President Biden and South Korean President Will Discuss North Korea at White House Summit
5/21/2021 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) South Korean President Moon Jae-in made his way to the United States on Wednesday to meet President Biden on Covid-19 vaccine developments and North Korean relations.
Today will be Biden and Moon’s first face-to-face meeting since Biden took office in January. They will be setting the tone for the relationship between the two countries.
North Korea is a crucial topic that will be discussed at the summit.
North Korea has one of the most egregious human rights records globally, including on the issue of religious freedom. The government demands total, ultimate allegiance to the state and aggressively persecutes all religious expression outside the narrow confines of a few state-run places of worship kept as a show for the outside world. Actions as simple as praying, talking about the Bible, and sharing one’s faith can lead to beatings, years of imprisonment, and even torture.
ICC recently joined a letter organized by Human Rights Watch calling on the Biden administration to prioritize the promotion of rights and freedoms in North Korea—issues, the letter argues, that are “too often relegated to a distant tertiary status” while security issues such as counter-proliferation rise to the fore alone.
The letter also calls for South Korea to take an increased role in the fight for human rights in North Korea and urges increased action on North Korean human rights both at the UN level and in any future bilateral meetings with North Korea. “For the United States, human rights must be part of diplomatic negotiations.”
South Korea is a key ally in the fight to contain North Korea, though Moon seems to have taken a softer stance on his northern neighbor in recent months, criminalizing the sending of leaflets into North Korea—a formerly common means of spreading the gospel into the closed country—and refusing to co-sponsor a UN resolution condemning the lack of human rights in North Korea.
At the summit, Moon plans to ensure the U.S. and South Korea come to an agreement in relations with North Korea. He hopes to continue developing peace between North and South Korea.
Biden expects to have a relevant dialogue with Moon and expects to proceed smoothly as the Biden administration’s security team is aware of Korean Peninsula affairs. Moon said he would make efforts to produce good results during the visit.
Hopefully, there will be talk of advancement for fighting human rights in North Korea during the summit.
It is essential that the international community, including South Korea, band together to push for the advancement of human rights in North Korea. North Korea’s many innocent civilians deserve no less.
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