Situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea - Report of the Secretary-General (A/74/268)

Report
from UN General Assembly
Published on 02 Aug 2019 View Original

Seventy-fourth session
Item 72 (c) of the provisional agenda*
Promotion and protection of human rights: human rights situations and reports of special rapporteurs and representatives

Summary

The present report is submitted pursuant to General Assembly resolution 73/180 on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. It provides an overview of the human rights situation in the country from September 2018 to July 2019 and the Government’s engagement with the United Nations in that regard.

I. Introduction

  1. The present report is submitted pursuant to General Assembly resolution 73/180 on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and provides an update on the human rights situation in the country since September 2018, when the Secretary-General reported to the Assembly at its seventy-third session (see A/73/308). It is focused on the rights to life, liberty and security of the person, and the right to a fair trial; the right to freedom of movement; the rights to freedom of expression, access to information, and freedom of association and peaceful assembly, and democratic rights; the issues of international abductions and separated families; and the right to an adequate standard of living.

II. Political context

  1. Following the inter-Korean summits in April and May 2018, a third summit was held from 18 to 20 September 2018 in Pyongyang. The outcome declaration included a commitment to normalize the Kaesong industrial complex and the Mount Kumgang tourism project and to discuss the formation of a “west coast joint special economic zone” and an “east coast joint special tourism zone”. There was agreement to “strengthen humanitarian cooperation to fundamentally resolve the issue of separated families”, including through the opening of a “permanent facility” for family reunion meetings in the Kumgang area “at an early date” and to give priority to “resolving the issue of video reunions and exchange of video messages between the separated families”.3. In the joint declaration, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea made a commitment to “permanently dismantle the Dongchang-ri missile engine test site and launch platform under the observation of experts from relevant countries ”, and expressed its willingness to “continue to take additional measures”, such as the “permanent dismantlement of the nuclear facilities in Yongbyon” as the United States of America takes “corresponding measures”. Furthermore, the two sides agreed to “cooperate closely in the process of pursuing complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula”.

  2. A summit between the leaders of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the United States was held on 27 and 28 February 2019 in Hanoi, which ended with no agreement. The President of the Republic of Korea, Moon Jae -in, subsequently reiterated his goal of continuing reconciliation efforts on the Korean Peninsula.

  3. From 7 to 10 January and in June 2019, the Democratic People ’s Republic of Korea and China held their fourth and fifth summits since March 2018. China reiterated its support for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the establishment of a peace regime and the resolving of issues through talks.

  4. On 25 April, the first summit since 2011 was held between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation in Vladivostok, Russian Federation, with discussions focused on the establishment of peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and in the wider region, denuclearization, sanctions and economic cooperation.