South Korea Makes Rare Public Criticism of North’s Rights Record

  • North Korea uses public executions to strike fear into its public and tramples over the freedom of its people, South Korea said in a report on human rights abuses by its neighbor almost certain to draw Pyongyang’s anger.
  • The findings were in a report put out on 30 Mar by South Korea’s Unification Ministry, marking the first time Seoul has publicly released its government assessment of North Korea’s human rights record. The move is aimed at putting pressure on Pyongyang as it ratchets up security tensions to levels not seen in years.
  • “The right to life of North Korean citizens is being greatly threatened by the authorities,” according to report that included interviews with more than 500 North Koreans defectors.
  • Public executions are being carried out in large numbers by Kim Jong Un’s regime to punish people for crimes such as drug offenses, distribution of South Korean videos and being involved in religious movements, the report said. North Korean citizens face limitations on freedom of expression and discrimination based on social status, it added.
  • President Yoon Suk Yeol has pushed for a tougher line against the neighbor to the north and stepped up joint military exercises with the US. This marks a change from the previous president, Moon Jae-in, who sought rapprochement with Pyongyang and avoided topics such as human rights abuses that could hurt chances for talks with Kim.
  • Lawmakers in Moon’s ruling party have also stepped up the condemnation of North Korea for spending heavily on its nuclear arms programs instead of addressing a chronic food shortage.

External Link :