Group asks ICC to look at alleged genocide by Jong-un

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Group asks ICC to look at alleged genocide by Jong-un

A South Korean civic group led by a North Korean defector urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Monday to look into genocide allegations circling Pyongyang’s leader Kim Jong-un, accusing him of executing his uncle Jang Song-thaek in late 2013 and purging key figures linked to him.

Kang Chul-hwan, leader of the Seoul-based North Korea Strategy Center, said he visited the ICC in The Hague to personally submit documents backing his claim. The papers were based on testimonies from six defectors who previously held high-ranking positions in the North Korean government, said Kang.

Among Kang’s sources is Thae Yong-ho, who formerly served as deputy ambassador at the North Korean Embassy in London before his defection to the South last summer.

It is the first time Kim has been accused in the ICC of anything related to the execution of his uncle, which sent shock across the world after the North’s state-run media explicitly reported that Jang was killed due to his conviction of treason in a military tribunal.

A look into Kang’s documents Tuesday shows that several family members of North Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Han Song-ryol were purged in connection with Jang. In the wake of Jang’s execution, the parents of Han’s son-in-law, the son-in-law and his child were sent to a prison camp, according to the papers.

The document quoted Thae as saying that the purged father, Ri Ung-gil, was the section chief for the European bureau at the International Department of the ruling party and had once been an Italian interpreter for former North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong-il. “Ri himself, as well as his wife, son and grandson were all sent to political prisons.”

Ri’s daughter-in-law, however, was excluded from the family purge mainly because her father Han is currently in a high-ranking position at the foreign ministry and her mother was from the family of Lim Chun-chu, one of North Korea’s independence fighters, Thae was quoted as saying.

The document also showed that in December 2013, the month Jang was executed, the North Korean regime circulated a list of Jang and 15 other people convicted of treason among the country’s foreign diplomatic missions and ordered them to remove the pictures or works of the listed people.

The listed people’s family members, including movie stars and several diplomats, were all sent to prison camps, he said.

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