Sovereignty versus Individual Human Rights in the case of North Korea
Sovereignty Versus Human Rights in North Korea
North Korea has been developing its human rights argument on the basis of the principle of state sovereignty. North Korea argues that sovereignty is an essential precondition for human rights and the realization of human rights is guaranteed only on the basis of sovereignty. Since no state shall become an equal member of international society without sovereignty, sovereignty is the essential precondition for the guarantee of human rights. This definition of human rights as a matter of domestic jurisdiction based on the principle of sovereignty is apparently designed to attack the United States for allegedly utilizing human rights as a political weapon. North Korea is relying on a specific logic drawn from neo-colonialist perspectives to refute the attempts to utilize human rights as a political tool. North Korea argues that in the post-Cold War world the imperialist powers are utilizing human rights as “ideological sleeping pills” so that they can attempt to manage international order in neo-colonialist fashion to wield their political and economic power. Furthermore, from a regime-security perspective, North Korea firmly believes that foreign powers are exploiting human right issues as a tool to overthrow the North Korean regime. Firmly upholding the argument that human rights are a matter of domestic jurisdiction, North Korea totally denies such arguments as “human rights are universal values transcending national boundaries” or “intervention in human rights issues is not an intervention in domestic affairs of another country”. The North refutes these arguments, calling them “robber’s logic”, or “preposterous logic”. North Korea insists that the arguments for transborder intervention in human rights issues are part of a sinister political design to dominate small and weak states under the pretext of “protection of human rights” and therefore the sovereignty principle should be strengthened, because the Western argument for foreign intervention in human rights situations will always be politically motivated. Clearly, then, North Korea is convinced that sovereignty is the lifeline of a state and its people, and any nation that loses its “self-reliance right” will never be able to enjoy any human rights, hence the North’s claim that human rights are sovereign rights.
North Korea is taking a negative posture toward humanitarian intervention because the international pressure to improve human rights appears to them as transgressions of North Korea’s sovereign rights and as threatening to the regime’s security. Consequently North Korea argues, “Humanitarian Interventions” in violation of sovereign principles and international law will only result in more human rights violations, such as murder of innocent citizens, instead of protecting and promoting human rights of citizens.
The planned methodology is secondary research. The researcher will make use of published materials such as books, magazines and newspapers to collect data and information regarding the topic. The researcher will also make use of the internet to obtain information about the company such as its background and other related information. For the research, the researcher will mainly rely on secondary data in obtaining the information. Due to inaccessibility of the subject or the case study, other research methods are not applicable. Secondary data are data that have been collected for some other purpose. Secondary data can provide a useful source from which to answer the research question(s). Punch (1998) mentions several advantages of using existing data. Expenditure on obtaining data can be significantly reduced and data analysis can begin immediately, so saving time. Also, the quality of some data may be superior to anything the researcher could have created alone (Thomas, 2004, p. 191). On the other hand, the chosen research method also has several disadvantages. Data that have been gathered by others for their own purposes can be difficult to interpret when they are taken out of their original context. It is also much more difficult to appreciate the weak points in data that have been obtained by others. The data may be only partially relevant to the current research question (Thomas, 2004, p. 191).