Firstly, thank you for giving me this great opportunity to speak. I, as a North Korean defector, am very impressed by the presentation of Special Rapporteur Mr. Darusman, and would like to commend him on his extensive findings.
The establishment of a Commission of Inquiry into human rights abuses in the DPRK particularly highlights the sustained and earnest work of the UN. Though these efforts are certainly commendable, this is but a stepping stone in the right direction.
The suffering of North Korean people is not a result of environmental factors; instead these issues are deeply rooted in the DPRK’s oppressive political structures. If North Korean people had at least the freedom of movement and the freedom to economic activity, the large-scale tragedies of starvation and
malnutrition often touched upon would not be as grave.
According to our investigation, in March 2009 two homeless children ages 15 and 16 were accused of stealing and selling public telephone wire and publicly executed in Musan market place. This is not only a violation of international law but failure of the DPRK’s claim that “the sentence of death is not imposed for
a crime committed by persons below eighteen years of age” in its 2009 UPR report.
The biggest obstacle will be the attitude of the DPRK regarding the Commission of Inquiry. It is certainly a difficult challenge, but I am sure your continuous attention on North Korean human rights will have a significant impact.