North Korea barks at Finland for human rights

Sunday, February 25, 2007 at 4:49 | Posted in Finland, Human rights | Leave a comment
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This story in the Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat sounds almost like an early April Fool’s joke unless you knew the background. The North Korean embassy in Stockholm has sent a protest note to the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affaris with accusations of human right violations by Finnish officials against two North Korean diplomats. The note says that Finnish police and customs officials had acted violantly against the two men carrying diplomatic courier mail from Moscow to Stockholm.

The men were on board a train from Moscow. At the border control none of them spoke any language other than Korean. They refused to show any documents and present their luggage to the customs officers. They then violantly threw out a customs officer from their train cabin and locked themselves in the cabin. Police officers used tear gas to get them out.

The two gentlemen were then taken to a police station where it became apparent that they were diplomats. Their diplomatic status was cleared with the Foreign Ministry in Helsinki and they were then escorted to another train to Helsinki.

It is obvious that Finnish customs had no business examining their luggage since they were covered by diplomatic immunity. But how were the customs officers supposed to know that since neither of them spoke any language but Korean? In such case showing a diplomatic passport would usually do the trick but these dudes refused to show theirs.

I would not judge North Korea too harsh for sending two complete morons on a diplomatic mission. They obviously sent the best two persons available for the job. North Korea’s splendid human rights record obviously justifies their Stockholm embassy to call this incident a human rights violation.

Finland should definitely hire border control personnel with fluent command of Korean language and outstanding telepatic skills so they would recognize a diplomat at first sight of their eyeballs. Or better still, without even knocking on the cabin door.

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