North Korea Unexpectedly Meets with United Nations Special Rapporteur

By Ena Cefo

For the first time in 10 years, on October 26th, 2014, North Korean officials unexpectedly met with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in North Korea, Marzuki Darusman. In his report on the situation of human rights in North Korea released on October 24th, 2014, Mr. Darusman urged the United Nations to ensure accountability for the human rights violations in North Korea by formally referring the situation to the International Criminal Court. Mr. Darusman mentioned the culpability of officials of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) for the “systematic, widespread and gross” human rights violations against its people. Mr. Darusman hoped that the meeting with DPRK officials was a sign of further engagement on human rights, but urged that North Korea must be willing to address the full scale of its human rights problems.