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Date : October 17, 2014
A Human Rights Dialogue with NK: Real or Illusory?
   http://38north.org/2014/10/rcohen101614/ [948]

A Human Rights Dialogue with North Korea: Real or Illusory?

By Roberta Cohen
16 October 2014

North Korea has made a number of intriguing gestures recently on human rights. At the United Nations, its Foreign Minister announced his country’s readiness to hold a “human rights dialogue with countries not hostile to it.”[1] The North Korean Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) International Affairs Secretary, on a visit to Brussels, offered a human rights dialogue to the European Union (EU).[2] Even earlier, a North Korean official told a United Nations meeting that his government would accept some of the recommendations put forward by states in the Universal Periodic Review (a UN process that evaluates all countries’ human rights records).[3] And a Foreign Ministry official admitted to the press the existence of “reform through labor detention centers” in North Korea.[4]

Should these apparent openings be dismissed? Or should efforts be made to engage North Korea in human right talks? ......

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