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A Vacuum Denied – The Continuing Unholy Brotherhood of the DPRK – PRC Alliance

DPRK_prisonersThe U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, has refered the DPRK (North Korea) to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), this after a U.N. report was released that gives detailed evidence of Crimes against humanity in the DPRK. UN Investigators state that “North Korean security chiefs and possibly even Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un himself should face international justice for ordering systematic torture, starvation and killings comparable to Nazi-era atrocities”. (link) Here are some media links to articles regarding the report (The Atlantic) (Business Insider).  As per the UN Commission on Human Rights response to this report:

. . . Australian Michael Kirby, the commission’s chairman, penned a letter to Kim dated Jan. 21 warning that the report would call for a referral to the ICC “to render accountable all those, including possibly yourself, who may be responsible for the crimes against humanity,” as found in the yearlong investigation. When asked how many North Korean officials may have committed the crimes against humanity, Kirby told reporters in Geneva Monday that the number “would be running into hundreds,” without naming specific names. (link)

Despite this recommendation to prosecute DPRK leadership for crimes that are similar to what occured in Nazi Germany and Nazi-occupied territory during WWII, The PRC has come out as being opposed to such action:

. . . Hua Chunying, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, called the report “unreasonable criticism,” raising questions as to whether Beijing will use its United Nations Security Council veto power to block any action on the matter.
“We believe that politicizing human rights issues is not conducive toward improving a country’s human rights,” Ms. Hua said. “We believe that taking human rights issues to the International Criminal Court is not helpful to improving a country’s human rights situation.” (link)

Of course, the main long-term supporter for the DPRK is China and the PRC has had its own problems with human rights issues and has, in turn drawn justifiable criticism for its unwillingness to acknowledge the criminal acts against humanity that have occurred in the DPRK.  As per the UN panel that was charged with reviewing the evidence against the DPRK, they find that China has been an enabler in this affair as well:

. . . Despite the gross human rights violations awaiting repatriated persons, China pursues a rigorous policy of forcibly repatriating citizens of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea who cross the border illegally. China does so in pursuance of its view that these persons are economic (and illegal) migrants, however, many such nationals of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea should be recognized as refugees fleeing persecution or refugees sur place. They are thereby entitled to international protection. In forcibly returning nationals of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, China also violates its obligation to respect the principle of non-refoulement under international refugee and human rights law. In some cases, Chinese officials also appear to provide information on those apprehended to their counterparts in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. . . (link)

Naturally, since the PRC is a member of the UN’s Security Council, they can veto any attempt by the UN to take action against the documented crimes committed by DPRK leadership.  Despite China’s rejection of the UN panel’s report and the recommendation to prosecute DPRK leadership, the Republic of Korea (South Korea) supports and welcomes the UN panel’s report, exemplifying the stark difference in politics and ethics that separates both China and North Korea from the rest of the world community.

A direct link to the UN panel’s report is here, complete with disturbing drawings made by a former North Korean prisoner.  They do remind one of the Nazi Death camps.

About the author: Psst, want to buy some used marble cheap?

  • eujin

    The DPRK is not a party to the Rome Statute that set up the International Criminal Court. Can the High Commissioner refer a non party to the ICC? Does it not require the UN Security Council to do this? Without UNSC backing this whole thing is a non starter on jurisdictional grounds, even before the tricky question of, if found guilty, what to do.

  • RElgin

    “Baduk” may have been prescient in his ravings; let Japan fight it out with the PRC and the result may well be the end of CCP rule, which in turn would be the end of the DPRK theme park.

    The real villain in this affair is the PRC.

  • eujin

    It’s extremely unlikely that the PRC will go along with an international body interfering in domestic civil rights issues, regardless of how “displeased” they might be with the DPRK over recent incidents like the Jang Sung-taek business. The outcome of this UN report is likely to just be a closing of ranks between the PRC and the DPRK at the international level.

  • djson1

    This, of course, won’t do anything. But all these reports and cited violations just need to pile up by the shitload so that eventually it will all fall down in some manner, whether it be internal or external…or most likely, both. It won’t do jack in the near-term though, but at least it just needs to pile up and sway/dangle over the regime.

  • redwhitedude

    A big reason as to why China lacks soft power and is distrusted this report and their attitude towards it.

    A demonstration of that is how nobody is going along with their labeling of uighur “terrorists”.

    They just write their own definition of “human rights”.

  • redwhitedude

    Or absolutely nothing. The chinese will do the same thing criticizing the interference in its domestic affairs. But if they keep propping up NK its their money they will be wasting. Also those supposed capital controls that they have in place to prevent people from taking out money out of the country is leaking like hell. All those chinese who go abroad and buy up property. All those foreign entities set up by chinese abroad. They earn a lot but I suspect they are leaking a lot too.

  • wangkon936

    I love how the Chinese have wasted so much money on “Confucius Institutes” that no one goes to.



  • redwhitedude

    They always waste money. They go around saying that they can get things done fast. What do they do? They just ram through stuff and if anybody says otherwise for whatever reason they just club them over the head and drive them out. That’s not really a good way to do things such as building highways, rail and so forth. They don’t really ask hard questions. They just ram it through for propaganda and show without taking a close look at viability.

  • wangkon936

    Maybe the Chinese need shopping centers and bridges that just randomly fall down (for no good reason) too…. ;)

  • redwhitedude

    They’ve got the biggest shopping centers that are practically empty. They waste money and take money out of the country when they are not suppose to. All those spikes in real estate in other countries, I wonder where they got their money?

  • eujin

    I do love their high speed rail network and so does the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/24/business/global/high-speed-train-system-is-huge-success-for-china.html?_r=0 High load factors, twice the number of passengers as domestic airlines, comfortable, fast, invariably punctual. Not much time to ask questions when you’re building 6,000 miles of track in five years.

    On the other hand, they do ask all sorts of questions in Germany and the high speed rail link between Berlin and Munich, all 76 miles of it, that they started building 20 years ago might be finished sometime this century (maybe the end of 2017 if you believe the same people who said Berlin-Brandenburg would be open in 2012.)

  • wangkon936

    Yes. We can use more high speed rail in ‘Merica.

  • redwhitedude

    True but I wonder the way they do things will catch up to them.

  • felddog13

    It’s not how things are built in China that’s the problem–it’s how it’s all financed. It’s their banking and finance system that is truly a gargantuan smoke-and-mirrors machine. And that’s the OFFICIAL banking sector–the “shadow” banking and investment sector, which by many accounts is even bigger, is worse–just a giant clusterfuck of ponzi schemes.

  • redwhitedude

    It is a reflection of how the country is being governed. The financial services in China is embryonic from what I’ve heard.

  • Flosster

    I recall my favorite philosopher and the summary of Near Eastern diplomacy he graciously provided all of us here at TMH:

    “Every steaming turd North Korea floats out to the civilized world, when analyzed, contains Chinese food.” – Slim

  • brier

    I can’t believe I was optimistic that China would go along quietly with the UN report. The Olympics must be affecting me. What a wasted chance by China to step up the plate and bat. Far too much dirty laundry in China I guess.

  • RElgin

    The CCP leadership is guilty of crimes against their own citizens as well. This report stirs feelings of guilt and vulnerability to the same charges I would imagine.

  • Sumo294

    Guilt? What a quaint White Male Western Concept.

  • RElgin

    The CCP does appear to be interested in suppressing anything they believe might cause them a loss of control, thus power. This thought is also discussed in a NY Times blog piece that says:

    For China, beset with its own ethnic and religious tensions in its western regions, including Tibet and Xinjiang, rapid democratization would lead to the same result (the current protests in Ukraine). “There’s a high probability that the country will fall apart and many areas of the country will fall into unrest,’’ the editorial said. Democratization in China must proceed “step by step.’’Analyzing the breakup of the Soviet Union has become a cottage industry in China, and President Xi Jinping has made it clear that he will not be another Mikhail S. Gorbachev, the leader who presided over the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the fall of its Communist Party. In private meetings with Chinese Communist Party officials in December 2012, Mr. Xi said that China must heed its “deeply profound” lessons.

    “Why did the Soviet Union disintegrate? Why did the Soviet Communist Party collapse? An important reason was that their ideals and convictions wavered,” Mr. Xi told party officials in the southern province of Guangdong, according to a summary of his comments that circulated among officials. “In the end, nobody was a real man. Nobody came out to resist.” . . .

  • Sumo294

    You sir are incorrect. The average Chinese person does not care about rights violations especially those that occur in other countries. The American Chinese guy reading it in San Fran might be a little embarrassed about it but won’t say a word in public. The dissidents in China simply leave if they have the money or education. Our wonderful journalists write articles about elderly seating in subways and yet fail to mention the quiet exodus of the best and brightest of China for other lands.

  • JinJoo

    “…..There’s a high probability that the country will fall apart and many areas of the country will fall into unrest,…..’

    The very reason China’s been, keenly, workin on North East, West North and West South Projects.

    I just translated a Newspaper article about China’s North East/ West North and West South projects, and posted on my blog.



    It is Prof. Shin’s opinion that China has accommodated tolerance policy towards minority races throughout history of Kingdoms Song 송, Won 원, Myong (Ming) 명 and Chung (Qing) 청 up to now, and that China is not intent on rejecting or obliterating minority races at all, but it embraces them to live together, which is in effect only a deliberate attempt to justify China.

    It is true that China is a country where minority races have been able to co-exist with the majority, but its tolerance policy is nothing but a smart outward show. Their calculated motive was to steal their territory and their history to make them their own. Pretending to accommodate the territory, history, culture and traditions, which Han and 55 minority races have enjoyed, China has virtually hoodwinked them into believing that theirs belong to China.

    They say that China is a multiracial nation consisting of 55 minor races. But Han race, the majority, accounts for 91.9 % and the rest of minors merely 8.9%.

    But the size of the territory China has taken away from the minority races is no less than 63.7 % of all China. Supposing that all the minority races were to be independent ofChina, then the Han race of China should live in only 36.3% of the current territory.

    It follows that both China’s West North and West South Projects aimed to occupy permanently the lands of Tibet, SinGang, Unnam and Kwiju provinces. Accordingly,China’s North East Project can also be interpreted to take aim at extending its territory for occupation.



  • JinJoo

    This is my very first post. Next post is about Korean Media dominated by CCP.

  • Sumo294

    Many of the Marmot’s readers believe the Chinese speak one language or two. Sigh . . . if you want to do business in China and you need to set up factories from the ground up–you need about eight different translators to get the project off the ground. If you need to do big business in Beijing you don’t even need Chinese–they already speak English.

  • RElgin

    This silence on the part of mainland media does speak loudly. The government will not address this because it would be an admission of their failures, therefore they are jumpy and have a twitchy trigger finger as they try to stave off any contingency that they feel will cost them control. My thesis stands intact because it is fairly accurate. The CCP desires control at any cost.

    The average Chinese is like the average American I suppose in that they are provincial in their concerns. They do notice the wasted money thrown at the DPRK and many consider them to be barbarians. If the party ideologues loose control, it is possible that there will no longer be much willingness to lose money to barbarians, unless they feel it is cheaper to pay them to keep refugees from coming out of North Korea. Either way, sooner or later, something has got to give, so will the PRC make a better future for this situation or will they continue to let things go until something really breaks?

  • RElgin

    I wonder what the PRC would be like if they had up to the 718 listed languages that Nigeria has (?).

  • JinJoo

    The reason PRC is backing Korea (financially or be trouble-making NK’s spoke person etc) is nothing to do with whether PRC likes Korea or not.

    It is to do with geopolitical position of NK. If SK and NK unites, the northeast Asia’s international politics structure will change greatly which will bring a great anxiety to PRC. They want the present status quo.

    They are working on North East Project as when time comes – the reunification of North and South (Korea) – they can still claim NK’s territory based on North east project.

    PRC doesn’t help NK financially for nothing, through Jang Seon-Taek (JST,a pro-Chinese official, who handled much of Pyongyang’s economic affairs and its trade relations with China) and other corrupted NK officials, they have been taking NK resources (eg, brown coal, the ones poor Chinese people use to during winter time, metals ) at below what they are worth.

    NK’s yearly export resources (NK has the biggest copper mine (Hae-san mine) and also the biggest metal mine (Mu-san mine) to China and the world only amounts to US$5400mil/ pa.

    The biggest importer of course is (was) PRC, but do you think there exist fair trade between PRC and NK? The trade between China and Nk was (is) like China uses a straw to suck the blood out of NK’s neck.

  • RElgin

    They have some use in Nepal, which has come to be more under Chinese influence. More Nepalese are learning Chinese for the sake of business.
    IMHO, India needs to engage Nepal more directly and in a positive manner too since too many there openly accuse the Nepalese of being a “Chinese colony”. The Nepalese also do the dirty work of the PRC by turning back fleeing Tibetans and allowing plain-clothes Chinese security agents free access to the Nepal side of their border.