North Korea: excuses, excuses

10.29.06

A Reuters article, perhaps accidentally, stumbles on the true crux of the matter when it comes to North Korea:

North Korea has committed “crimes against humanity” against its own people according to an independent report published on Monday that made a long-shot appeal for the U.N. Security Council to deal with the issue.

Released after North Korea’s October 9 nuclear test, the report describes Pyongyang’s brutal treatment of its citizens, from the beatings of pregnant women to force miscarriages to the abduction, torture and execution of political prisoners.

Commissioned by Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, former Czech president Vaclav Havel and former Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik, the paper seeks to spotlight rights abuses that have been previously reported but are often overshadowed by concern about North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.

(Emphasis mine).

And that, after all, is the point. North Korea has been committing horrific crimes against humanity that beg the question of why, more than sixty years after swearing “never again”, the world sits back and allows them to happen.

The answer to that question can presumably be found in two little words: nuclear weapons. The theory is that, while in the midst of dealing with the nuclear crisis, there’s little that the world can do about anything else North Korea is doing.

So what’s our excuse, then, when it comes to (nuclear-less) Sudan?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sigivald 10.30.06 at 6:12 PM

Even before the NK nuclear “crisis”, nothing was done. Part of the excuse was China’s interest in NK and their nukes, of course, but really, “the world” never gave a damn about “never again”.

Talk is cheap, especially on the world stage, and actions are expensive, and democracies have to deal with voters – voters who are happy to mouth “never again”, but not willing to pay for it with blood and treasure.

(And, well, the excuse in Sudan is that the UN won’t authorize it, because Russia and China want Sudanese oil… and don’t even pretend to care about humanitarian concerns, as near as I can tell. Being Russia and China that’s not surprising.)

Reply

2 Jonny 11.03.06 at 1:14 AM

Its only because of North Korea’s nuclear tests that their human rights abuses are getting attention.

Reply

3 DaninVan 11.05.06 at 3:29 AM

That’s not true, Jonny. There’s been a lot of talk for years about N. Korea…just no action. Big Brother China makes a pretty good argument for keeping hands off, after all, things didn’t really go that well last time ’round.

Reply

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