Salmon, special rapporteur on human rights in North Korea: “No North Korean defector should be forcibly repatriated”

Elizabeth Salmon, UN Special Rapporteur on North Korean Human Rights, speaks at a press conference held at the President Hotel in Jung-gu, Seoul on the afternoon of the 2nd. /Photo = Daily NK

Elizabeth Salmon, the new UN special rapporteur on human rights in North Korea, who is visiting South Korea, emphasized that “any North Korean defector under any circumstances should not be subjected to forced repatriation.” This is an expression of the position that the Moon Jae-in government’s measures to forcibly repatriate two North Korean fishermen who expressed their intention to defect in November 2019 were not appropriate.

At a press conference held at the President Hotel in Jung-gu, Seoul on the afternoon of the 2nd, Rapporteur Salmon said, “The principle of prohibition of forced repatriation must be respected in any case.

He cited Article 3 of the UN Convention against Torture, which stipulates that expulsion, repatriation, or extradition to a country where there are large-scale and heinous human rights violations and there is a risk of torture. asserted that

Rapporteur Salmon expressed that he would continue to investigate and investigate cases related to forced repatriation in the future and work to resolve the issue.

In particular, he said he would actively engage in dialogue with the Chinese authorities if necessary to prevent forcible repatriation of North Korean defectors detained in China.

Rapporteur Salmon said, “I know that former Rapporteurs, including Rapporteur Thomas Ohea Quintana, also communicated directly with the Chinese government about the forced repatriation of North Korean refugees to the North. will race,” he said.

It is difficult to find a solution because the Chinese government is arguing that the principle of prohibition of forced repatriation cannot be applied because North Korean refugees are not refugees. Salmon’s story is that we can discuss it directly.

In the midst of this, North Korea slammed Rapporteur Salmon on the same day, saying that “the puppet of the United States is arguing with recklessness that infringes on national sovereignty.”

A spokesperson for the North Korean Foreign Ministry said in a question-and-answer session with a reporter from the Korean Central News Agency, “We will not tolerate the scheming of human rights against the DPRK at all,” the North Korean media reported.

When asked how he would evaluate being the target of direct criticism from the North Korean authorities, Rapporteur Salmon said, “I know that North Korea is opposed to all activities related to the improvement of human rights in North Korea by the international community, including my delegated powers, but I have stopped making efforts to improve human rights. “Rather, I hope that the North will work with me to open up opportunities and make small changes.”

Rapporteur Salmon, who began his term on August 1, visited Korea on the 27th of last month and met with government officials such as Foreign Minister Park Jin and Unification Minister Kwon Young-se to discuss ways to improve North Korean human rights. The general opinion of the situation was heard.

Rapporteur Salmon, who announced the results of his visit to South Korea at the press conference on the same day, said, “I think it is important to meet directly with the victims of human rights violations in North Korea and have conversations with them and focus on these discussions during my tenure as Special Rapporteur on human rights in North Korea.” “We will do our best to deepen our understanding of the difficulties and hardships of North Korean women and girls in particular, and to raise awareness of their human rights violations in the international community,” he said.

Rapporteur Salmon is scheduled to hold an interview with the bereaved families of the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries officials killed by the North Korean military in the West Sea on the 3rd, the last day of his visit to Korea, and the families of the abductees.

Source: DailyNK by

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