Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2003-01-16-Speech-4-105"

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"North Korea is the biggest humanitarian scandal of our time. While the ‘Great Leader’ lives in the lap of luxury he is literally allowing his own people to die. More than two million people are said to have starved to death over the past few years and more than 13 million are suffering from malnutrition. Communist misrule has ensured that the malnourished people are left out in the cold and are deprived of proper medical care. In this workers’ paradise, about 200 000 people are kept imprisoned in re–education camps for political reasons. What is more, China is systematically returning North Korean political refugees, knowing full well that inhumane punishment awaits the returnees. An appropriate response from the world community is seriously hindered by the nuclear game with which Kim Jong-Il is challenging the world. It is not clear whether it is possible to talk to Kim in a reasonable way. America’s attitude towards North Korea is a model of caution compared with her stance towards Iraq. As far as this nuclear threat is concerned, the European Union must fall in line with the United States – insofar as she does have a line. Weapons of mass destruction in the hands of an unpredictable dictator are a permanent threat to world peace, and this cannot therefore be tolerated. We must also focus on humanitarian aid in order to prevent human suffering from taking on even greater proportions. It is a good thing that the Commission is intending to earmark another EUR 9.5 million for women and children over and above the 50 million already spent. The question is whether this is enough. I assume the Commission is willing to do more should it be necessary. I would appreciate confirmation of this from the Commission. North Korea has gone from bad to worse as a result of her self–imposed isolation. We must look for ways of breaking through this and putting an end to the biggest humanitarian scandal of our time."@en1

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