Referring Kim Jong Un to the International Criminal Court

Kent Boydston (PIIE)



One of the conclusions of the Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Human Rights in North Korea was that there was sufficient evidence implicating the top leadership of the DPRK—including Kim Jong Un himself—in possible crimes against humanity. Although not a prosecutorial body, the COI recommended that the international community work to ensure accountability of the regime, including a recommendation that the situation be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

No Chain (The Association of North Korean Political Victims & Their Families) has picked up the baton and started a petition to advocate that the US Government work with the international community to refer Kim Jong Un to the ICC. As it is not a party to the ICC, the DPRK is not subject to its jurisdiction except through a referral from the Security Council; this is very unlikely with China and Russia as permanent veto-wielding members.

Nonetheless, Jung Gwang Il, the founder and director of No Chain is leading the effort stating in a recent newsletter, “our ultimate goal and aim is to generate awareness and interest in this matter, and news of this petition drive on the 'We The People' website…will be sent into North Korea to show the North Korean citizens that the dictator Kim Jong Un is not above the law…”

We have our doubts about the efficacy of signing petitions to indict Kim Jong Un but don’t think it can hurt. In fact, a major theme of the North Korean COI, compared to others, is the central role that NGOs have played in the process: from advocating for the creation of the COI itself, providing the Commission with contacts with experts and witnesses during the investigation, and advocating for accountability after the COI report’s release.

If you are so inclined the petition needs (as of this writing) 99,568 signatures by November 19, 2016 to get a response from the White House.

More From

Related Topics