Skip to content

Pursuing Peace While Advancing Rights: The Untried Approach to North Korea

On May 17, 2010, the U.S.-Korea Institute at SAIS released a new report by David Hawk: “Pursuing Peace While Advancing Rights: The Untried Approach to North Korea.” This report argues that the reigning paradigm—the idea that either centrally involved nation-states seek to reconcile, engage, and negotiate with the DPRK, in which case raising human rights issues is taboo, or another government raises human rights issues but forgoes engagement and negotiations—is all wrong. This report seeks to make the case that the two should go hand in hand, and outlines an alternative paradigm, which combines the search for peace with the promotion of human rights, and suggests some ways that this alternative, as yet untried, approach might be pursued.

Commenting on the report were Victor Cha, Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and Sophie Richardson, Advocacy Director, Human Rights Watch/Asia Division.

Executive Summary: “Pursuing Peace While Advancing Rights: The Untried Approach to North Korea”, by David Hawk (USKI: May 2010)

Full Report: “Pursuing Peace While Advancing Rights: The Untried Approach to North Korea”, by David Hawk (USKI: May 2010)


David Hawk directed the Cambodia Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in the mid to late 1990s. In the 1980s, Hawk documented the Khmer Rouge atrocities in Cambodia under the auspices of the Institute for the Study of Human Rights, Columbia University. In August 1994 and again in 1995, Hawk went on missions to Rwanda for the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Amnesty International respectively. Hawk is a former executive director of the United States section of Amnesty International and has served on the board of directors of AIUSA and Human Rights Watch/Asia.