DPR Korea: Human Rights Situation – Press Conference (22 October 2021)

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United Nations published this video item, entitled “DPR Korea: Human Rights Situation – Press Conference (22 October 2021)” – below is their description.

“DPR Korea has never been more isolated from the international community than at this point in time,” said Friday (22 Oct) the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DPRK, adding that the isolation is having “a dramatic impact on the human rights of the people inside of the country and dampens hopes of achieving sustainable peace and security on the Korean peninsula.”

Tomas Ojea Quintana, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is in New York to brief the UN General Assembly.

According to Quintana, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, “over 40 percent of the people were food insecure, with many suffering from malnutrition and stunted growth.”

In addition, the country’s health infrastructure “suffers from underinvestment with critical shortages of essential medical supplies, and the absence of equipment and adequately trained staff. The lack of access to safe water, sanitation and hygienic services at home, schools and hospitals also underpins many health and nutritional issues,” said Quintana.

“The draconian steps that the DPR Korea state has taken to prevent COVID-19 from entering include a policy of shooting individuals who attempt to enter or leave the country,” the Special Rapporteur.

Isolation shutting of national borders have shocked the job markets and made harder for people to access “basic necessities,” according to Quintana.

“People’s access to food is a priority concern,” he underlined.

“The people of North Korea should not have to choose between the fear of hunger, and the fear of COVID-19,” Quintana said. “The DPR Korea must initiate a dual track approach of addressing long standing human rights issues, and re engaging with international community.”

He noted that “while the people of North Korea are facing shortages and collapse in their livelihoods, the state continues with its missile launches and with a wider region veers towards an arms race,” and urged “all relevant parties to take steps towards finding a peaceful resolution of the long-standing conflict on the Korean peninsula.”

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