Human Rights Must Be An Integral Part Of North Korea Dialogue

The United States can work to further its political principles as well as its strategic interests in North Korea.


WASHINGTON D.C. – This month, President Trump met with Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s brutal communist dictator, in an unprecedented diplomatic summit with the world’s most totalitarian regime. Despite urging by US lawmakers, international human rights groups, and North Korean defectors, President Trump acknowledged that he did not advocate for improved human rights in North Korea or mention North Korea’s atrocious record of mass incarceration, extrajudicial executions, and international terrorism during the summit talks. 

Marion Smith, Executive Director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, issued this statement in response to the Trump-Kim summit:

In the context of recent negotiations, it’s vitally important to have a clear, factual, and goal-oriented discussion about human rights in the world’s most isolated communist state. As Americans, we best fulfill strategic goals when we stand for freedom and human dignity which are the foundations of our own government. Successful negotiations with the USSR prove that our foreign policy is bolstered by these values—not hindered by them. We urge the Trump Administration in subsequent negotiations with the Kim dynasty to acknowledge the suffering of 25 million Koreans who live captive in one of the world’s most atrocious dictatorships.
Today is the one-year anniversary of the death of Otto Warmbier, who died as a result of being imprisoned and tortured by the North Korean regime. Otto’s brutal death was a shocking reminder to many Americans that the nature of Kim Jong-un’s communist regime is evil.

For questions about the Foundation or to schedule an interview with Marion Smith, please contact Naphtali Rivkin by email at or by phone at (202)-629-9500.