korean Air abduction case from 1969.

An update on the human rights situation in North Korea:
After an encouraging opening speech from MEP Laszlo Tokes that the European Parliament continues to take a close interest in North Korean human rights issues and that they will strive to keep it at the top of the agenda, the floor was opened to the speakers. Each of the speakers discussed different aspects ranging from the detention facilities to children’s rights and the KAL abduction issue. Everyone agreed that the upcoming UPR cycle in May is an important chance to bring up all these issues onto the international arena.

The audience included representatives from the German parliament as well as a team of Cambodian activists and there was a lively question and answer session where they demonstrated a keen interest in the issues discussed and ways forward.

Right after our conference at the European Parliament on March 5th, we met Dr Stefano Felician, policy advisor to the EFDD (Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy) group. He also advises on various issues regarding the Korean Peninsula and showed a keen interest in PSCORE’s research on North Korean children’s rights as well as the abduction issue. Although it was a fairly short meeting, it was a productive one, where further collaboration could be anticipated.

Meeting with Polish Permanent Mission at the EU (6th March, 2019):
We met with the human rights advisor for the Polish Permanent Mission at the EU at the Polish Embassy in Brussels.
She was very eager to hear about recent developments regarding North Korean human rights. She said that the international community including Poland is highly interested in the human rights situation in North Korea so she welcomed this chance to gain more context with real facts.She particularly noted the importance of bringing forth personal stories of impacted families such as that of Mr Hwang and the KAL hijacking case. She promised to send on our message to her counterparts in Poland as it would be highly relevant material for their campaign at the UN Human Rights Council.

On March 6th, PSCORE met with a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from a Socialist Group, Arne Lietz. He showed a deep interest in issues brought up by us, especially the case of Mr. Hwang which he promoted through his social media on Twitter. Present at the meeting were also Jörgen SIIL (Political Advisor, Group of Socialists & Democrats), Greg Scarlatoiu (HRNK) and Amanda Oh (HRNK). Each group presented their topics, with HRNK focusing on political prison camps and PSCORE presenting the KAL abduction case and more recent, the exile of Cho Gil Kil, the ambassador of Italy to North Korea. Some of the members at the meeting did not know about the missing ambassador.

The issues of child rights abuses were reported separately to Jörgen SIIL after the meeting hours. As those are important matters at the European Parliament, they will be included in the resolution, and PSCORE’s report was recognized to be a unique one. The meeting was organized by Zsuzsa FERENCZY who made her first introduction and then commented on the press conference on March 6th.