Political Science – Discussion – Week 7

Yes, there are political prisoners in the world. Unfortunate men and women, certain classes, and political dissidents are still suffering in some areas of the world. Read the Wolman article, South Korea’s response to human rights abuses in North Korea: An analysis of policy options, in this week’s assigned readings, and watch this account of a North Korean prison camp:http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50136263n

Human rights advocates are aware of this situation. (See this Human Rights Watch World Report 2013 – North Korea, and this Amnesty International publication New satellite images show blurring of political prison camp and villages in North Korea). The U.S. government is aware of this situation. The Chinese government continues to support the North Korean regime. Some cracks have opened in North Korea, including some market activity (i.e., smuggling, black markets) since the famines of the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Knowledge of the abuse of political prisoners in North Korea and other dictatorial regimes is widespread. What could or should major world powers such as the United States and China do to address the mistreatment and abuse of political prisoners in other countries? Specifically, how can the United States help to reform the political culture in those countries that arrest and abuse political prisoners?

Asia Pacific.pdf