February 24, 2014

New UN Report Details Gross North Korean Crimes Against Humanity

According to a report recently released by United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN-OHCHR), gross and unparalleled violations of human rights are being committed by North Korea against its people, in many cases constituting crimes against humanity.  These findings, while not surprising in and of themselves, are absolutely ground-breaking when realizing the scope, gravity, and utter brutality of the North Korean regime.

Released earlier this month, the report details unparalleled violations that constitute “systematic, widespread, and gross human rights violations that have been and are being committed by [North Korea], its institutions, and officials…these are not mere excesses of the State; they are essential components of a political system…the gravity, scale, and nature of these violations…has no parallel in the contemporary world…and seeks to dominate every aspect of its citizens’ lives and terrorizes them from within.”

Former prisoner’s sketch of North Korean torture methods, courtesy of UN-OHCHR

Specific violations committed by North Korea include the employment of “murder, torture, slavery, sexual violence, mass starvation, and other abuses as tools to prop up the state and terrorize ‘the population into submission’, providing abundant evidence in the UN’s 400-page report. While definitely an emotional issue, the evidence, from satellite imagery of suspected prison camps to several hundred confidential interviews and firsthand accounts, is hard to refute.

Satellite imagery of Prison Camp #14, courtesy of UN-OCHCR

These types of abuses are even akin to the atrocities committed by the Nazis, according to a source cited by the UK’s Guardian.  “There are ‘many parallels’ between the evidence he [the source] had heard and crimes committed by the Nazis and their allies in the second world war. He noted the evidence of one prison camp inmate who said his duties involved burning the bodies of those who had starved to death and using the remains as fertiliser.”

Other details range from the torture of women who are believed to be pregnant from a Chinese man, violating  racial purity, claims of the drowning of a newborn baby, forced abortions, the widespread lack of food and famine, a complete lack of freedom of movement for any ‘citizens’, and many others.

Leading up to the investigation and subsequent report, North Korea “refused to participate in the investigation or allow the commission to visit, and immediately rejected the findings, calling them ‘a product of politicisation of human rights on the part of EU and Japan in alliance with the US hostile policy’”.  However, given the public and rather unprecedented scale of human rights violations finally documented and shared for various international actors and institutions to see, the situation now rests with the International Criminal Court and its ability to review any allegations in order to begin a possible prosecution of parties responsible.

North Korean prison camps, courtesy of UN-OHCHR

As SOFREP has previously reported regarding North Korea, the threat from the rogue state has remained a consistent problem for many rational state actors around the world.  With the recent release of the UN-OHCHR report and the referral of its findings to the International Criminal Court for prosecution, it remains to be seen whether or not any action will be taken by world powers to engage in the necessary international political dialogue to create a solution.

Visit the UN’s OHCHR site here for full access to the report and its findings.

Thanks for listening.

(Feature image courtesy of CNN)

About the Author

is a junior active duty officer working ground intel and supporting an airborne-capable unit. Not SOF, just a regular guy. He holds a BS in Political Science with a German minor from a small engineering school in Colorado, where he loves the adventure found in the mountains. He strongly advocates admitting nothing, denying everything, and making counter-accusations. Nothing here is written in an official capacity or represents the positions of the USG; all work is his personal opinion alone. NFQ

To comment on this article please join/login. Here's a sample of the comments on this post.

  • YankeePapa

    . ...This is a mess.  If your father is put in a camp for say, a joke about the Kim dynasty... you go, and your kids go... This is routine.   . ...The item about the woman who got preggers by the Chinese man... Both North and South Korea have a real attitude problem about this... but in the South it would mostly cause the woman to be shunned.  Korea has kind of been an Armenia between Japan and China and ideas of "racial purity" go way back.   . ...For many years and a number of administrations, politicos of both parties said, "North Korea will not be permitted to develop nuclear weapons..." and "Give sanctions a chance..."  Then one day they had nukes and the politicos said, "We can't do anything now... they have nukes..." (Was Iran paying attention...?) . ...Short of a military coup... which is not likely... the only real hope of change would have to come from China.  China is very much of two minds about this.  If North Korea goes too far (say uses chemical weapons against Seoul) then China could not possibly stop a massive retaliation... but would rather have to hide under the covers... . ...China used to enjoy baiting the West... but market realities preclude most of that... But North Korea can do it while China keeps its hands clean.  China does not want to see North Korea become another failing East Germany that gets absorbed into the West.  They no longer fear Western troops on their border (at least Korean), but within decades of absorption Korea could become a real economic powerhouse.  In addition... China would feel more isolated. . ...China is keeping its options open though...  You probably saw the item about Pimplish Leader feeding his uncle to starving dogs.  Most likely a creation of the Chinese press... with obvious quiet approval of the government...  In case things get really crazy it is perhaps considered best if the Chinese people aren't suddenly shocked to find the rug pulled out from under an "heroic ally..." . ...On a purely personal level, the Chinese government still has a major case of the red xss re the Korean War.  They lost countless men pulling the North's fat out of the fire... and the vast majority of North Korean citizens know little or nothing about it.  The war museum in the North is massive... but only one small photo showing Chinese troops crossing the Yalu...  . ...The Chinese have lots of problems of their own... having increasing numbers of political and economic North Korean refugees crossing their border is something that they really don't want.  And the North has actually instigated a few minor "border incidents", treating their Chinese opposite numbers as if they were South Koreans...  The Chinese play these down in public... but they are certainly not sentimental about their North Korean "comrades..." . -YP-

  • Solitario

    Regardless of the politics involved, is it inaccurate to say that the 2nd Korean War is forthcoming? I mean, the PRC doesn't hold anywhere near the same relationship w/ NK after these decades. The Cold War as we knew it has definitely come to a close... And what exactly does China have to (seriously) worry about aside from a foreign border w/ what could be considered an American proxy? (A loaded question, I understand)

  • redfour184

    Good report and we should always shine a light on such darkness. However, I burns me a little of the comparison to just the Nazis. The Soviets did much the same, murdering even more people than the nazis. The Chinese did very much the same, also with a much higher body count. This is just another product of socialism whether it's national socialism, or Soviet socialism. It's all a ponzi scheme to get the masses to surrender their power until they are powerless, then the killing starts. We would be wise to heed the warnings here. It's played out so many times in history there's a word for it, democide, or death by government.

  • squatch00

    dickftr SEAN SPOONTS(MAFIA)  And it's not like the citizens would even notice...

  • drummergirl

    Thanks 14 charlie for the update...I too have known about NK for awhile now...I learned about the horrors people suffer there from a persecuted Christian perspective.  If you are so much as found with a bible you can be shot on the spot....their prisons are akin to concentration camps...they do experiments on their own people...they have a face of prosperity and happy people...the elite few who are a part of the "party" and totally brainwashed...the rest of the population is rotting away..starving..freezing...with no access to any comforts, any information other than state fed, any way to develop themselves as human beings...they are consumed with survival and  making sure they don't talk to anyone or say anything or God forbid talk to a neighbor about anything and then a week later are dragged into prison.....its absolutely horrible what they suffer there.  They are treated as sub human...... We in the West, from a quality of life perspective and having all the basics and then some (much) covered, we have it so good!!!!!!