North Korea Claims Authority to Torture American Children

Washington, D.C. (GRN) — American diplomats have taken to social media today to voice their horror regarding the newly published claim by a North Korea legal adviser that the country has the authority to torture American children.

Yon Pong-ju, legal counsel to supreme leader Kim Jong-un, stated last night in a rare interview that the country’s leader had total authority and could not be limited in his effort to protect the nation from dissidents and terrorists.

The reporter conducting the interview pressed Pong-ju, asking “If the supreme leader deems that he’s got to torture somebody, including by crushing the testicles of the person’s child, there is no law that can stop him?”

Pong-ju responded, “I think it depends on why the supreme leader thinks he needs to do that.”

“This lawyer has repeatedly justified the crimes and abuses of power by North Korean officials,” said Chad Arnoldson, former ambassador to South Korea, on his Facebook page. “Americans being held in North Korea prisons should not be subject to such torture—let alone their innocent children.”

“Once again, North Korea is showing why they remain on the ‘axis of evil’!” wrote Troy Polamson, Deputy Secretary of State, on his Twitter account.

Pong-ju came to international attention after a 2002 memo he authored to justify torture was leaked. Addressed to the supreme leader, the legal opinion authorized sleep deprivation, painful stress positions, and water boarding as acceptable actions during wartime—something that critics claim is contrary to the U.N. Convention on Torture.

“While we have no record of the North Korea government torturing children in this manner, it’s alarming that top legal counsel for the country would not reject it,” said Jenny Clarkston, senior legal analyst for Amnesty International. “Civilized nations must condemn the legal theory that empowers government agents to do whatever they please, supposedly in the name of national security.”

Pong-ju dismissed the critics of his interview, telling GRN “can’t believe everything you hear on the internet.”

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