North Korean "Human Rights" Act

November 9, 2004

On October 18, George Bush signed into law the "North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004."

Amongst it provisions, the law prohibits humanitarian aid to North Korea unless the U.S. government certifies that the North Korean government has "taken steps to improve human rights" The law calls for strict regulations on all future aid, and an end to direct, bilateral humanitarian transfers between the U.S. and North Korea.

The act also authorizes assistance to North Korean defectors and organizations opposed to the government. Under the cover of providing aid to North Korean "human rights groups," the U.S. will provide funds to organizations that support the "development of a market economy in North Korea." Under this program, millions of dollars will be earmarked for propaganda via radio and television broadcasts.

In addition, future cultural and educational exchanges between the two countries will also be contingent on certification, and discussion of "human rights" must be the focus of all future political negotiations between the U.S., North Korea and other states in the region.

This law marks another escalation of U.S. pressure against North Korea. It aims at further isolating the country politically and dictating that other Asian countries join in the U.S. anti-Korean front. The law openly aims at overthrowing the existing government and social system by trying to build up covert counter-revolutionary forces.

On the lips of U.S. imperialism the slogans of "defending democracy and human rights" are clearly used as an excuses to trample peace underfoot, attack sovereign states, and set aside international law and established relations between states.

Such slogans are particularly hypocritical in the case of Korea. After all it was U.S. imperialism which waged the Korean war, killing 4 million Koreans, including 2 million civilians. Today, U.S. imperialism forcibly partitions the country, denying the Korean people their most basic right to sovereignty. It is U.S. imperialism which carries out daily armed provocations against North Korea, stations its troops in South Korea and tries with might and main to economically, politically and militarily strangle North Korea.