A United Nation's commission has issued a report after a year-long study of the human rights situation in North Korea. The commission calls the ill treatment "unspeakable atrocities" and equates the treatment of mostly North Korean citizens by their own government as "strikingly similar" to the atrocities done by the Nazis in Germany and the Nazi-occupied countries of Europe.
According to the Chair of the panel, Michael Kirby, "At the end of the Second World War, so many people said, 'If only we had known, if only we had known the wrongs that were done in the countries of the hostile forces.' Well, now the international community does know...there will be no excusing the failure of action because we didn't know," Kirby said, holding up a copy of the report.
In addition, Kirby places some blame China's way. According to the report, China may be, "aiding and abetting crimes against humanity" with its policy of forcibly repatriating North Koreans who fled across its borders.
My question is, will anybody actually DO anything? After all, North Korea has nuclear weapons. China is involved, with whom the United States continues a cozy, complex business relationship. And, of course, North Korea has no great quantity of oil or natural gas reserves under its territory.
So why should the world care? Is concern about human rights only rhetoric unless there is relatively little risk in taking action, and there is an expectation of the reward of getting more fossil fuel resources in the end?
The full story may be found on the MSN website, today, February 17, 2014.