In light of growing concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and the vulnerability of the civilian population in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK/North Korea) while under crippling sanctions and forced isolation, the members of the global campaign Korea Peace Now! Women Mobilizing to End the War urge governments around the world to take every step available to increase humanitarian and medical assistance to the DPRK. That includes increasing contributions to the UN, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and other humanitarian organizations providing aid in the DPRK, working with the UN Security Council and the US government to ensure unhindered delivery of much-needed humanitarian aid, and offering direct assistance to North Korea. The campaign also urges the UN Security Council and governments imposing sanctions on the DPRK to lift or reform those undermining the capacity of the government to respond to the humanitarian crises as found in the October 2019 Korea Peace Now-commissioned independent report “The Human Costs and Gendered Impact of Sanctions on North Korea.”
With an impending pandemic, now is the time for all countries to work together for the health and safety of everyone.