§ Mr. Mullin
We fully share my hon. Friend's concerns about reports of continued and widespread human rights violations in North Korea, and we raise the issue regularly with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) authorities. My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Bill Rammell) raised the allegations concerning chemical weapons tested on North Korean prisoners with the DPRK Ambassador on 12 February and urged the DPRK government to allow independent monitors access to the country to verify or disprove such allegations, as called for in the Resolution adopted by the UN Commission on Human 89W Rights in 2003. We will continue to encourage the DPRK government to co-operate fully with UN human rights mechanisms.
§ Mr. Mullin
We regularly raise the issue of North Korean refugees with the Chinese, including at the biannual UK/China Human Rights Dialogue. At the last round of the Dialogue, on 10/11 November 2003, we urged China to allow the UNHCR access to the border areas and to observe its obligations under the 1951 Refugee Convention. In addition, my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Bill Rammell) raised the issue with the Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui in December 2003.
We will continue to encourage China's greater co-operation with the UNHCR on this issue.