29.1.2016   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 36/123


P7_TA(2013)0096

Nuclear threats and human rights in North Korea

European Parliament resolution of 14 March 2013 on nuclear threats and human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (2013/2565(RSP))

(2016/C 036/19)

The European Parliament,

having regard to its previous resolutions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK),

having regard to the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions of 18 February 2013 on the DPRK,

having regard to the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013), 825 (1993), 1540 (2004), 1695 (2006) and 1887 (2009),

having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to all relevant international human rights instruments, including the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, adopted and ratified by the DPRK,

having regard to the 1984 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment,

having regard to the relevant resolutions of the UN Human Rights Council, notably that adopted by consensus on 19 March 2012 on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,

having regard to the report of 1 February 2013 by the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Marzuki Darusman,

having regard to Rule 110(2) and (4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.

whereas the Council of the European Union and the UN Security Council condemned the DPRK’s launch of 12 December 2012, which used ballistic missile technology, and the nuclear test conducted on 12 February 2013, which clearly violates its international obligations under the UN Security Council resolutions and poses a serious threat to regional and international peace and security;

B.

whereas the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery represents a threat to international peace and security; whereas the DPRK withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 2003, has been conducting nuclear tests since 2006 and officially declared in 2009 that it had developed a nuclear weapon; whereas the pursuit of illegal nuclear and ballistic missile programmes constitutes a challenge to the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and risks aggravating regional tensions;

C.

whereas this does not serve the DPRK’s claimed objective of improving its security; whereas the country, with its military-focused economy, is far from achieving its stated goal of becoming a strong and prosperous nation and has instead increasingly isolated and impoverished its people through its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery;

D.

whereas the DPRK recently retracted from the Korean Armistice Treaty with the Republic of Korea and cut the hotline between Pyongyang and Seoul; whereas the Korean Peninsula has already faced tensions and military confrontation for decades; whereas the EU strongly supports the idea of a nuclear-free Korean peninsula, and considers the resumption of the Six-Party Talks to be essential for peace and stability in the region;

E.

whereas the DPRK regime has not cooperated with the UN and has rejected all UN Human Rights Council and General Assembly resolutions regarding human rights in North Korea; whereas it has failed to cooperate with the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the country, and has rejected all assistance from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights;

F.

whereas the European Union is a defender and promoter of human rights and democracy in the world; whereas the human rights situation and the humanitarian situation in the DPRK remain deeply alarming; whereas the DPRK Government does not allow any political opposition, free and fair elections, free media, religious freedom, freedom of association, collective bargaining or freedom of movement;

G.

whereas the justice system is subservient to the state, while the death penalty is in force for a broad range of crimes against the state and is extended periodically under the criminal code, with citizens, including children, being forced to witness public executions; whereas the DPRK state authorities systematically perpetrate extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detention and disappearances, including in the form of abductions of foreign nationals, interning more than 200 000 people in prison and ‘re-education’ camps;

H.

whereas the people of the DPRK have been exposed to decades of under-development, with poor health care and high levels of maternal and child malnutrition, in a context of political and economic isolation, recurrent natural disasters and international increases in food and fuel prices; whereas large parts of the population suffer from starvation and are, to a large extent, dependent on international food aid; whereas mass food shortages and famine have significant implications for a wide spectrum of human rights; whereas tens of thousands of North Koreans have fled to China, leaving their country because of widespread hunger and repression;

Nuclear threats

1.

Condemns the nuclear tests and missile activities carried out by the DPRK, and urges it to refrain from further provocative actions by suspending all activities related to its ballistic missile programme and abandoning, in a complete and irreversible manner, the existing nuclear programmes; calls on the DPRK to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty without delay;

2.

Condemns the official announcement by the DPRK that the country reserves its right to carry out a pre-emptive nuclear strike; calls on the DPRK to abide by the Charter of the United Nations, which obliges its Members to refrain from the threat or use of force against any other state;

3.

Deplores the fact that the DPRK has scrapped the non-aggression pact with the Republic of Korea, closed its hotline with Seoul and shut their shared border point, placing its front-line troops on alert for a potential war; welcomes the further strengthening of sanctions by the Council and the UN Security Council vote of 7 March 2013 following the most recent nuclear test; calls on the DPRK to choose a constructive path by engaging with the international community, which would be conducive to regional stability and improve the welfare of the North Korean people;

4.

Urges the DPRK to re-establish its pre-existing commitments to a moratorium on missile launches and to rejoin the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which is the cornerstone of the nuclear non-proliferation regime and the foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament and the peaceful use of nuclear energy; underlines the need to intensify efforts to strengthen the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons; recalls the final statement of the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference expressing ‘deep concern at the catastrophic consequences of any use of nuclear weapons’ and reaffirming ‘the need for all States at all times to comply with applicable international law, including international humanitarian law’;

5.

Affirms its desire for a diplomatic and political solution to the DPRK nuclear issue; reiterates its support for the Six-Party Talks and calls for their resumption; urges all the participants in the Six-Party Talks to intensify their efforts; calls on the DPRK to re-engage constructively with the international community, and in particular the members of the Six-Party Talks, in order to work towards lasting peace and security on a nuclear-free Korean peninsula and as the best means to secure a more prosperous and stable future for the DPRK;

6.

Calls on the People’s Republic of China — a permanent member of the UN Security Council and the DPRK’s main trading ally — to exert its influence over the DPRK to ensure that the situation does not escalate further, and notes the support of the People’s Republic of China for UN Security Council resolution 2094 (2013); notes the consensus among the members of the UN Security Council reacting to the recent nuclear test by the DPRK;

7.

Underlines in this context the need to intensify worldwide efforts towards nuclear disarmament; calls for interim and confidence-building measures;

Human rights

8.

Expresses its deepest concern over the deteriorating human rights situation in the DPRK, which has been described by past and present UN Special Rapporteurs for North Korea as being in a category of its own, as egregious, widespread and systematic, and as possibly amounting to crimes against humanity; calls on the DPRK to engage in a meaningful dialogue on human rights with the European Union;

9.

Calls on the Government of the DPRK to fulfil its obligations under the human rights instruments to which it is a party, and to ensure that humanitarian organisations, independent human rights monitors and the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DPRK have access to the country and are provided with the necessary cooperation;

10.

Welcomes the establishment of a UN Commission of Inquiry on the DPRK, as proposed by the European Union and Japan;

11.

Calls on the government to declare a moratorium on all executions, with a view to abolishing the death penalty in the near future; calls on the DPRK to put an end to extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, to release political prisoners and to allow its citizens to travel freely, both within and outside the country; calls on the DPRK to allow free expression and press freedom for national and international media, and to allow its citizens uncensored access to the internet;

12.

Expresses its particular concern about the severity of the food situation the country is facing and its impact on the economic, social and cultural rights of the population; calls on the Commission to maintain existing humanitarian aid programmes and channels of communication with the DPRK, and to secure their safe delivery to the targeted parts of the population; calls on the DPRK authorities to ensure access for all citizens to food and humanitarian assistance on the basis of need, in accordance with humanitarian principles;

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13.

Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Council, the Commission, the EU Special Representative on Human Rights, the Government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Government of the Republic of Korea, the Government of the People’s Republic of China, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DPRK, and the UN Secretary-General.