Thor Halvorssen Mendoza Discusses Human Rights in North Korea

Thor Halvorssen Mendoza, a human rights activist, discusses abuses of human rights in North Korea in the wake of the Women Cross DMZ march.

According to Thor Halvorssen Mendoza, a noted activist and founder of the Human Rights Foundation, the recent Women Cross DMZ march across the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea highlighted the need for a better global understanding of the human rights violations of the Kim regime.

In May, a group known as the Women Cross DMZ and made up of 30 female activists carried out a “peace march” to call for an end to the Korean War and to push strongly for peace and unification. According to the Human Rights Foundation, while the women’s intention was obviously noble, the results were less than they could have hoped in spotlighting human rights abuses by the North Korean government.

Participating in the march were Nobel Peace Prize laureate Leymah Gbowee; filmmaker Abigail Disney; feminist Gloria Steinem; and activist Christine Ahn. Along with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former President Jimmy Carter and other Nobel Peace Prize laureates such as Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama endorsed the march and its stated intention of bringing attention to the Korean War, which is still technically ongoing since the cease-fire was signed in 1958.

“The women involved in this march were applauded for their involvement, but what many people do not realize is that the credulity displayed by the group in the face of the good show put on by the North Korean government completely ignores the suffering of its people. The marchers demanded an end to violence, but what did they actually accomplish?”

Thor Halvorssen Mendoza went on to say that the North Korean government faces both internal pressure from smuggled films and media and external pressure from the United Nations. The UN has referred current President Kim Jong Un to the International Criminal Court and even compared the government’s crimes to those of the Nazis. He notes, “We hope that the Women Cross DMZ campaign will abandon moral relativism and take a strong stand against the Kim regime, and for human rights in North Korea.”

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About Thor Halvorssen Mendoza: Thor Halvorssen Mendoza is a human rights activist and the founder and CEO of the Human Rights Foundation (HRF). This group is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that promotes and protects global human rights and unites people in the common cause of promoting democracy. The group focuses on the founding ideals of the human rights movement represented in the 1976 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

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Name: Thor Halvorssen Mendoza
Phone: (212) 246-8486
Organization: The Human Rights Foundation

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Release ID: 87973