Maintaining international pressure on Pyongyang is crucial in moving North Korea to improve its behavior and to better human rights conditions inside its borders, diplomats from the United States, the Republic of Korea and Japan said at a Heritage Foundation forum this past week.
Speaking at the Washington, D.C., event, Ahn Ho-young, South Korea’s ambassador to the United States, said, “Much of the leverage is held by China” in addition to the three allies and Russia.
The U.N. Commission of Inquiry on human rights in North Korea “shocked the international conscience,” Ahn said, when it released its report on conditions there in February 2014. He added that only 17 of the 108 non-aligned nations in the United Nations supported Pyongyang by not approving the report’s recommendations for inspections, further isolating the regime diplomatically.
U.N. inspectors “need to be given access to North Korea” to understand how dire the situation is,” Sasae said. International concerns about the regime’s actions “are not only limited to nuclear and missile issues.”