Talking Points: North Korea — Human Rights and Religious Freedom

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North Korea’s dictatorship, the Pyongyang regime, is considered by the free world to be a brutal one that has turned North Korea into a vast gulag.

  • Satellite pictures verify the concentration camps and gulags in North Korea.
  • The world knows what is happening there and yet has done virtually nothing.
  • More than 200,000 prisoners are barely surviving or dying.

Kim Jong Il is now considered the world’s worst totalitarian dictator.

  • His army is one of the largest in the world.
  • He has created a “personality cult” following the death of his father, Kim Il Sung.
  • He is blackmailing the world – nuclear weapons, long-range missiles – exports weaponry and military technology.
  • He is known to be producing weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
  • His “centrally planned economy” based on what they call “juche” – a blend of nationalism and self-reliance – has caused famine and killed millions.
  • He is willing to “liquidate” his own people if they waver in their loyalty to his absolute rule.

In Beijing, six-way talks have North Korea facing the United States, South Korea, Russia, China and Japan.

  • Basic problem – The U.S. is considering financial support for the Pyongyang regime in exchange for promises to curb its WMD programs.
  • President Bush just authorized the U.S. negotiators to offer incentives to North Korea so that the regime will surrender its nuclear weapons. In return, North Korea would get financial aid and a lifting of economic sanctions from the U.S. North Korea would get oil from China, Russia, Japan and South Korea and will promise not to attack them.
  • Skeptics are saying North Korea will likely wait to negotiate after the United States presidential election — hoping to deal with someone besides President Bush after November.
  • Skeptics are also saying that North Korea is NOT likely to deal right now because South Korea and China are both playing ball with them currently. Thus, there is no pressure for North Korea to make concessions.
  • In the current negotiations, there is no mention of human-rights or religious-freedom demands!
  • North Korea MUST open its WMD programs for inspection and renounce their use against other nations.
  • North Korea MUST quit sending WMD to other nations (there is evidence the regime sent raw uranium to Libya, but it can’t be proven yet).
  • It’s appropriate for the U.S. to get a commitment about WMDs and in exchange make binding military reciprocal agreements.
  • But NO financial assistance should be forthcoming unless there is also an agreement that the North Korea regime will discontinue its human rights and religious freedom abuses against its own people – it is not enough to agree NOT to export terrorism; the regime must also agree NOT to continue committing terrorism within its own nation.
  • These are moral issues – human rights issues!
  • Prisoners are being used as guinea pigs in WMD experiments!
  • If there were photos so that people would know what is happening – like in Abu Grarib – there would be worldwide outrage.
  • Problems in South Korea
  • Students in South Korea think that the United States is the enemy (not North Korea).
  • Thousands of North Korean refugees try escaping into South Korea and China — they tell horror stories, but national policies do not offer the refugees a haven.
  • China won’t recognize them and sends them back.
  • South Korea has “sunshine laws” that produce concession and appeasement.
  • North Korean defectors find it hard to live in South Korea because they can’t find people to believe their stories.
  • Michael Moore and his ilk define the United States for many young people who have very little understanding of the Korean War or the United States’ role in their nation’s history.

North Korea Human Rights Act – S. 1903 and S. 2609

  • Major legislation that focuses on the human rights abuses
  • Governs the humanitarian aid so that it can’t be abused

U.N. Commission on Human Rights – has criticized North Korea only twice for its human rights violations and was ignored both times!

Democratic nations of the world must unite against these atrocities! The United States must:

  • make no concessions to a totalitarian dictator;
  • clearly state that basic human rights are integral to any relationship and to any agreement between the nations; and
  • make unwavering demands from a position of strength.

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