David Cameron and Stephen Crabb (Conservative Party Home Rights Commission Chairman) met former North Korean prison guard Ahn Myeong-Cheol and escaped prisoner Shin Dong-Hyok yesterday:
"I was honoured to meet Ahn Myeong-Cheol and Shin Dong-Hyok, and moved to hear at first hand their accounts of the horrors of the North Korean gulag. I am pleased that these brave North Korean defectors have chosen to tell their stories in the UK, drawing attention to their experiences and the plight of the estimated 200,000 political prisoners in North Korea. It is vital that news of their situation reaches the outside world."
Click here to read Shin’s horrific story of being born into, and escaping from, a North Korean gulag.
On the same day Christian Solidarity Worldwide, who organised the meeting, published a major report into human rights abuses in North Korea – "A Case to Answer, A Call to Act". The report makes the indisputable case that the Stalinist regime’s treatment of its people amounts to a crime against humanity, which we are obligated to act on under the Responsibility To Protect principle.
At a gathering in Parliament to celebrate the 62nd birthday of Burmese prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi last night, John Bercow spoke typically movingly about how talking to persecuted people in the Burmese jungle left a "searing" impression on him, much more so than merely reading about the atrocities.
Yet as the progressive conservatism post lamented, despite going to Darfur Cameron hasn’t yet proven he has a sufficient drive to get the international community into gear on the Darfur tragedy. Hopefully, he will feel a stronger moral imperative than that to speak out on North Korea as a result of meeting Ahn and Shin. A speech by David Cameron devoted to these international human rights issues is overdue. William Hague will be giving a major foreign policy speech on the Middle East on Monday evening.