Asan Plenum

Session: Session 2 / Grand Ballroom 3
Date/Time: April 30, 2013 / 14:00-15:15

Panel Description

The concept of ‘human security’ has evolved to encompass the individual’s personal safety and freedom from hunger, poverty, infectious diseases, and natural disasters. North Korea is one of the world’s worst human rights violators but few efforts have been able to positively affect the humanitarian situation there. Without substantial changes made by the regime itself, there appears very little that the international community can do to improve the plight of the North Korean people. However, we cannot assume that a collapse of the current regime will bring about a solution to these problems; indeed, such collapse could raise more humanitarian issues. Meanwhile, just as the regime is the main perpetrator of human rights abuses, it is also the main actor that can significantly improve the human rights situation and protect against a broader range of threats including environmental pollution, infectious diseases, and economic deprivation.

Guiding Questions

  1. 1. What human rights violations (i.e. concentration camps, mass starvation, and health epidemics) are occurring in North Korea?
  2. 2. How successful has the international community been in addressing North Korean human rights? What are the alternatives?
  3. 3. How have other countries dealt with human security issues? Are there relevant comparisons to North Korea? And if so, what are the lessons to be applied?