To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Department is taking to tackle the persecution of Christians in North Korea.
10 June 2015
I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 13 January 2015 (PQ 220024). We remain concerned at the continuing reports of widespread and systematic state sanctioned human rights violations in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The DPRK’s stance and lack of international engagement on human rights concerns remains unchanged, with the DPRK maintaining its rejection of the United Nation’s (UN’s) Commission of Inquiry report. We continue to work in international fora to press for action that seriously addresses DPRK’s human rights issues. UK officials raised human rights concerns with the DPRK Embassy in London. We continue to urge the DPRK government to respect its provisions for human rights, as enshrined in the DPRK own constitution, which include “freedom of belief in religion”. Our Embassy in Pyongyang has raised human rights including freedom of religious beliefs with DPRK officials and encouraged the DPRK to implement the recommendations of the UN’s Universal Periodic Review, including those on freedom of religion. We look forward to the opening of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights' field office in Seoul later this month (as mandated in resolution A/HRC/RES/25/25) and to supporting its work.