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North Korea: Human Rights

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL3580, tabled on 17 November 2015

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact on the North Korean population of implementing targeted human rights sanctions against named North Korean politicians and officials.

Answered on

30 November 2015

Our policy of smarter sanctions requires that any new sanctions measures must consider broader policy objectives in parallel with the impact of any new sanctions on the general population. We would also consider carefully our ability to defend the legality of the sanctions decision under EU law. Existing UN and EU sanctions against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) are based upon UN Security Council Resolutions prohibiting the further development of the DPRK’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. Any introduction of sanctions on human rights grounds would require the establishment of a new sanctions regime at UN or EU level. A key consideration would be the potential to improve the human rights situation in the DPRK weighed against the potential impact on the activity of non-governmental organisations undertaking important humanitarian activities inside the DPRK to assist some of the most vulnerable members of DPRK society.