SEOUL – Secretary of State John F. Kerry Monday accused North Korea’s government of committing crimes worthy of referral to the International Criminal Court and urged it to end its isolation by dismantling its arsenal of nuclear weapons.
Using strong, clear language, Kerry said during a stop in Seoul that the Pyongyang government led by Kim Jong Un had shown a “flagrant disregard for international law while denying its people fundamental freedom and rights.”
“The world is hearing increasingly, more and more stories of grotesque, grizzly, horrendous public displays of executions on a whim and a fancy by the leader against people who were close to him and sometimes for the most flimsy of excuses,” Kerry said, referring to a report from South Korea’s spy agency that the North Korean defense minister was publicly executed with an anti-aircraft gun after he fell asleep during a meeting led by Kim.
Kerry vowed to speak out against “North Korea’s atrocities against its own people,” and warned that Kim’s mercurial behavior is likely to lead other nations to press for charges against North Korea and its leader at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
Kerry’s visit, though planned weeks ago, comes in the wake of fresh concern about Pyongyang’s behavior.