North Korea will change only when it fears regime survival


North Korea will change its course only when international pressure could work in a way to make Pyongyang concerned about the very existence of its regime, a former U.S. diplomat said Wednesday:

Evans Revere, now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said that the prospect of making North Korea give up its nuclear weapons is becoming “more distant and more difficult” than ever before.

“The only way to get North Korea’s attention is to put at risk the one thing that North Korea values more highly than its nuclear weapons. That’s the future existence of the regime,” Revere, a former deputy assistant secretary of state, told reporters in Seoul.

The U.S. State Department said Tuesday it welcomes South Korea’s law aimed at improving North Korea’s human rights situation, declaring that the North’s human rights record “has no parallels in the modern world,” according to reports:

The landmark law, which passed through the National Assembly in March, went into effect on Sunday. The enactment came 11 years after the law was first introduced in the National Assembly in 2005. The legislation has since been a target of political bickering amid ideological differences over how to approach the problem. The law calls mainly for documenting North Korea’s human rights situation and establishing a foundation tasked with examining the situation, putting together policies aimed at improving the situation and providing humanitarian support for the North Korean people.

Carl Gershman, president of the National Endowment for Democracy, makes the case for prioritizing human rights in North Korea (above: HT:  NKHR – Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights).

The number of North Korean defections to South Korea has increased by 15%, UPI reports:

A recent defection suggests that more and more people in North Korea’s privileged class are trying to leave the country, as international sanctions against Pyongyang following a series of missile tests by the regime this year start to bite.


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