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.”