Edward R. Royce, the U.S. Congressman, wrote to U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary
Clinton, last December urging her to support the creation of a
Commission of Inquiry in to human rights abuses in North Korea.
Congressman Royce has previously sponsored several bills related to
human rights in North Korea including last year's North Korea Human
Rights Reauthorization Act.
the letter to the Secretary of State, Congressman Royce urged for her
support in the creation of a Commission of Inquiry at the forthcoming
UN Human Rights Council session taking place in March.
Congressman describes North Korea as one of the worst human rights
and humanitarian disasters on the planet. He outlined the current
situation in the political prison camps by writing that approximately
200,000 inmates are currently held in these camps. He also said that
approximately 400,000 had died in the camps in the last 30 years.
with the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in North Korea's
assessment that a Commission of Inquiry is necessary, Congressman
Royce urged the Secretary of State to, "escalate the monitoring
of North Korea's human rights records to match the regime's horrific
abuses." He also said that it must be made clear that the
international community know about these abuses and that the
violations constitute crimes against humanity.
the regime is not showing outward signs of improving its human rights
record, the Congressman said that now is an ideal time for pursuing
the regime to hold them account for their crimes against humanity.
He said that now is particularly appropriate because China, Russia,
and Cuba – traditional obstacles to any mechanisms for inquiry in
to human rights abuses in North Korea – are not members of the UN
Human Rights Council this year.
Congressman concludes by saying that it is imperative that the regime
knows that the world is watching and acknowledging the crimes against
humanity in North Korea.