Saenuri representative presses Thae Yong Ho on past human rights inquiry

Bae Min Kwon, intern  |  2017-01-02 09:55

Representative Ha Tae Kyung of the Saenuri Party asked a series of questions to Thae Yong Ho, North Korea's former deputy ambassador to the UK, via a Facebook post on December 28. The post read, "I would like to ask Mr. Thae if he had made reports to Kim Jong Un about the list of North Korean victims of human rights violations which I submitted to the North Korean embassy in UK in 2009 with defector Jong Kwang Il who had escaped from Yodok concentration camp," further adding, "Mr. Thae was working at the embassy at the time, so he must have been in charge of dealing with the list. I will make sure to ask him about the list in person when I meet him."

This seems to be intended as a follow-up, after Thae emphasized the importance of international pressure on North Korea after describing the severe reality of North Korea's human rights violations during a press conference held in on December 27 in Seoul. 

During the press conference, Thae stated, "There is not a single country that approves of North Korea's human rights issue. The most frequent question I received was, 'Do you think North Korea is an egalitarian society?' North Korea will inevitably be put on the defensive in a debate over the human rights issue."

"It is not easy for North Koreans to understand the concepts of ICC or human rights. But they will be greatly interested if they hear that Kim Jong Un will be tried at the international court. It will be a direct sign that Kim Jong Un is a criminal and his regime has no future," Thae added.

The press conference was the first public press meeting involving a high-ranking North Korean defector in 20 years since the last event with Hwang Jang Yop, a former Korean Workers' Party secretary, in 1997.

*Translated by Yejie Kim
*Edited by Lee Farrand

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