N.Korean Diplomats Cause Ruckus at Human Rights Seminar

      September 18, 2015 11:07

      North Korean diplomats stormed into a seminar on North Korean human rights in Jakarta on Wednesday held by South Korean and Indonesian activists.

      Officials from the North Korean Embassy in Jakarta drove up to the seminar and harangued staff of the Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM), an Indonesian policy advocacy organization. "Why are you holding this seminar here?" the North Koreans asked.

      When the South Korean activists, from the Citizens' Alliance for North Korean Human Rights, tried to show a video exposing the North's human rights abuses, the North Koreans demanded they stop the presentation and show a North Korean publicity video.

      Kim Song-hak, the political attaché of the embassy, told participants that the rights abuse claims are "100-percent incorrect" and pointed out that the North provides free medical services and education.

      "There can be no human rights problems in North Korea," Kim said.

      Kim Song-hak (right), the political attaché of the North Korean Embassy in Indonesia, protests against a seminar on North Korean human rights at a university in Jakarta on Wednesday.

      Two North Korean diplomats also attempted to enter another seminar on Thursday attended by ASEAN officials, but were held back by organizers. The diplomats warned that hosting such events would lead to "unfortunate consequences."

      An official at the South Korean Embassy in Jakarta said, "It looks like North Korea mobilized all of its embassy staff in Indonesia to obstruct this event. North Korean diplomats even sent official letters to ELSAM demanding that the seminar be canceled."

      The activists are holding seminars, exhibitions and performance for North Korean Human Rights Week from Tuesday until Sunday in Indonesian cities.

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