Geir Helgesen & Hatla Thelle
There is hardly another country as isolated and with such a bleak image as North Korea. It is portrayed in the Western media as a Hermit Kingdom ruled by an outdated, communist dictatorship whose clandestine nuclear programmes alarm its neighbours and which uses dreadful labour camps to control a population wracked by famine. The regime’s poor track record on human rights is stressed time and again by both Western governments and international organizations.
Prospects look bleak for any improvement in relations let alone the start of a dialogue on human rights. Offering a rare, nuanced analysis of the North Korean situation, this short study argues that not only is a constructive and fruitful dialogue on human rights possible but also it is desirable for both parties.