According to the Responsibility to Protect norm, the international community has an obligation to intervene when a given state manifestly fails to protect its population from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, or is the actual perpetrator of these crimes; first by “appropriate diplomatic, humanitarian, and other peaceful means” and then by force, if necessary.
It’s noteworthy that the reputable Genocide Watch, an international NGO that “exists to predict, prevent, stop, and punish genocide” and whose board of advisors includes admirable anti-genocide activists such as Lt. Gen. Romeo Dallaire and Samantha Power (Special Assistant to President Obama and head of the Office of Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights); published a report on December 19, 2011 which found conclusively that North Korea has indeed committed genocide as defined in Raphael Lemkin’s 1948 Convention, stating that “Genocide Watch has ample proof that genocide has been committed and mass killing is still underway in North Korea.”
North Korea, as a genocidaire of the first order, is clearly a state perpetrator and manifestly demonstrating this “failure to protect.” It’s high time for the international community to act in North Korea.Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.
Robert Park is a Korean-American missionary and human rights activist who went to North Korea on Christmas day in 2009 to protest against genocide and crimes against humanity. He is a member of the nonpartisan Worldwide Coalition to Stop Genocide in North Korea.