This week in Canberra John Alexander, Member of Parliament for Bennelong, was honoured by the North Korean Human Rights Advancement Association of Australia (NKHRAAA) for a speech he made in February condemning the human rights abuses in North Korea and calling for this pariah state to open up and re-join the community of nations.
Ahead of this speech, John had an extensive meeting with prominent members of the Korean Community to discuss the issues that they would like raised. He then took these issues directly to the chamber when speaking in support of a motion tabled by Craig Laundy MP.
In response to this debate, Tae Hyun Kim, President of the NKHRAAA presented John with a commemorative plate to mark the occasion, and thanked him for his kind words with the Proverb “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”
John Alexander said: “I was very proud to receive this honour, which I accepted on behalf of the thousands of Koreans who live in my electorate Bennelong.”
“I was initially moved to make the speech following conversations with a number of local constituents who had family in North Korea. From these conversations I was struck by the hope for the future despite the depredations of daily life in the North.”
“This hope must be capitalised on to build bridges with the North. Only this will bring their human rights abuses to a long-awaited end, and allow for the family reunions which have been denied for so long”
“Through this positivity, I am hopeful that very soon the Korean community in Bennelong and across Australia will be able to relax in the knowledge that their cousins back home are not threatened by tyranny and have all the benefits of a free society that we are so lucky to enjoy in this country.”