Human Rights in North Koreaby Representative Danny K. Davis
Posted on 2013-12-11
in the house of representatives
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Mr. DANNY K. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I rise to call attention
to the human rights situation in North Korea. We all remain hopeful
that the transition to the leadership of Kim Jong-Un has created new
possibilities but we are well aware that there remain fundamental human
rights violations in North Korea and humanitarian conditions in North
Korea remain deplorable. I believe it is fair to say that the findings
in the 2004 North Korean Human Rights Act and 2008 and 2012
Reauthorizations remain substantially accurate today. That is not just
my opinion, it was the bi-partisan consensus of this Congress when it
reauthorized the North Korean Human Rights Act until 2017.
Mr. Speaker, we know that democracy, economic growth and human development are intimately linked and perhaps nowhere is that more evident than the comparison of North and South Korea. South Korea has taken the path toward more democracy, more human rights, more education, higher living standards and economic self-sufficiency. North Korea has shunned that road . . . and the results of those policies are now glaringly evident. Perhaps even more relevant in today's world is the link of democracy and economic growth to peace. South Korea is not only a major trading partner but an ally in the region while North Korea remains a major source of regional and global instability and insecurity.
Mr. Speaker, the United States has one of the largest Korean populations outside of the Korean Peninsula with millions who have family ties to North Korea and the Seventh Congressional District has its share of the Korean diaspora. Like so many of my constituents, I believe the U.S. must continue its commitment to aid North Korean refugees and advocate for the human rights of the North Korean people. We share the pain of those who have been deprived of these most basic rights and the suffering of those who live in miserable conditions and look forward to the day when the Korean leadership will provide transparency in the delivery of humanitarian assistance, and guarantee the rights of those who seek refuge abroad.
I want to thank my constituent Mr. David Chang, a consistent advocate of human rights, for helping to maintain a focus on this critical issue.