UN’s North Korea human rights expert schedules official visit to region

The UN’s specialist on human rights in North Korea will visit South Korea and Japan from December 11-16, in the context of heightened tensions in North-East Asia.

“I will use this mission to gather information on the latest developments in the human rights situation in North Korea and identify issues of concern that should be brought to the attention of the Human Rights Council,” said Tomás Ojea Quintana, the Special Rapporteur on human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

[North Korea] itself has not granted access to the Special Rapporteur since the mandate was created in 2004, but has recently opened up to dialogue with other UN mechanisms in areas such as the situation of women, children and people with disabilities.

Tensions in North-East Asia have increased after North Korea conducted numerous missile launches in 2017, and carried out what it said was a hydrogen bomb test in September. Resolutions by the UN General Assembly and Security Council strongly condemned these tests, and international sanctions against the DPRK were strengthened.

Mr. Quintana will spend 11-14 December in the Republic of Korea before moving on to Japan on 15-16 December. He will present his next report to the Human Rights Council in March 2018.

[UN Human Rights Council]

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