With regard to the main composition of this movement, it will be a citizens’ movement. With regard to its goals, it will create a solid foundation for the reunification of North and South Korea. With regard to its direction, it will be an international movement. With regard to history, it shall be a peaceful movement.
When a society destabilizes and the economy weakens, political prisoners and prisoners in labor camps are the first to experience harsher persecution. They are imprisoned merely for expressing opinions different from the ruling power’s opinions, or for having tried to leave North Korea. Amnesty International estimates that this group numbers over 150,000 prisoners.
By studying North Korea’s concept of human rights, we can infer how North Korea treats its political prisoners. An article in the official party’s newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, states: “We do not hide class in our concept of human rights. Those who oppose socialism and impure factionists who violate the interests of the people do not deserve freedom and human rights.” The paper also labeled political prisoners as anti-revolution factionalists, saying that “they are true traitors of the people’s interest, violators, betrayers, and degrading human scums.” These statements make it clear that political and labor prisoners will continue to be oppressed.
We plan to coordinate with human rights organizations around the world to publicize the human rights atrocities in North Korea. I believe this will lead our 20 million North Korean brothers and sisters to gain the freedom that we enjoy today and will hasten the day of our peaceful, democratic unification.