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N. Korea Could Face Prosecution For 'Crimes Against Humanity' 325

An anonymous reader writes with this news from The Telegraph: "North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, has been warned that he could face prosecution for crimes against humanity after a United Nations inquiry accused him of some of the worst human rights abuses since the Second World War. In some of the harshest criticism ever unleashed by the international community against the Pyongyang regime, a UN panel branded it 'a shock to the conscience of humanity.' Michael Kirby, a retired Australian judge who has spent nearly a year taking testimony from victims of the regime, said much of it reminded him of atrocities perpetrated by Nazi Germany and Pol Pot's Cambodia. Yesterday his team published a 374-page report detailing allegations of murder, torture, rape, abductions, enslavement, and starvation, describing North Korea as a dictatorship 'that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world.' In a bid to put pressure on Kim Jong-un, 31, Mr Kirby has taken the unusual step of writing to the North Korean leader to warn him that both he and hundreds of his henchmen could one day face prosecution." More at the BBC, including a cache of the report.
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N. Korea Could Face Prosecution For 'Crimes Against Humanity'

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  • by Premo_Maggot ( 864012 ) * <> on Tuesday February 18, 2014 @12:03PM (#46276039) Homepage
    We know this has been going on.....why is the UN bothering now and what could they possibly do that they're not doing now?
  • by Austerity Empowers ( 669817 ) on Tuesday February 18, 2014 @12:08PM (#46276081)

    Certainly cheaper than marching in there and slapping some cuffs on him (or a noose on his neck)!

    Anyway I'm sure they're bad, but someone else can take the reigns on this one. Team America, World Police needs to retire.

  • Re:Depends on China (Score:5, Interesting)

    by j-turkey ( 187775 ) on Tuesday February 18, 2014 @12:40PM (#46276459) Homepage

    You nailed it, DPRK is very much dependent on China for support. I don't fully understand why China wants to keep DPRK in power either, but I can shed a bit of light on the issue. You mentioned China's desire for a buffer between their borders and a westernized and America-friendly South Korea, this is a major issue. Another huge issue is that if the North Korean regime fails, China will have millions of refugees crossing its eastern border into areas that are already less stable than they would like. These areas have not developed at a rate consistent with the larger Chinese cities, and millions of Korean refugees would be a huge burden on those areas, threatening the regional stability - which is a hot-button issue for China.

    I can't say that any country is immune from supporting regimes where atrocities exist when it supports their interests...but it doesn't stop me from being frustrated with China for supporting a failed regime like DPRK.

  • by bhcompy ( 1877290 ) on Tuesday February 18, 2014 @12:50PM (#46276623)
    Well, that's the thing. Kim killed the family member that had the tightest ties with China, so the only reason this letter got out is probably because China said they would go along with it
  • Re:Depends on China (Score:2, Interesting)

    by oodaloop ( 1229816 ) on Tuesday February 18, 2014 @01:13PM (#46276933)
    China needs a friendly nation in charge of the Korean Peninsulsa in order to miantain access to the sea. Take a look at a map of China's coast. Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Philippines, and numerous small U.S. controlled islands dominate their border and shipping lanes. They have a large coast, but most of it is not in their control. If North Korea became hostile to China, they would lose a lof of naval power. They are going to do everything possible to hold onto this strip of land.
  • by Tailhook ( 98486 ) on Tuesday February 18, 2014 @01:36PM (#46277289)

    There is history here. History teaches us that scrutiny and criticism from other nations does, in fact, make an important difference.

    Many Soviet dissidents survived because killing them would have made maintaining the fig leaf of Soviet respectability impossible for the western Left. The Soviets did not wish to be a pariah state; they had to tolerate a degree of dissent and eventually this allowed satellite nations like Poland to develop a genuine resistance.

    N. Korea appears to be directly immune to this sort of pressure, but China isn't. N. Korea needs a cadre of internationally recognized dissidents to destabilize the regime and the only thing that might allow them to survive is international pressure. Could a dissident survive in N. Korea in the near future? Not likely. But international pressure could permit a high profile N. Korean dissident to survive in China and create problems for the Chinese.

    You have to start somewhere. The rest of the planet has be copping out on N. Korea since the 50's. Couldn't hurt to change that. Their farcical nuclear capability not withstanding.

  • Re:first (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Jeremiah Cornelius ( 137 ) on Tuesday February 18, 2014 @02:07PM (#46277775) Homepage Journal

    There is NO "Israeli Palestinian Conflict".

    There is an Israeli boot, smashing a Palestinian face, forever.

    Contrary to what's been reported in the news for years, there is no Israeli-Palestinian conflict. None, zero, zilch, diddly-squat. I can say with confidence that Palestinians have no agency. The Israeli government controls everything in the country. This total control which is most magnified in the West Bank, concerns everything from where Palestinians are permitted to travel, to how much water they consume per month. Currently, there is no 'conflict,' only the omnipresent power of the Israeli government and those who resist it. This is important to understand. []

  • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Tuesday February 18, 2014 @06:25PM (#46280353) Journal

    Managing to nuke Seoul would be a catastrophe; huge loss of life, regional and indeed even global economic impact would be huge, and something tells me if the NK regime was actually collapsing, they would have no qualms about doing as much damage as they could to South Korea. The risks as far as regional stability are concerned are probably the chief reasons that China still backs them and even the US does its part by facilitating food shipments when the almost perpetual famines reach crisis level.

    There are no easy answers to North Korea. Regime collapse is in many ways more frightening than keeping it going. I really don't see an end in sight. The Kims have done something rather rare on the face of it; a multigenerational monarchical dictatorship; with a sort of absolutism that even the absolute monarchs of Europe could not have imagined. There seemed to be some during the transition between Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Un, and indeed by the looks of it many high ranking North Koreans thought so as well as they sought to increase business ties with China, but Kim Jong Il chose his heir well and the third Kim is as ruthless as his father or grandfather and has tamed the NK military machine to his will. I'd say any new hope of change is decades off now.

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