North Korea high court sentences 2 South Koreans to life imprisonment News
North Korea high court sentences 2 South Koreans to life imprisonment

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of North Korea on Tuesday sentenced two South Korean men to indefinite labor on subversion charges, according to the Korean Central News Agency [official news website] of North Korea. Kim Kuk Gi and Choe Chun Gil were found guilty of spying for South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) [official website]. They were further convicted [Xinhua report] of conspiracy to overturn the state, illegal entry, and working under the control of the US government. It is thought unlikely that the men will eventually be released, as North and South Korea technically remain in a state of war.

In April, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un [BBC profile] ordered the execution [JURIST report] of fifteen state officials. In November UN Special Rapporteur on the situation in the People’s Republic of Korea Marzuki Darusman said that there is enough evidence to hold North Korean leader Kim responsible for “massive” human rights atrocities [JURIST report] committed in the country. Also in November the UN General Assembly urged [JURIST report] the Security Council to call on the International Criminal Court [official website] to investigate the crimes. The UN Human Rights Council [official website] adopted a resolution [JURIST report] last March urging the UN Security Council to take action against those responsible for documented crimes against humanity in North Korea. Last February then-UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay stated that there can no longer be any excuses for inaction [JURIST report] in North Korea following the release of a UN report.