Park thanks U.N. panel on N.K. human rights

By Korea Herald
  • Published : May 30, 2014 - 21:07
  • Updated : May 30, 2014 - 21:07
President Park Geun-hye on Friday expressed her gratitude to the former chairman of a U.N. investigative panel on human rights in North Korea, for letting the world know about atrocities carried out by the communist regime.

“The report released in February has raised international awareness on human rights issues in North Korea,” Park said at a meeting with Michael Kirby, former head of the Commission of Inquiry launched by the U.N. Human Rights Council, at the presidential office in Seoul.

“I am grateful that the chairman and other members of the commission made a great deal of effort to come up with the report,” she said.

Kirby, the former Australian High Court judge, chaired the United Nations inquiry into human rights abuses in North Korea. The panel concluded its mission on March 31.

After a yearlong investigation, the U.N. inquiry concluded that the North Korean regine had committed grave crimes against humanity without “parallel in the contemporary world.” The panel in its report urged the U.N. Security Council to refer leaders of the communist regime to the International Criminal Court. North Korea has dismissed the report as fabricated.

President Park stressed that the U.N. panel has conducted a thorough investigation into “crimes against humanity” with detailed points and recommendations.

The entire report will be translated into Korean by a state-run research institute on unification for South Koreans to learn about the human rights conditions in the North, she said.

“Our people can learn about the situation in North Korea (through) the defectors’ testimony. And I hope North Korean residents will recognize the international community’s efforts in (shedding light) on their human rights being violated and forfeited,” she said.

Kirby arrived in Seoul for a three-day visit on the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

By Cho Chung-un (