N.Korean Diplomats Cause Problems at a Human Rights Seminar in Indonesia

According to the Chosun Ilbo, “North Korean diplomats stormed into a seminar on North Korean human rights in Jakarta on Wednesday held by South Korean and Indonesian activists.


Officials from the North Korean Embassy in Jakarta drove up to the seminar and harangued staff of the Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM), an Indonesian policy advocacy organization. “Why are you holding this seminar here?” the North Koreans asked.

When the South Korean activists, from the Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights, tried to show a video exposing the North’s human rights abuses, the North Koreans demanded they stop the presentation and show a North Korean publicity video.

Kim Song-hak, the political attaché of the embassy, told participants that the rights abuse claims are “100-percent incorrect” and pointed out that the North provides free medical services and education.

“There can be no human rights problems in North Korea,” Kim said.

Kim Song-hak (right), the political attaché of the North Korean Embassy in Indonesia, protests against a seminar on North Korean human rights at a university in Jakarta on Wednesday.
Kim Song-hak (right), the political attaché of the North Korean Embassy in Indonesia, protests against a seminar on North Korean human rights at a university in Jakarta on Wednesday.

Two North Korean diplomats also attempted to enter another seminar on Thursday attended by ASEAN officials, but were held back by organizers. The diplomats warned that hosting such events would lead to “unfortunate consequences.”

An official at the South Korean Embassy in Jakarta said, “It looks like North Korea mobilized all of its embassy staff in Indonesia to obstruct this event. North Korean diplomats even sent official letters to ELSAM demanding that the seminar be canceled.”

The activists are holding seminars, exhibitions and performance for North Korean Human Rights Week from Tuesday until Sunday in Indonesian cities.

Commentary:

The people to blame are not the North Korean diplomats (who rather do not care about these events) but those who tell them to do it. These are generally memebrs of the Propaganda and Agitation Department of the KWP. These diplomats are even sometimes threatened by the officials of the KWP. Some diplomats tried to due similar actions in various countries in Europe (especially in Central Europe).

Please also takie in account that Kim Jong-un was supposed to receive Indonesian statesmanship prize for « fighting neo-colonialism. » Will he get it?

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