In the News – King to visit Brussels for discussions on NK human rights
By Lee Chi-dong
WASHINGTON, May 25 (Yonhap) — A U.S. envoy will travel to Brussels next week to discuss North Korean human rights with the European Union, the State Department announced Friday.
Amb. Robert King, the special envoy for North Korean human rights issues, will participate in the European Parliament subcommittee on the human rights situation in North Korea on Tuesday, the department said in a press release.
King also plans to meet with officials from the European Parliament, the European External Action Service, nongovernmental organizations and countries that share their deep concerns about the human rights situation in the communist nation, it added.
King is scheduled to return to Washington on Thursday after the three-day trip.
Earlier this week, the department issued a far-reaching report on the human rights record in 199 nations, including North Korea, which it graded as “extremely poor.”
(Reuters) – A U.N. Security Council sanctions committee on Wednesday added three North Korean state companies to a U.N. blacklist of firms banned from international trade in response to Pyongyang’s rocket launch last month.
The decision by the Security Council’s North Korea sanctions committee came after China consented to sanctions on the trio of companies. It falls far short of the roughly 40 firms the United States, European Union, South Korea and Japan had wanted to blacklist after Pyongyang’s launch.
The newly blacklisted firms are “very significant North Korean entities” involved in Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said. Continue reading →
In the News – U.S., allies urge sanctions for North Korea firms; China resists
(Reuters) – The United States, European Union, South Korea and Japan have submitted a list of about 40 North Korean companies to the U.N. Security Council’s sanctions committee for possible blacklisting due to Pyongyang’s recent rocket launch, envoys said on Tuesday.
The committee, which includes all 15 Security Council members, received an initial response from China that it would only consent to adding two entities to the U.N. list of banned North Korean firms, which the United States and its allies see as too few, envoys told Reuters on the condition of anonymity.
“The U.S., Europeans, Japan and ROK (South Korea) have together produced a list of around 40 entities to be designated by the 1718 Committee,” a senior diplomat told Reuters. “The challenge remains as usual squarely on PRC (China).”
The United States was continuing to press China to allow more North Korean firms to be sanctioned, envoys said. Continue reading →
In Seoul Train, often the Chinese government did not seem to consider the North Korean defectors as eligible for asylum. Therefore, I will first clarify the definition of refugee and asylum-seeker as stated by the United Nations Refugee Agency. According to the 1951 Refugee Convention that established the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, “a refugee is someone who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his [or her] nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself [or herself] of the protection of that country,” and an asylum seeker is “someone who says he or she is a refugee, but whose claim has not yet been definitively evaluated.”