Testimony by United Nations Watch to 52nd Session of the Human Rights Council, Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, delivered by Timothy Cho on 20 March 2023:
Thank you for your report, which coincides with the 10th anniversary of the COI report on DPRK.
In 18 pages, you extensively highlight how the DPRK has abandoned its primary responsibility to protect its people from hunger, and instead instigated persecution, internal repression, thought crimes, and crimes against humanity.
I will briefly address food insecurity, cited on page 3. It states that “60% of the population was food insecure” and “41.6% of the population suffered from malnourishment” by the end of 2021.
Born in this prison country, and having experienced hunger, multiple escapes and imprisonments, I know the meaning of hunger in DPRK.
I recall on personal experience when one night I woke up at a train station and I felt my back itching very badly. I asked one of my friends to take a look.
Bed bugs had burrowed under my skin while I was sleeping. My back looked horrific.
Far worse, though, was when we discovered that two other homeless children sleeping next to us, had died of hunger. Their bodies were collected in the morning.
I am appalled that the DPRK chooses to spend billions on weapons, instead of feeding its people. This can only lead to my beautiful country sinking more and more deeply into hunger, injustice and cruelty, in order for this corrupt entity to maintain its grip on power.
My country cannot flourish until this changes. It is imperative that the people’s fundamental needs of food, shelter and freedom, become their first and foremost priority.
Thank you, Mr. President.
Bravo @Timothycho08 who spoke for us now @UN_HRC: “I’m appalled North Korea spends billions on weapons instead of feeding its people. My beautiful country is sinking more and more into hunger, injustice and cruelty in order for this corrupt regime to maintain its grip on power.” pic.twitter.com/RXrVEdHVvg
– Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) March 20, 2023