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North Korean Human Rights: Recommendations for the Obama Administration and the U.S. Congress

Recorded on April 30, 2009

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

North Korea is one of the world's most brutal and blatant violators of human rights. The U.S. Department of State's annual human rights report cites extrajudicial killings, disappearances, arbitrary detention, political prisoners, harsh and life threatening prison conditions, torture, forced abortions, and babies being killed upon birth in prisons. Punishment for political crimes is often inflicted upon generations of relatives and repatriated refugees are treated harshly.

The advent of a new U.S. administration provides the opportunity for a forward-looking policy-oriented discussion on North Korean human rights. Is pushing progress on North Korean human rights a threat to attaining North Korean denuclearization? Should the U.S. advocate a Helsinki Process approach toward Pyongyang? Are forceful U.S. Government public denunciations of North Korean human rights abuses helpful or counter-productive? Is the North Korean Human Rights Act sufficient or should the Congress adopt additional measures or implement an alternative approach? To what degree should the U.S. press China to facilitate the transit of North Korean refugees to South Korea? Are there lessons to be drawn from the Bush Administration approach toward North Korean human rights abuses?

Join us as our panel of experts discusses U.S. policy towards North Korea in the human rights arena, covering these topics and more.

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

North Korea is one of the world's most brutal and blatant violators of human rights. The U.S. Department of State's annual human rights report cites extrajudicial killings, disappearances, arbitrary detention, political prisoners, harsh and life threatening prison conditions, torture, forced abortions, and babies being killed upon birth in prisons. Punishment for political crimes is often inflicted upon generations of relatives and repatriated refugees are treated harshly.

The advent of a new U.S. administration provides the opportunity for a forward-looking policy-oriented discussion on North Korean human rights. Is pushing progress on North Korean human rights a threat to attaining North Korean denuclearization? Should the U.S. advocate a Helsinki Process approach toward Pyongyang? Are forceful U.S. Government public denunciations of North Korean human rights abuses helpful or counter-productive? Is the North Korean Human Rights Act sufficient or should the Congress adopt additional measures or implement an alternative approach? To what degree should the U.S. press China to facilitate the transit of North Korean refugees to South Korea? Are there lessons to be drawn from the Bush Administration approach toward North Korean human rights abuses?

Join us as our panel of experts discusses U.S. policy towards North Korea in the human rights arena, covering these topics and more.