Thursday, March 11, 2010

Summonses sent to North Korean Foreign Minister

VOA reports a U.S. District Court has sent summonses to the Foreign Minister of North Korea to appear in court on two civil lawsuits filed against North Korea. The cases stem from the alleged abduction of a missionary who was aiding North Korean defectors in China, and alleged North Korean weapons sales to Hezbollah.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in January sent two summonses to Ui-Chun Park, the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of North Korea in Pyongyang.

According to court documents, the court mailed a summons in connection with a case involving Reverend Dong Shik Kim, who is believed to have been kidnapped by North Korea and died in North Korean custody. Rev. Kim Dong Shik was working in China as a missionary to provide humanitarian aid to North Korean defectors and refugees there, and was abducted to North Korea on January 16 of 2000. In North Korea, he was allegedly put into hard labor in a camp and died of torture and starvation.

Another summons and lawsuit mailed to Park was filed by 30 Americans residing in Israel who allegedly suffered injuries from rocket attacks launched by Hezbollah, and who allege that North Korea provided Hezbollah with "material support and resources" that caused the attacks.

Robert Tolchin, the lead attorney in both cases, said the plaintiffs are seeking compensatory damages in an amount for no less than $100 million, punitive damages, any and all costs sustained in connection with the prosecution of this action, including attorneys' fees. If Ui-Chun Park does not take any action in response to the summonses, Tolchin says, he will seek for default judgment.

No comments: