Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human
Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Statement by Australia
12 March 2012
Australia continues to strongly support the important mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and remains deeply concerned about the appalling state of human rights in the DPRK.
We continue to raise human rights bilaterally with the DPRK and endorse the Special Rapporteur’s view that the recent leadership transition in the DPRK presents an opportunity for the DPRK to change, including by addressing the international community’s human rights concerns.
We urge the DPRK to follow the Special Rapporteur’s recommendations, including those on the reunion of separated families; the repatriation of abducted South Korean and Japanese nationals; the importance of admitting the Special Rapporteur to the DPRK; and the repeal of laws that allow for arbitrary decisions by authorities, including on the death penalty.
Australia is particularly concerned by the prevalence of hunger and malnutrition in the DPRK and our deep concern is reflected by our strong and rapid response to international appeals. We agree with the Special Rapporteur that the DPRK Government has the primary obligation to feed its people and join him in urging the DPRK to “take all measures necessary to rectify existing flaws in the food production and distribution system” and “allocate more sources to agriculture, rather than to its military sector”.