In the News – Int’l Pressure Growing Over N.Korean Human Rights

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In the News – Int’l Pressure Growing Over N.Korean Human Rights

The international community has taken one step further in addressing human rights issues in North Korea, from simply raising the problem to demanding changes from the governments of China and North Korea. Recent developments clearly reflect the change of mood.

The UN Human Rights Council addressed China’s repatriation of North Korean refugees in March, and the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees recently concluded that the wife and two daughters of a prominent South Korean activist are being unlawfully detained in the North.

The European Parliament on May 24 adopted a resolution urging the Chinese government to stop repatriating North Korean escapees and abandon a treaty with North Korea on border control signed in 1986. It also urges Beijing to release Kim Young-hwan, a South Korean activist, and his colleagues.

The European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights invited U.S. human rights ambassador Robert King and Kim Tae-jin of activist group Free the NK Gulag to a hearing on human rights in North Korea on Tuesday.

King is also scheduled to visit in South Korea on June 7 to exchange views on human rights condition in North Korea. He may also visit China.

Original article can be found here.

Original article can be found here.

In the News – North Korea suspected of jamming flight signals in South

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In the News – North Korea suspected of jamming flight signals in South

(Reuters) – More than 250 flights in and out of South Korea have experienced GPS signal jamming since the weekend, with North Korea high on the list of suspects, officials said on Wednesday.

Similar jamming in the past was traced to the reclusive North, which last month breached U.S. Security Council resolutions with a failed long-range rocket launch and was blamed for cyber attacks on South Korean financial institutions last year.

None of the flights, including 11 operated by foreign airlines, was in danger, the Transport Ministry said, with automatic switching of navigation to alternative systems.

“As it happened at the time of (military) drills in 2010 and 2011, we suspect North Korea was engaged in jamming signals,” a government official said.

Officials at the Korea Communications Commission declined to comment whether North Korea was the source of the signal jamming but said it had been identified as the culprit in at least one similar incident.

A Defence Ministry official declined to comment on the source of the jamming but said the military’s equipment had not been affected.

North Korea has stepped up its rhetoric against the South in recent weeks, hurling personal insults at South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and threatening to reduce the capital Seoul to ashes.

It is expected to conduct a third nuclear test any day, possibly using a uranium device which would infuriate neighbouring countries and the United States which have been involved in talks to try to rein in its nuclear weapons programme.

The threat of cyber war from North Korea is seen in the South, one of the world’s most wired countries, as increasing in sophistication.

News reports said North Korea operates vehicle-mounted jamming devices that can disrupt signals up to 100 km (60 miles) away and is developing systems with further reach.

 

Original article can be found here.

North Korean Human Rights Bill: What Happened?

Last month I wrote about the United Nation’s resolution for North Korean human rights. In this article I also mentioned South Korea’s attempt at a similar resolution, the North Korean Human Rights Act. The bill was first introduced in 2005, again in 2008, and yet again in 2011. When I wrote the article on the U.N. resolution, it was still unclear as to what the Korean National Assembly may decide to do with the bill. But with the term of the incumbent National Assembly coming to an end, it seems that the bill will once again be shoved into the dark and forgotten.

It looked as if there may finally be some hope for the bill when it was passed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and also by the Ministry of Unification back in February of last year. But that’s as far as it has gotten since then. Its passage was fervently blocked by opposition party leaders who were concerned that it might anger North Korea. Continue reading

In the News – South Korea passes resolution on North Korea refugees

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In the News – South Korea passes resolution on North Korea refugees

South Korean rights activists perform role of mock Chinese police and North Korean refugee outside the Chinese embassy in Seoul on 21 February, 2012

South Korean rights activists perform role of mock Chinese police and North Korean refugee outside the Chinese embassy in Seoul on 21 February, 2012

South Korea’s parliament has passed a resolution demanding that China stops the repatriation of North Korean refugees.

The move follows a string of protests over the fate of some 30 North Koreans who are reportedly facing deportation from China and harsh repercussions.

The resolution was backed by 154 lawmakers on Tuesday. Continue reading