By Pat Buckley
The Washington Times reports today that a new U.N. Report, on North Korea, alleges that the Kim Jong-un regime has been guilty of crimes against humanity including forcing women to abort their babies or killing them after birth.
The Washington Times article follows
The North Korean regime is committing systematic and widespread human rights abuses, including forcing mothers to drown their newborn babies and setting up secret prison camps, a United Nations report released Monday found.
“The gravity, scale and nature of these violations reveal a State that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world,” the U.N. Commission on Inquiry says in the report, a damning indictment of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s regime.
The commission’s chairman, Michael Kirby, warned Mr. Kim in a letter that he could face trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague for crimes against humanity.
The commission documents crimes against humanity, including “extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence, persecution on political, religious, racial and gender grounds, the forcible transfer of populations, the enforced disappearance of persons and the inhumane act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation.”
“Crimes against humanity are ongoing in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea because the policies, institutions and patterns of impunity that lie at their heart remain in place,” it added.
The 372-page report is based on evidence provided at public hearings by around 80 victims and witnesses in Seoul, Tokyo, London and Washington. More than 240 confidential interviews were conducted with victims and other witnesses.
North Korean women repatriated from China were forced to undergo abortions if they were found to be pregnant, because it was believed they could be carrying babies conceived by Chinese men. The women are not asked about the ethnicity of the child’s father, the report says.
One witness saw seven women given injections to induce abortions. In most cases, guards at the detention facilities “force either the mother or a third person to kill the baby by drowning it in water or suffocating it by holding a cloth or other item against its face or putting the baby face down so that it cannot breathe,” the report says.
Mr. Kirby urged the international community to take North Korea to task over his commission’s report.
“We should be ashamed if we do not act on this report,” he said in Geneva on Monday.
The Obama administration strongly welcomed the report, said State Department spokesman Marie Harf.
The report “provides compelling evidence of widespread, systematic, and grave human rights violations” by the North Korea, Ms. Harf said.
“The [commission’s] report reflects the international community’s consensus view that the human rights situation in the D.P.R.K. is among the world’s worst,” she added, using the formal name for North Korea.
The commission will formally present its findings to the Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 17.
Editor’s note. Pat Buckley is executive director of European Life Network. This appeared at europeanlifenetwork.blogspot.ie.