Photo : Unification Ministry
Unification Minister Kim Yung-ho says he deplores the serious human rights violations being committed in North Korea, saying such violations are more serious than those that were committed by East Germany.
Kim made the remark on Monday when he visited a prison in Berlin where the Stasi, or East Germany’s security service from 1950 to 1990, had interrogated political prisoners.
The minister said all of the North’s political prison camps must be swiftly eliminated while stressing the need for the international community to unite efforts to prevent human rights violations in the North.
Upon visiting a storage room that keeps all records of the Stasi’s surveillance on citizens, Kim said it is crucial to investigate, record and preserve cases of the North’s human rights violations to seek justice, including penalizing those responsible and providing relief to victims and remembering them.
Ahead of visiting the prison, Kim had said in a luncheon meeting with South Korean correspondents that the North will, without fail, pay the price for falling behind the course of history, apparently directing the comments to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. He then cited that it is unimaginable that in the 21st century hundreds of thousands are being held in five political prison camps operated by the regime.
The minister also pointed out that Seoul has no choice but to respond strongly should Russia provide weapons or military technology to the North as the move would pose a direct threat to South Korea.
He said in the event such a move is made, South Korea could consider providing weapons to Ukraine or slap further sanctions on Moscow.