Distr.3 Restricted 2 4ebruary #0.4 -nglish only

Human Rights Council
Twenty-fifth session Agenda item 4 Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention

Report of the detailed findings of the commission of inquiry on human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
The present document contains the detailed findings of the commission of inquiry on human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The Commission’s principal findings and recommendations are pro ided in document A!"RC!#$!%&.


The information contained in this document should be read in con(unction )ith the report of the commission of inquiry on human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea *A!"RC!#$!%&+.





[English only]

Paragraphs Page

5. 55.

5ntroduction.............................................................................................................. 7andate and methodology of the commission of inquiry........................................ A. 9. C. D. -. 4. 8rigins of the mandate..................................................................................... 5nterpretation of the mandate........................................................................... :on/cooperation by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.................. 7ethods of )or;.............................................................................................. <egal frame)or; and standard of proof for reported iolations...................... Archi ing and record/;eeping of testimony....................................................

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"istorical and political conte>t to human rights iolations in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea............................................................ A. 9. C. D. -. 4. Pre/colonial history.......................................................................................... ?apanese colonial occupation *.=.0 to .=4$+.................................................. Di ision of the peninsula@ the Korean Aar and its legacy............................... 5mposition of the Bupreme <eader *suryong+ system...................................... Consolidation of po)er under the Kim dynasty.............................................. ->ternal dynamics and the human rights situation.......................................... Ciolations of the freedoms of thought@ e>pression and religion...................... Discrimination on the basis of Btate/assigned social class * songbun+@ gender and disability........................................................................................ Ciolations of the freedom of mo ement and residence@ including the freedom to lea e one’s o)n country and the prohibition of refoulement........ Ciolations of the right to food and related aspects of the right to life............. Arbitrary detention@ torture@ e>ecutions@ enforced disappearance and political prison camps............................................................................... -nforced disappearance of persons from other countries@ including through abduction............................................................................ Definition of crimes against humanity under international la)...................... Crimes against humanity in political prison camps......................................... Crimes against humanity in the ordinary prison system.................................. Crimes against humanity targeting religious belie ers and others considered to introduce sub ersi e influences...................................................................


4indings of the commission..................................................................................... A. 9. C. D. -. 4.


Crimes against humanity.......................................................................................... A. 9. C. D.



-. 4. ,. ". 5. C5. A. 9. C. C55.

Crimes against humanity targeting persons )ho try to flee the country......... Btar ation......................................................................................................... Crimes against humanity targeting persons from other countries@ in particular through international abductions................................................. A case of political genocideD........................................................................... Principal findings of the commission.............................................................. 5nstitutional accountability.............................................................................. 5ndi idual criminal accountability................................................................... Responsibility of the international community................................................

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-nsuring accountability@ in particular for crimes against humanity.........................

Conclusions and recommendations..........................................................................



AC4 C-DAA C-BCR CRC DPRK 4A8 "R:K "RA 5CCPR 5C:K 5C-BCR 5CRC K9A KC:A K5:F KPA KAA4F KAAR5 <4:KR 7PB 7B4 :,8 :"RCK :KD9 :K"R PDB P8A R8K BBD F:"CR FBA A4P A"8 A,-5D Action contre la 4aim *Action against "unger+ Con ention on the -limination of All 4orms of Discrimination against Aomen Committee on -conomic@ Bocial and Cultural Rights Con ention on the Rights of the Child Democratic People’s Republic of Korea 4ood and Agriculture 8rganiEation of the Fnited :ations Committee for "uman Rights in :orth Korea "uman Rights Aatch 5nternational Co enant on Ci il and Political Rights 5nternational Coalition to Btop Crimes against "umanity in :orth Korea 5nternational Co enant on -conomic@ Bocial@ and Cultural Rights 5nternational Committee of the Red Cross Korean 9ar Association Korean Central :e)s Agency of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Korea 5nstitute for :ational Fnification Korean People’s Army Korean Aar Abductees’ 4amily Fnion Korean Aar Abductees’ Research 5nstitute <ife 4unds for :orth Korean Refugees 7inistry of People’s Becurity 7Gdecins Bans 4rontiHres *Doctors Aithout 9orders+ :on/go ernmental organiEation :ational "uman Rights Commission of Korea Database Center for :orth Korean "uman Rights CitiEens’ Alliance for :orth Korea "uman Rights Public Distribution Bystem Prisoner of Aar Republic of Korea Btate Becurity Department 8ffice of the Fnited :ations "igh Commissioner for Refugees Fnited Btates of America Aorld 4ood Programme Aorld "ealth 8rganiEation Aor;ing ,roup on -nforced and 5n oluntary Disappearances





.. 8n #. 7arch #0.&@ at its ##nd session@ the Fnited :ations "uman Rights Council established the Commission of 5nquiry on "uman Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea *DPRK+. "uman Rights Council Resolution ##!.& mandated the body to in estigate the systematic@ )idespread and gra e iolations of human rights in the DPRK@ )ith a ie) to ensuring full accountability@ in particular@ for iolations that may amount to crimes against humanity.. #. Among the iolations to be in estigated )ere those pertaining to the right to food@ those associated )ith prison camps@ torture and inhuman treatment@ arbitrary detention@ discrimination@ freedom of e>pression@ the right to life@ freedom of mo ement@ and enforced disappearances@ including in the form of abductions of nationals of other states. &. 8n 2 7ay #0.&@ the President of the "uman Rights Council announced the appointment of 7ichael Kirby of Australia and Bon(a 9iser;o of Berbia@ )ho (oined 7arEu;i Darusman of 5ndonesia@ the Bpecial Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea@ to ser e as the members of the Commission of 5nquiry on "uman Rights in the DPRK. 7r Kirby )as designated to ser e as Chair. The Commissioners@ )ho ser ed in a non/remunerated@ independent@ e>pert capacity@ too; up their )or; the follo)ing month. The Commission of 5nquiry )as supported by a Becretariat of nine e>perienced human rights officials pro ided by the "igh Commissioner for "uman Rights. 8nce appointed@ ho)e er@ the Becretariat )or;ed independently of the "igh Commissioner for "uman Rights. 4. This report builds upon the oral updates )hich the Commission of 5nquiry pro ided in accordance )ith Resolution ##!.& to the "uman Rights Council in Beptember #0.& and to the Fnited :ations ,eneral Assembly in 8ctober #0.&. $. The Commission implemented the mandate entrusted by the 7ember Btates of the "uman Rights Council bearing in mind the Council’s decision to transmit the reports of the Commission to all rele ant bodies of the Fnited :ations and to the Fnited :ations Becretary/,eneral for appropriate action.


*andate and methodology of the commission of inquiry
+rigins of the mandate

%. The adoption of Resolution ##!.& mar;ed the first time that the "uman Rights Council had established a commission of inquiry )ithout a ote. 5t follo)s resolutions adopted in #0.# )ithout a ote by the ,eneral Assembly and the "uman Rights Council that e>pressed deep concern about the persisting deterioration in the human rights situation in the DPRK.# 2. <eading up to the adoption of Resolution ##!.&@ Fnited :ations human rights entities@ including the Bpecial Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea@ a number of 7ember Btates@ and se eral ci il society organiEations@ including human rights groups set up by persons )ho had fled the DPRK@ had called for the establishment of an inquiry mechanism. The report of the Bpecial
. #

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Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DPRK to the ##nd session of the "uman Rights Council@ in particular@ identified the need for an international independent and impartial inquiry mechanism )ith adequate resources to in estigate and more fully document the gra e@ systematic and )idespread iolations of human rights in the DPRK. 1. 5n ?anuary #0.&@ the "igh Commissioner for "uman Rights@ :a i Pillay@ called for a fully/fledged international inquiry into serious crimes that@ she said@ had been ta;ing place in the DPRK for decades@ and stressed that the concern about the DPRK’s possession of nuclear )eapons should not o ershado) the deplorable human rights situation in :orth Korea. =. The establishment of the Commission of 5nquiry must also be seen in light of the DPRK’s limited cooperation )ith the e>isting human rights mechanisms. The DPRK is a Btate Party to the 5nternational Co enant on Ci il and Political Rights *5CCPR+@ the 5nternational Co enant on -conomic and Bocial Rights *5C-BCR+@ the Con ention on the Rights of the Child *CRC+ and the Con ention on the -limination of All 4orms of Discrimination against Aomen *C-DAA+. Bince #00=@ the DPRK has not submitted any state reports on the foregoing treaties@ although in #004@ the DPRK did ta;e the positi e step of in iting a delegation of the Committee on the Rights of the Child to isit the country. .0. The DPRK under)ent its first cycle of the Fni ersal Periodic Re ie) *FPR+ in #00= and )ill be sub(ect to the second cycle in #0.4. Ahile stating some generic commitments to human rights obligations@ the DPRK failed to accept any of the .%2 recommendations made by the FPR Aor;ing ,roup in #00=.& ... The Bpecial Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has not had access to the country since the inception of the mandate in #004. The DPRK has re(ected the mandate@ deeming it as a hostile act@ and refuses to cooperate )ith it. Bince the mission of the mandate of the Bpecial Rapporteur on iolence against )omen@ its causes and consequences in .==$@ 4 not a single mandate holder of the "uman Rights Council has been in ited@ or permitted@ to isit the DPRK. .#. 8n the basis of resolutions by the ,eneral Assembly and the "uman Rights Council@ the Becretary/,eneral and the "igh Commissioner for "uman Rights ha e also issued periodic reports detailing human rights iolations and related impunity in the DPRK. The DPRK has not pro ided substanti e input to these reports since it has re(ected the underlying resolutions of the ,eneral Assembly and "uman Rights Council. Bince #00&@ the DPRK ,o ernment has also re(ected all offers of technical assistance from the 8ffice of the "igh Commissioner for "uman Rights *8"C"R+.


)nterpretation of the mandate

.&. The mandate of the Commission of 5nquiry is essentially found in paragraph $ of Resolution ##!.& that ma;es specific reference to paragraph &. of the #0.& report of the Bpecial Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.$ Reading the t)o paragraphs together@ the Commission determined that it had been mandated to in estigate the systematic@ )idespread and gra e iolations of human rights in the DPRK including@ in particular@ the follo)ing nine specific substanti e areas3 / iolations of the right to food@ / the full range of iolations associated )ith prison camps@
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/ torture and inhuman treatment@ / arbitrary arrest and detention@ / discrimination@ in particular in the systemic denial and fundamental freedoms@ / / / iolations of the freedom of e>pression@ iolations of the right to life@ iolations of the freedom of indi idual mo ement@ and iolation of basic human rights and

/ enforced disappearances@ including in the form of abductions of nationals of other states. .4. These nine areas@ )hich are interlin;ing and o erlap@ therefore define the focus of the Commission’s inquiry. "o)e er@ this list of nine is not e>hausti e@ and@ )here appropriate@ the Commission has also in estigated iolations that are intrinsically lin;ed to one of the nine areas. .$. The mandate further indicates that the inquiry should pursue three inter/lin;ed ob(ecti es3 *.+ further in estigating and documenting human rights iolations@ *#+ collecting and documenting ictim and perpetrator accounts@ and *&+ ensuring accountability. *a+ 4urther in estigation and documentation of human rights iolations3 Resolution ##!.& as;s the Commission to in estigate the systematic@ )idespread and gra e iolations of human rights in the DPRK. <i;e)ise@ paragraph &. of the Bpecial Rapporteur’s report mentioned abo e repeatedly refers to more detailed documentation of such iolations. The request for more detailed in estigation@ )ith a ie) to ensuring accountability@ suggested a stronger focus on in estigating ho)@ and by )hom@ any iolations ha e been found to be planned@ ordered and organiEed. *b+ Documentation of the accounts of ictims and perpetrators3 The mandate@ as elaborated by paragraph &. of the Bpecial Rapporteur’s report@ as;s the Commission for Ithe collection and documentation of ictims’ testimonies and the accounts of sur i ors@ )itnesses and perpetratorsJ. The Commission implemented this aspect of the mandate primarily by conducting public hearings of ictims and other )itnesses and ma;ing their testimonies a ailable on its )ebpage. Additionally@ accounts pro ided by ictims and )itnesses )ho could not spea; publicly for protection reasons are safeguarded in a secure and confidential database. *c+ -nsuring full institutional and personal accountability3 The mandate ma;es it clear that the in estigation should be carried out I)ith a ie) to ensuring full accountability@ in particular )here these iolations may amount to crimes against humanityJ. Paragraph &. of the Bpecial Rapporteur’s report adds that the Iinquiry should e>amine the issues of institutional and personal accountability for Kgra e@ systematic and )idespread iolationsL@ in particular )here they amount to crimes against humanityJ. .%. Considering the e>tent@ systematic nature and gra ity of the reported iolations@ the Commission also considered the responsibility of the international community. 5t has directed recommendations to)ards the international community as requested by paragraph $ of Resolution ##!.&@ read in con(unction )ith Paragraph &. of the Bpecial Rapporteur’s report. .2. 5n accordance )ith paragraph .2 of "uman Rights Council Resolution #&!#$ % and in line )ith best practices on the integration of gender in the e>ercise of mandates@ the

Resolution on accelerating efforts to eliminate all forms of iolence against )omen3 pre enting and responding to rape and other forms of se>ual iolence *A!"RC!R-B!#&!#$+. .


Commission has de oted specific attention to gendered issues and impacts of iolations during the course of its in estigations@ paying particular attention to iolence against )omen and children. Ta;ing into account "uman Rights Council Resolution #&!#$@ the Commission therefore paid specific attention to iolence against )omen and girls and included the gender dimension of other iolations in its report. Ciolence against )omen@ in particular se>ual iolence@ pro ed to be difficult to document o)ing to the stigma and shame that still attaches to the ictims. The Commission ta;es the ie) that its inquiry may ha e only partially captured the e>tent of rele ant iolations. .1. Compared to the mandates gi en to other commissions of inquiry@ 2 paragraph $ of Resolution ##!.& does not limit the temporal scope for the Commission’s inquiry. The Commission has focused on documenting iolations that are reflecti e of the human rights situation as it persists at present. Aithin the limits of time@ resources and a ailable information at its disposal@ the Commission has also inquired into patterns of human rights iolations that may ha e commenced in the more distant past@ but are continuing and!or ha e serious repercussions to this day. "istorical e ents that predate the establishment of the DPRK are described )here they are crucial to understanding the human rights iolations in the DPRK and their underlying political@ cultural and economic causes. .=. As to its geographic scope@ the Commission has interpreted its mandate to include alleged iolations perpetrated by the DPRK against its nationals both )ithin and outside the DPRK as )ell as those iolations that in ol e e>traterritorial action originating from the DPRK@ such as the abductions of non/DPRK nationals. #0. The Commission is of the ie) that iolations committed outside the DPRK that causally enable or facilitate subsequent human rights iolations in the DPRK@ or are the immediate consequence of human rights iolations that ta;e place in the DPRK@ are also )ithin its mandate. 5n this respect@ the Commission also made findings regarding the e>tent to )hich other states carry rele ant responsibility. 1


/on-cooperation by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

#.. Resolution ##!.& urges the ,o ernment of the DPRK to cooperate fully )ith the Commission’s in estigation@ to permit the Commission’s members unrestricted access to isit the country and to pro ide them )ith all information necessary to enable them to fulfil their mandate. 5mmediately after its adoption@ the DPRK publicly stated that it )ould Itotally re(ect and disregardJ the resolution@ )hich it considered to be a Iproduct of political confrontation and conspiracyJ.= 5n a letter dated .0 7ay #0.&@ the DPRK directly



4or instance@ "uman Rights Council Resolution B/.2!. mandated the Commission of 5nquiry on the Byrian Arab Republic to in estigate all alleged iolations of international human rights la) since 7arch #0... The Commission of 5nquiry *C85+ on <ibya in estigated )hether :AT8 committed iolations during its bombing campaign *see A!"RC!.=!%1@ paras. 1& ff+. The Darfur C85 reported that Chad and <ibya )ere pro iding )eapons to the rebellion. The C85 on Byria documented the complicity of "eEbollah fighters in iolations *see A!"RC!#&!$1@ paras. 40 and %+. The C85 on 5sraeli Bettlements *A!"RC!##!%&@ paras. =% ff+ referred to the responsibility of foreign businesses@ )hile the C85 on Cote d’5 oire detailed iolations by <iberian mercenaries *A!"RC!A!"RC!.2!41@ paras. %4@ 1# M .0#+. According to the DPRK’s state/operated Korean Central :e)s Agency@ this position )as con eyed through a 4oreign 7inistry spo;esperson. Bee IF: "uman Rights Council’s IResolution on "uman RightsJ against DPRK Re(ected by DPRK 47 Bpo;esmanJ@ KCNA@ ## 7arch #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).;cna.co.(p!item!#0.&!#0.&0&!ne)s##!#0.&0&##/&=ee.htmlN IB. Korean Regime Denounced for Trying to 4abricate I"uman Rights ResolutionJ against DPRKJ@ KCNA@ #% 7arch #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).;cna.co.(p!item!#0.&!#0.&0&!ne)s#%!#0.&0&#%/ .#ee.html.



con eyed to the President of the "uman Rights Council that it Itotally and categorically re(ects the Commission of 5nquiryJ. Regrettably@ this stance has remained unchanged@ despite numerous efforts by the Commission to engage the DPRK. ##. 5n a letter addressed to the Permanent 7ission of the DPRK in ,ene a dated .1 ?une #0.&@ the Commission requested a meeting. This )as follo)ed by another letter sent on $ ?uly #0.&@ in )hich the Commission solicited the DPRK to e>tend cooperation and support by facilitating access to the country. The Permanent 7ission of the DPRK in ,ene a ac;no)ledged the receipt of the t)o letters to the Commission’s Becretariat@ but e>plicitly repeated the re(ection of the mandate of the Commission. #&. The Commission reiterated its request to ha e access to the territory of the DPRK in a letter sent on .% ?uly #0.& to 7r Kim ?ong/un@ Bupreme <eader and 4irst Becretary of the Aor;ers’ Party of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. This letter )as unans)ered. #4. The Commission also in ited the authorities of the DPRK to send a representati e or representati es to scrutiniEe the e idence and to ma;e submissions during public hearings held by the Commission in Beoul@ <ondon and Aashington D.C. There )as no response to these in itations. The Commission is una)are of )hether the DPRK made arrangements for the public hearings to be attended by a representati e. #$. 8n .2 Beptember #0.&@ during the interacti e dialogue at the "uman Rights Council@ the Chair of the Commission reaffirmed that the Commission reached out in friendship to the DPRK and remained a ailable to isit and engage in a dialogue on any terms that the authorities )ould consider appropriate. During the interacti e dialogue at the Third Committee of the ,eneral Assembly on #= 8ctober #0.&@ in the presence of the representati es of the DPRK to the Fnited :ations in :e) Oor;@ the Chair again offered the opportunity of dialogue and interaction )ithout any preconditions. These offers ha e not been follo)ed up by the DPRK. #%. As late as 2 ?anuary #0.4@ the Commission pro ided )ritten assurances to the authorities of the DPRK of its resol e to see; the ad ancement of the en(oyment of human rights by all people in the DPRK through the discharge of its mandate in an independent@ impartial and transparent manner. The Commission reiterated its continued commitment to ensuring that its )or; be fully informed by the perspecti es of the ,o ernment of the DPRK. 5t also emphasiEed that getting access to the concerned country and hearing the position of the authorities of the DPRK )ould contribute to a better understanding of the human rights situation inside the country. 8n this occasion@ the Commission also offered to the Permanent 7ission in ,ene a to discuss the progress in the preparation of the report. All the abo e approaches to the DPRK ha e been ignored. #2. 9efore publication@ the Commission shared the findings of this report@ in their entirety@ )ith the ,o ernment of the DPRK and in ited comments and factual corrections. A summary of the most serious concerns@ in particular those indicating the commission of crimes against humanity@ )as also included in a letter addressed to the Bupreme <eader of the DPRK@ 7r Kim ?ong/un..0 To the date of )riting of this report@ there has been no response.


*ethods of wor1

#1. During its first meeting in the first )ee; of ?uly #0.&@ the Commission determined its methodology and programme of )or;. The Commission decided to pursue the in estigation )ith a ma>imum of transparency and )ith due process guarantees to the DPRK@ )hile also ensuring the protection of ictims and )itnesses.

Bee Anne> 5 of the Commission report *A!"RC!#$!%&+. 2


#=. 5n carrying out its )or;@ and in assessing the testimony placed before it@ the Commission )as guided by the principles of independence@ impartiality@ ob(ecti ity@ transparency@ integrity and the principle of Ido no harmJ@ including in relation to guarantees of confidentiality and the protection of ictims and )itnesses. 9est practices )ere applied )ith regard to )itness protection@ outreach@ rules of procedure@ report )riting@ international in estigation standards@ and archi ing. .. &% Public hearings

&0. 5n the absence of access to )itnesses and sites inside the DPRK@ the Commission decided to obtain first/hand testimony through public hearings that obser ed transparency@ due process and the protection of ictims and )itnesses. Cictims and )itnesses )ho had departed the DPRK@ as )ell as e>perts@ testified in a transparent procedure that )as open to the media@ other obser ers and members of the general public. 7ore than 10 )itnesses and e>perts testified publicly and pro ided information of great specificity@ detail and rele ance@ sometimes in )ays that required a significant degree of courage. &.. Public hearings )ere conducted in Beoul *#0/#4 August #0.&+@ To;yo *#=/&0 August #0.&+@ <ondon *#& 8ctober #0.&+ and Aashington@ D.C. *&0/&. 8ctober #0.&+. The authorities of the Republic of Korea@ ?apan@ the Fnited Kingdom of ,reat 9ritain and :orthern 5reland@ and the Fnited Btates of America pro ided operational and substanti e support for the conduct of the public hearings@ including by facilitating the identification and hiring of a enue@ assisting in the pro ision of the ser ices of professional interpreters and pro iding ideo/recording and transcripts of the proceedings. They also ensured the security of the hearings and facilitated contact )ith the national and international press corps and rele ant ci il society organiEations and indi iduals. &#. The public hearings co ered all areas of the mandate. Aitnesses )ere required to affirm that they )ere testifying truthfully. The Commissioners ensured that )itnesses limited their testimony to issues rele ant to the human rights situation in the DPRK and a oided unrelated political or derogatory statements. They also spo;e about abuses that they had suffered or )itnessed in other countries@ to the e>tent that there )as a direct causal lin; bet)een such abuses and the human rights situation in the DPRK. &&. The Commission in ited the authorities of the DPRK to attend and@ by lea e@ to as; questions and ma;e representations at the public hearings in Beoul@ <ondon and Aashington D.C.@ but recei ed no reply. 5nstead@ the official ne)s agency of DPRK publicly accused the Commission of slander and claimed that )itness testimony )as fabricated..# The Commission repeatedly in ited the DPRK to adduce proof of its claims@ but recei ed no reply. 5t also put these claims to )itnesses so that they could respond in their o)n )ords. Cideo recordings and transcripts from all public hearings are a ailable on the Commission’s )ebsite..& The Commission has encouraged members of the public to study the recordings and transcripts in order to form their o)n opinions of the reliability and consistency of the )itness testimony.


5n particular@ the Commission follo)ed the best practices that are also outlined in 8ffice of the "igh Commissioner for "uman Rights@ 5nternational Commissions of 5nquiry and 4act/ 4inding 7issions on 5nternational "uman Rights <a) and 5nternational "umanitarian <a) *#0.&+. Bee IKC:A Commentary Blams B. Korean Authorities for Chilling Atmosphere of DialogueJ@ KCNA@ #2 August #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).;cna.co.(p!item!#0.&!#0.&01!ne)s#2!#0.&01#2/.4ee.html. 8ffice of the "igh Commissioner for "uman Rights. ICommission of 5nquiry on "uman Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea 6 Public "earingsJ. A ailable from http3!!))).ohchr.org!-:!"R9odies!"RC!Co5DPRK!Pages!Public"earings.asp>.






Confidential inter4iews

&4. 7any ictims and )itnesses )ho fled the DPRK )ere prepared to share rele ant information@ but )ould not do so publicly as they feared reprisals against family members )ho still remain in the DPRK. Persons )ho pre iously ser ed in an official capacity in the DPRK )ere often particularly reluctant to be seen to cooperate publicly )ith the Commission. Bome e>perts on the situation in the DPRK also preferred to be inter ie)ed confidentially in order to preser e space for their direct engagement )ith the DPRK. &$. The Commission and its Becretariat conducted o er #40 confidential inter ie)s )ith indi idual )itnesses. These inter ie)s )ere conducted during isits to Beoul@ To;yo@ 9ang;o;@ <ondon@ and Aashington@ D.C. and through ideoconferences and telephone calls. &%. ->cerpts from these inter ie)s are included in the report. 5n many instances@ information on the e>act place and time of iolations and other details that might identify the )itness has been )ithheld due to protection concerns. '% Call for submissions and re4iew of other written materials

&2. 5n ?uly #0.&@ the Commission addressed a call for )ritten submissions to all Fnited :ations 7ember Btates and rele ant sta;eholders. All interested states@ persons or organiEations )ere in ited to share rele ant information and documentation@ )hich could be of assistance to the Commission in the discharge of its mandate. As of & :o ember #0.&@ the deadline for sharing information and material )ith the Commission@ 10 such submissions )ere recorded. ->ceptionally@ a small number of submissions recei ed after the deadline )ere admitted. Additionally@ a ery large olume of correspondence )as recei ed by the Commission and the Commission’s members. &1. The Commission obtained and re ie)ed a )ealth of other reports and )ritten materials prepared by the Fnited :ations@ non/go ernmental organiEations@ go ernments@ research institutes and academics. Ahile the findings in this report rely primarily on first/ hand testimony from ictims and )itnesses@ the )ritten record has pro ided in aluable conte>t and a source of corroboration. 7any reports and documents )ere tendered by )itnesses at the public hearings. They )ere all recorded as e>hibits and are part of the record of those hearings. (% 5ngagement with other states

&=. The Commission isited the Republic of Korea from .= to #2 August #0.&. 5n addition to the public hearing held in Beoul@ the Commission met the Prime 7inister of the Republic of Korea@ go ernment officials from arious ministries@ local and international non/go ernmental and ci il society organiEations@ the :ational "uman Rights Commission of Korea and the Korea 5nstitute for :ational Fnification. 40. The Commission isited ?apan from #2 August to . Beptember #0.&. 5n addition to the public hearing held in To;yo@ the Commission met the Prime 7inister of ?apan@ go ernment officials from arious ministries@ and local and international non/go ernmental and ci il society organiEations. 4.. The Commission isited Thailand from .1 to #0 Beptember #0.&. During this isit@ the Commission met officials of the Royal Thai ,o ernment including the 7inistry of 4oreign Affairs@ the :ational "uman Rights Commission of Thailand@ representati es of international agencies@ and local and international non/go ernmental and ci il society organiEations. The Commissioners conducted a confidential inter ie) )ith the family of a suspected case of international abduction by the DPRK.



4#. The Commission isited the Fnited Kingdom of ,reat 9ritain and :orthern 5reland from #& to #$ 8ctober #0.&. 5n addition to public hearing held in <ondon@ the Commission met the 7inister of Btate responsible for the 4ar -ast and Bouth -ast Asia of the 4oreign and Common)ealth 8ffice@ arious go ernment officials@ non/go ernmental and ci il society organiEations. 4&. The Commission isited the Fnited Btates of America from #1 8ctober to . :o ember #0.&. 5n addition to the public hearing held in Aashington D.C.@ the Commission met officials of the Fnited Btates Department of Btate@ the chairperson and members of the 4oreign Affairs Committee of the "ouse of Representati es@ arious go ernment officials@ e>perts@ and non/go ernmental and ci il society organiEations. 44. Cisits of the Commission to the respecti e countries )ere preceded by the deployment of the members of the Commission’s Becretariat to ma;e preparations for the public hearings@ meet )ith rele ant partners and conduct confidential inter ie)s in different locations in the country in the course of the Commission’s )or;. The Becretariat staff made an additional isit to Beoul at the end of 8ctober #0.& for three )ee;s to conduct additional confidential inter ie)s and to carry out other follo)/up action to the public hearings held in August #0.&. 4$. 4rom its first )or;ing meeting in ?uly #0.&@ the Commission sought access to the territory of the People’s Republic of China to conduct rele ant inquiries and to consult )ith the authorities about the implementation of its mandate. Bpecifically@ the Commission as;ed for access to the areas of the country bordering the DPRK@ in order to obtain first/ hand information about the situation of persons )ho fled the DPRK. Additionally@ the Commission as;ed to meet Chinese e>perts on the DPRK to inform its in estigations. After a series of informal meetings )ith diplomats of the Permanent 7ission of the People’s Republic of China to the Fnited :ations 8ffice in ,ene a@ the Commission transmitted a formal request to the Permanent 7ission of the People’s Republic of China on 2 :o ember #0.& for an in itation to isit China. 5n the letter@ the Commission requested agreement to a isit to 9ei(ing in order to meet rele ant officials and e>perts and to the Oanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in order to inter ie) DPRK nationals in holding centres and other places of detention as )ell as representati es of churches and other organiEations )ho are in ol ed in caring for DPRK nationals in China. The letter highlighted the alleged traffic;ing of )omen from the DPRK to China and the status of children of :orth Korean mothers and Chinese fathers as issues of prime concern for the Commission in China. 8n #0 :o ember #0.&@ the Permanent 7ission informed the Becretariat that@ gi en China’s position on country/specific mandates@ especially on the Korean peninsula@ it )ould not be possible to e>tend an in itation to the Commission. 5n a follo)/up letter@ the Commission requested the Permanent 7ission of the People’s Republic of China in ,ene a to pro ide information on the status of DPRK citiEens and their children in China@ forced repatriations to and related cooperation )ith the DPRK@ human traffic;ing@ and other issues of concern to the mandate of the Commission. 8n &0 December #0.&@ the Commission recei ed a reply to its letter. An additional letter )as recei ed on #% ?anuary #0.&. The correspondence is anne>ed to the report of the Commission..4 4%. Bections of the report that touch on the responsibility of other states@ responsibility for their nationals and!or matters directly related to other states ha e been shared )ith the ,o ernments concerned to permit factual corrections. 5nformation recei ed in response@ )ithin the stipulated deadlines@ has been carefully re ie)ed by the Commission and integrated to the e>tent appropriate@ in particular )here facts )ere inaccurately e>pressed.


Bee A!"RC!#$!%&@ anne> 55 .




Cooperation of 6nited /ations entities and other organi7ations

42. Resolution ##!.& encourages the Fnited :ations@ including its specialiEed agencies@ regional intergo ernmental organiEations@ mandate holders@ interested institutions and independent e>perts and non/go ernmental organiEations@ to de elop regular dialogue and cooperation )ith the Commission in the fulfilment of its mandate. 41. The Commission has engaged )ith a number of Fnited :ations entities and humanitarian actors outside the Fnited :ations system to obtain rele ant information. A small number of Fnited :ations entities )ere )ary of cooperating openly )ith the Commission for fear of negati e repercussions on their operations in the DPRK. Bome pro ided rele ant information@ )hile others did not. This report only attributes information to specific organiEations )here such information is reflected in their public reports. The citation of a public report is not necessarily an indication that an organiEation has cooperated )ith the Commission. 4=. The Commission e>tends its gratitude to the 8ffice of the "igh Commissioner for "uman Rights. Apart from its dedicated Becretariat@ the Commission also recei ed ad ice and support from 8"C"R’s standing function to support commissions of inquiry@ fact/ finding missions and other human rights in estigati e missions. Buch support and assistance )as afforded )ith proper respect to the independence and integrity of the Commission@ its members and its Becretariat. The Commission also interacted )ith@ and recei ed rele ant information from@ a number of mandate holders under the Bpecial Procedures of the "uman Rights Council and human rights Treaty 9odies. $0. The Commission benefitted from the in aluable support of a number of non/ go ernmental organiEations that thoroughly document human rights iolations in the DPRK. These organiEations sometimes suffer from inadequate financial resources. :e ertheless@ they )ent to great lengths to ensure that the Commission could gain the trust of ictims and )itnesses )ho had departed the DPRK. -% Protection of witnesses and other in4estigati4e challenges

$.. The Commission paid particular attention to the protection of ictims and )itnesses. The initial protection assessment carried out by the Commission indicated that the authorities of the DPRK routinely sub(ect persons )ho spea; out about the human rights situation in the DPRK to summary e>ecutions@ enforced disappearances and other acts of iolence. ,ra e reprisals ha e also been e>tended to the family members of such persons. The Commission too; into account the policy of the People’s Republic of China to forcibly repatriate persons )ho depart the DPRK as )ell as ;no)n cases in )hich such persons )ere abducted by DPRK authorities and forced to return to the DPRK. $#. 9earing this conte>t in mind@ the Commission sought to e>ercise (udgement@ caution and sensiti ity in all interactions )ith ictims and )itnesses. Constant assessments )ere made about the need to establish contact )ith persons )ho may be placed at ris; as a result of that contact. Contacts )ere not attempted if the Commission determined that it )ould not be able to ensure the safety of a cooperating person@ if the ris; of harm )as assessed to be too high or if the Commission did not ha e sufficient information to ma;e an informed determination on the le el of ris;. 5n particular@ the Commission did not pursue offers to ha e direct contact through mobile telephones )ith )itnesses still residing in the DPRK. $&. 5n relation to the public hearings@ protection concerns )ere carefully assessed on a case/by/case basis@ ta;ing into account all rele ant circumstances. 5n principle@ the Commission only heard publicly from ictims and )itnesses )ho had no close family left in the DPRK or )ere (udged not to be at ris; in the People’s Republic of China. 5nformed consent of the )itness to testify )as a necessary@ but not sufficient@ requirement to allo) for the testimony to be heard. 5n some cases@ the Commission refused the offer of


courageous )itnesses )ho offered to testify in public@ since reprisals against family )ere (udged a real possibility. 5n other cases@ ictims and )itnesses )hose names and e>periences )ere already sub(ect to e>tensi e media co erage )ere allo)ed to testify@ unless there )ere reasonable grounds to belie e that additional public testimony might result in further reprisals. The Commission also too; care to ensure that )itnesses’ testimony and questioning )ould not refer to the personal details of persons )ho had not e>pressed their consent to be identified in public and )ho could face protection concerns. $4. The identity of all )itnesses )as established by the Commission prior to the hearings. 7ost )itnesses )ere also prepared to re eal their identity during the public hearings. 4or protection reasons@ ho)e er@ some )itnesses )ere permitted only to identify themsel es )ith a pseudonym *7s P@ 7r Timothy etc.+ and to ta;e measures to conceal their faces or adopt other identifiers. A small number of )itnesses )ore hats@ sunglasses or other clothing that co ered parts of their faces@ measures to pre ent the disco ery of their identity. $$. - en these e>tensi e protection measures may not pre ent reprisals. The Commission requests that any information indicating that persons )ho cooperated )ith the Commission or their family members faced reprisals be brought to the immediate attention of the Becretary/,eneral@ through the "igh Commissioner for "uman Rights. The Commission recalls that primary responsibility for protecting ictims@ )itnesses and other persons cooperating )ith the Commission rests )ith their states of residence and nationality and urges 7ember Btates to pro ide additional protection measures )here necessary. $%. The lac; of physical access to )itnesses and sites in the DPRK@ coupled )ith the stated protection concerns@ created a number of particular challenges for an effecti e in estigation. $2. The pool of potential first/hand )itnesses is limited to no more than &0@000 citiEens )ho ha e left the DPRK@ the ast ma(ority of )hom reside today in the Republic of Korea. 7ost of these )itnesses are from pro inces bordering China@ )hich means that the situation in those pro inces is relati ely better documented than the situation in other pro inces of the DPRK. 5n most cases@ a person )ho fled the DPRK requires considerable time to reach a place of safety and to de elop the courage necessary to spea; about his or her e>perience. ,i en that the Commission applied a rigorous standard of proof based on first/hand testimony@ it )as therefore not able to confirm many of the most recent instances of human rights iolations alleged by non/go ernmental organiEations and media reports. $1. The most significant challenge faced by the Commission resulted from a fear of reprisals. The ma(ority of potential )itnesses )ere afraid to spea; out e en on a confidential basis because they feared for the safety of their families and assumed that their conduct )as still being clandestinely monitored by the DPRK authorities. The Commission is therefore particularly grateful to those indi iduals )ho found the courage to brea; the )all of silence by testifying publicly or confidentially to the Commission. $=. 4ear of reprisals for their )or; and operations has also limited the )illingness of many aid )or;ers@ (ournalists@ diplomats and other foreign isitors to the DPRK to share ;no)ledge and information )ith the Commission. :e ertheless@ foreigners usually ha e limited first/hand ;no)ledge about the human rights situation@ since they are denied freedom of mo ement in the country and their contact )ith DPRK citiEens is closely managed and monitored. %0. The Commission found encouraging the amount of information that is seeping out of the DPRK )ith the ad ent and )ider a ailability of technology. The Commission )as able to rely on commercially a ailable satellite images to confirm the e>istence of four political prison camps described in this report. Almost certainly@ higher resolution satellite imagery produced by more technologically ad anced states )ould ha e pro ided further


information. Fnfortunately@ despite requests@ these images )ere not made a ailable to the Commission. %.. The Commission also obtained clandestinely/recorded ideos and photographs sho)ing rele ant sites@ documents and correspondence that elucidated alleged iolations of human rights in the DPRK. The Commission relied on such material to the e>tent that it could confirm its authenticity. %#. The Commission is conscious of the fact that most ictims and )itnesses cooperating )ith the Commission had an o erall unfa ourable opinion of the DPRK’s authorities@ though usually not of the country itself or its people. Through its refusal to cooperate )ith the Commission@ the DPRK depri ed itself of the opportunity to offer its o)n perspecti es on the human rights situation and to pro ide information on any ad ances made in regard to the human rights of its population. The Commission has sought to account for these challenges by carefully re ie)ing information pro ided by the DPRK in publicly a ailable documents. 5n particular@ the Commission has re ie)ed the DPRK’s state reports to the Fni ersal Periodic Re ie) and the Treaty 9odies as )ell as the publicly a ailable summaries of its responses to letters of allegations transmitted by the Bpecial Procedures of the "uman Rights Council. 4igures and other rele ant claims of fact stated in these documents are reflected in this report@ e en if the Commission could not confirm their basis or alidity.


8egal framewor1 and standard of proof for reported 4iolations

%&. 5n assessing the human rights situation in the DPRK@ the Commission relied chiefly on the binding legal obligations that the DPRK oluntarily assumed as a Btate Party to the human rights treaties mentioned abo e. 8ther obligations e>pressed in customary international la) also bind the DPRK. %4. 5n relation to issues )ithin its mandate that har;en bac; to the period of the Korean Aar *.=$0/$&+@ the Commission also too; into account those residual obligations of international humanitarian la) that continue to be applicable in the relations bet)een the DPRK and other parties to that conflict. %$. The possible commission of crimes against humanity are assessed on the basis of definitions set out by customary international criminal la)@ )hich to a large e>tent o erlap )ith those later e>pressed in the Rome Btatute of the 5nternational Criminal Court. %%. Ahere appropriate@ the Commission has also considered rele ant obligations of other states@ including the prohibition of refoulement under international refugee la) and international human rights la) as )ell as the rights and duties of states in e>tending diplomatic protection to their nationals and permanent residents. %2. Consistent )ith the practice of other Fnited :ations fact/finding bodies@ the Commission employed a Ireasonable groundsJ standard of proof in ma;ing factual determinations on indi idual cases@ incidents and patterns of state conduct. These factual determinations pro ided the basis for the legal qualification of incidents and patterns of conduct as human rights iolations and@ )here appropriate@ crimes against humanity. %1. There are Ireasonable groundsJ establishing that an incident or pattern of conduct has occurred )hen the Commission is satisfied that it has obtained a reliable body of information@ consistent )ith other material@ based on )hich a reasonable and ordinarily prudent person has reason to belie e that such incident or pattern of conduct has occurred. This standard of proof is lo)er than the standard required in criminal proceedings to sustain an indictment@ but is sufficiently high to call for further in estigations into the incident or pattern of conduct and@ )here a ailable@ initiation of the consideration of a possible


prosecution. The findings of the Commission appearing in this report must be understood as being based on the Ireasonable groundsJ standard of proof@ e en )hen the full e>pression *Ireasonable grounds establishingJ+ is not necessarily e>pressed throughout the te>t of this report. %=. 5n line )ith the methodology of the Commission@ particular emphasis )as gi en to information gathered during public hearings@ gi en that the general public and e>perts can directly scrutiniEe the Commission’s assessment of the reliability and credibility of the )itness and the alidity of the information pro ided. 20. 5ndi idual cases and incidents reflected in this report are generally based on at least one credible source of first/hand information@ )hich )as independently corroborated by at least one other credible source of information. To the e>tent that protection considerations permit@ sources are identified. Ahere the report describes patterns of conduct@ these are based on se eral credible sources of first/hand information@ )hich are consistent )ith@ and corroborated by@ the o erall body of credible information collected. 5n the fe) instances )here this rigorous standard of proof could not be met@ but the Commission still considered it appropriate to reflect the incident or pattern@ the underlying sources are identified. 2.. The Commission considered the follo)ing to be sources of first/hand information3 *a+ testimony pro ided in public hearings and confidential inter ie)s by ictims@ eye)itnesses@ ictims’ close family members@ perpetrators or former DPRK officials )ith direct ;no)ledge of the issues@ incidents and trends brought before the Commission@ )here it )as assessed that the source )as credible and reliable and the information alidN *b+ satellite imagery from reliable sources@ authenticated ideo and photo material@ autobiographies@ and other documents containing first/hand information from a reliable source. This category also includes a number of e>hibits recei ed during the public hearingsN *c+ publicly a ailable admissions of rele ant facts by the DPRKN *d+ la)s@ policies and directi es of the DPRK as )ell as internal DPRK documents@ pro ided that they )ere recei ed from a credible and reliable source and their authenticity could be confirmedN and *e+ statistics@ sur eys and other quantitati e information generated by the DPRK or the Fnited :ations@ to the e>tent that the data is based on an apparently sound methodology and the inputs underlying the data are considered alid and originating from a credible and reliable source. 2#. The Commission relied on the follo)ing types of information for the purposes of corroborating information based on first/hand sources and pro iding the o erall conte>t to iolations3 *a+ testimony pro ided in public hearings or confidential inter ie)s by )itnesses )ho recei ed the information directly from a person ;no)n to them *and not as a rumour+@ pro ided that the Commission assessed the source to be credible and reliable and the information to be alidN *b+ summaries of )itness testimony contained in publications or in submissions by the Fnited :ations@ research institutes and human rights organiEations@ )here the Commission assessed the source to be credible and reliable and the information to be alidN and *c+ summary descriptions of patterns of conduct contained in e>pert testimony@ public reports@ submissions@ boo;s@ documentaries and similar materials@ )here the Commission assessed the source to be credible and reliable and the information to be alid.



2&. The reliability and credibility of each source )as carefully assessed by the Commission. The Commission considered )hether the source )as trust)orthy and )hether the person )as telling )hat he or she belie ed to be true. This assessment too; into account@ amongst other considerations@ the follo)ing3 *a+ the )itness’s political and personal interests@ potential biases and past record of reliability *if ;no)n+N *b+ the )itness’s apparent capacity to correctly recall e ents@ considering his or her age@ trauma@ ho) far bac; the e ents occurred@ etc.N *c+ *d+ *e+ the position of the )itness in relation to the sub(ect of the informationN )here and ho) the )itness obtained the informationN and the reasons for )hich the )itness pro ided the information.

24. The Commission additionally considered that any piece of information had to be assessed for its alidity by considering@ amongst other factors@ the information’s rele ance to the inquiry@ its internal consistency and coherence@ its logicality and its consistency )ith and corroboration by other information. 2$. Assessments of the reliability and credibility of the source )ere separated from assessments of the alidity of the information. The Commission did not assume that a )itness@ (udged to be a credible and reliable source@ )ould necessarily pro ide accurate and alid information. 2%. Ahere information )as assessed to meet the Ireasonable groundsJ standard@ the Commission could reach its conclusions and dra) inferences more comfortably because it had repeatedly offered to the authorities of the DPRK the opportunity to attend the public hearings@ to obtain lea e to as; questions to the rele ant )itnesses@ and to address the Commission on such information. 5n addition@ the Commission shared its findings )ith the DPRK and in ited comments and factual corrections. The authorities of the DPRK ha e failed to a ail themsel es of such facilities by their o)n decisions. 22. Ahere the Commission refers in this report to a testimony of a )itness@ the testimony as assessed and described is accepted by the Commission as truthful and rele ant *e>cept to any degree e>pressly identified+. 21. Direct reference to specific testimony in the report does not indicate that such testimony is the sole basis of (udgement by the Commission in relation to the issues under analysis. Ahere these direct references and citations are found in the report@ it is to be understood that the Commission has decided to introduce them for the purpose of pro iding an e>ample or an illustration of broader human rights issues and!or patterns of conduct.


!rchi4ing and record-1eeping of testimony

2=. Aith the assistance of rele ant 8"C"R sections@ a confidential electronic database )as specially created from an 8"C"R standard model to enable the Commission to securely record and store information pertaining to its mandate. Bpecifically@ the use of the database enabled the Commission to3 *a+ *b+ *c+ *d+ safely manage@ follo)/up and archi e informationN ;eep information secure@ including through encryptionN retrie e and analyse informationN and adhere to a sound human rights monitoring and reporting methodology.



10. The database contains the summary records of all inter ie)s conducted )ith )itnesses as )ell as electronic copies of rele ant materials gathered during the course of the inquiry. As a fully searchable tool@ the database facilitated the logical organiEation and retrie al of information for analysis@ establishing trends and patterns )hich assisted in the )riting of this report. 1.. The free@ informed and specific consent of inter ie)ees to use and!or share information gathered )as recorded in the database@ as )as any additional assessment of the Commission about possible protection ris;s of using and!or sharing the information recei ed e en )hen inter ie)ees freely consented to its use. 1#. The Commission of 5nquiry has requested the "igh Commissioner for "uman Rights to safeguard the confidential database. The Commission has also informed the "igh Commissioner of its )ish that the database remain a li ing instrument that )ill continue to be updated and e>panded. The database should therefore be made accessible in full to 8"C"R@ the Bpecial Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and any future Fnited :ations mechanisms tas;ed to protect human rights in the DPRK. 1&. 4urthermore@ the Commission has authoriEed the "igh Commissioner@ acting as the residual Becretariat of the Commission@ to pro ide access to the e>isting materials contained in the database to competent authorities that carry out credible in estigations for the purposes of ensuring accountability for crimes and other iolations committed@ establishing the truth about iolations committed or implementing Fnited :ations/ mandated targeted sanctions against particular indi iduals or institutions. Access should only be granted to the e>tent that )itnesses or other sources of information concerned ha e gi en their informed consent and that any protection and operational concerns are duly addressed. To ensure that the information gathered by the Commission is preser ed in its integrity once the Commission has fulfilled its mandate@ the physical records of the Commission )ill also be archi ed in accordance )ith Fnited :ations archi ing practices. .$ 14. At this stage of the history of the Korean people@ the creation and maintenance of an archi e of the testimony of indi idual )itnesses on human rights abuses in the DPRK and the )ritings of e>perts is an important contribution to human rights a)areness and e entual accountability. Among the greatest affronts to the achie ement and maintenance of uni ersal human rights for all peoples is the ris; that gra e iolations ta;e place un;no)n@ in secret@ and are not recorded and analysed so that future generations can learn from@ and resol e to a oid@ shoc;ing departures from the uni ersal alues recogniEed in international la). This report describes many such shoc;ing departures.

)))% Historical and political conte:t to human rights 4iolations in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
1$. The current human rights situation in the DPRK has been shaped by the historical e>periences of the Korean people. Confucian social structures and the oppression suffered during the ?apanese colonial occupation ha e informed the political structures and attitudes pre ailing in the DPRK today. The imposed di ision of the Korean peninsula@ the massi e destruction that occurred during the Korean Aar and the impact of the Cold Aar ha e engendered an isolationist mind/set and a deep a ersion to outside po)ers. The particular nature and the o erall scale of human rights iolations in the DPRK can be better understood through an appreciation of the de elopment of the system of go ernment in the DPRK. The DPRK is a single/party state dominated by a family dynasty )hich controls the

Becretary/,eneral’s 9ulletin@ Record- eeping and the management of !nited Nations archi"es@ .# 4ebruary #002 *BT!B,9!#002!$+.



party@ the state and the military. Rigid ideological tenets loosely based on socialist 7ar>ist/ <eninist theory and an e>tensi e security apparatus sustain this regime. 1%. Any description of history and political structures ine itably reflects the sources and ie)points of those )ho record it. The Commission endea oured at different stages to engage )ith the DPRK in order to recei e directly its perspecti e@ including on historical e ents. 5n the absence of any such engagement@ the Commission has nonetheless sought to effect a balanced approach and to use the most reliable sources at its disposal to inform its understanding of the historical and political conte>t to the human rights iolations in the DPRK.


Pre-colonial history

12. The DPRK is often referred to as the I"ermit KingdomJ suggesting that the insularity of the :orth has been characteristic since its beginnings. The largely self/ imposed relati e isolation of the DPRK today is not@ ho)e er@ an e>tension of the earlier e>periences of pre/modern Korea. 5t is belie ed that humans inhabited the Korean peninsula since :eolithic times@ )ith the e entual emergence of settled communities based on agricultural production that led to enough surplus for horses@ )eapons and armies to sustain centuries of legends of epic battles among arious indigenous ;ingdoms and against outside forces from modern/day China@ ?apan and 7ongolia. 11. 8 er the course of pre/modern history@ Korea established a class/based system )hereby a small aristocratic elite@ combining elements of a landed gentry and scholar/ officials@ e entually to be ;no)n as the yangban# ruled o er peasants and lo)er classes that included merchants and labourers. Bla ery and indentured ser itude )ere also practised. This class/based system is sometimes characteriEed as feudal and perhaps more accurately as agrarian/bureaucratic. 5n theory@ this system conferred elite status on men )ho had passed a rigorous ci il ser ice e>am and )ere a)arded high/le el bureaucratic positions@ some)hat analogous to the mandarin system in China. 8 er time@ the yangban became@ in practice@ a hereditary institution through the family registry system that passed on elite status through the generations@ )ith its self/perpetuating pri ileges including the right to participate in local councils. 1=. The yangban class system spea;s to the deep/rooted Confucian underpinnings of Korean society. Confucianism is essentially an ethical and philosophical system that regards adherence to strict hierarchies as important to social harmony and personal fulfilment. 4i e ;ey relationships set out these hierarchies3 so ereign and sub(ect@ husband and )ife@ parent and child@ elder brother and younger brother@ and friend and friend. The most important of those is the parent and child relationship. 5n fact@ respect for elders and social hierarchy based on age remain ;ey features of Korean culture both in the :orth and Bouth today. <i;e)ise@ the position of )omen remains ad ersely affected by traditional attitudes of inequality..%


The Committee on the -limination of Discrimination against Aomen in its concluding obser ations on the Republic of Korea in ?uly #0.. remained concerned about Ithe persistence of patriarchal attitudes and stereotypes regarding the roles and responsibilities of )omen and men in the family and in the societyJ *C-DAA!C!K8R!C8!2+. Bimilarly@ in ?uly #00$@ the Committee had urged the DPRK Ito address stereotypical attitudes about the roles and responsibilities of )omen and men@ including the hidden patterns that perpetuate direct and indirect discrimination against )omen and girls in the areas of education and employment and in all other areas of their li esJ *C-DAA!C!PRK!C8!.+. &2



;apanese colonial occupation <&2&3 to &2($=

=0. The ?apanese colonial occupation of Korea )as preceded by centuries of encounters bet)een Korea and the outside )orld@ through in asions by@ and relationships )ith@ the Chinese@ ?apanese@ 7ongols@ 7anchus@ and@ in later years@ the Russians@ 4rench and Americans. 5n .12%@ Korea signed an unfa ourable treaty )ith ?apan@ although foreign influence inside Korea )as not restricted to the ?apanese. 4actions allied )ith Chinese@ Russian and Fnited Btates interests@ as )ell as nati e Korean reformers@ (oc;eyed for position in the court of King Ko(ong. Korea )as contested by each of the po)ers see;ing to e>pand their spheres of influence in Asia. The Bino/?apanese Aar *.1=4/=$+ resulted in ?apan ending Korea’s tributary relationship )ith China by formally declaring Korea to be independent@ a status )hich allo)ed ?apan to increase its influence on the peninsula. The Russo/?apanese Aar *.=04/0$+ sa) the ?apanese defeat the Russian fleet at Port Arthur *in Dalian@ China+. This led to a peace treaty bro;ered by Fnited Btates President Theodore Roose elt in Portsmouth@ :e) "ampshire@ that recogniEed Korea as a protectorate of ?apan. 5n .=.0@ ?apan formally declared Korea to be a colony@ ending its monarchy and requiring the allegiance of the Korean people to the -mperor of ?apan. =.. ?apan imposed arious moderniEing reforms@ including in matters of social@ administrati e and economic organiEation. :e ertheless@ Koreans ha e o er)helmingly ie)ed the colonial e>perience as negati e and brutal. Koreans )ere sub(ect to racial discrimination la)s in their o)n country. They )ere prohibited from spea;ing the Korean language and made to adopt ?apanese names. ?apan sent around 200@000 nationals to fill roles in go ernment ser ice as all top administrati e positions )ere filled by ?apanese. .2 Transportation@ communications@ industry and e en agriculture )ere e>panded for the benefit of the colonial po)er rather than the Korean people. The results of ?apan’s moderniEation dri e on the peninsula )ere characteriEed by patterns of de elopment and underde elopment. The question of )hether ?apan ultimately assisted Korea in its de elopment remains highly contested both politically and in academia. .1 =#. The 7arch 4irst 5ndependence 7o ement of .=.= prompted protests by students and other Koreans against ?apanese rule in se eral Korean cities@ including Beoul and Pyongyang. These non/ iolent demonstrations spread o er the ensuing days to numerous cities and to)ns. ?apanese authorities arrested thousands of Koreans@ many of )hom died as a result of torture and inhumane conditions of detention..= =&. ?apan instigated ma(or industrialiEation on the Korean peninsula as part of its massi e )ar effort. Bteel mills@ factories and hydroelectric plants )ere built@ mainly in the :orth. 7uch of the Korean population )as uprooted from its agrarian base. Koreans@ including )omen and children@ )ere sent to labour in factories in the northern part of the peninsula and in 7anchuria and to mines and other enterprises in ?apan. 7any of the labourers )or;ed under terrible conditions@ and a large number of men and )omen )ere



Andrea 7atles Ba ada@ ed.@ North Korea$ A Country Study# %ibrary of Congress@ .==&@ A ailable from http3!!countrystudies.us!north/;orea!.#.htm. 4or e>ample@ see Daqing Oang@ I?apanese Colonial 5nfrastructure in :ortheast AsiaJ@ in Korea at the Center$ &ynamics of Regionalism in Northeast Asia @ Charles K. Armstrong and others@ eds. *:e) Oor;@ 7.-. Bharpe@ #00%+. Bee the -ncyclopaedia 9ritannica@ a ailable from http3!!))).britannica.com!-9chec;ed!topic!&%4.2&!7arch/4irst/7o ementN ,lobal :on iolent Action Database@ a ailable from http3!!n database.s)arthmore.edu!content!;oreans/protest/(apanese/ control/march/.st/mo ement/.=.=N and :ishi 7asayu;i@ I7arch . and 7ay 4@ .=.= in Korea@ China and ?apan3 To)ard an 5nternational "istory of -ast Asian 5ndependence 7o ements@J Asia-Pacific 'ournal$ 'apan (ocus@ 8ctober &.@ #002@ a ailable from http3!!(apanfocus.org!/nishi/ masayu;i!#$%0Qsthash.4#t=tgKt.dpuf.



conscripted as forced labour.#0 9y .=4$@ it is estimated that Koreans made up a large percentage of the entire labour force in ?apan.#. =4. 5t is estimated that by .=4$@ #0 per cent of all Koreans had been displaced from their places of origin@ )ith .. per cent displaced outside Korea. ## At the end of Aorld Aar 55@ there )ere appro>imately #.4 million Koreans in ?apan@ # million in China and about #00@000 in the Bo iet Fnion.#& After ?apan’s defeat in Aorld Aar 55@ the colonial administration collapsed. 7illions of displaced Koreans sought to return home )hile others stayed behind in ?apan@ China and the Bo iet Fnion. The legacy of this forced displacement includes substantial minority populations of Koreans@ particularly in ?apan and northern China.#4


Di4ision of the peninsula> the Korean ?ar and its legacy

=$. As the end of Aorld Aar 55 approached@ the matter of the disposition of colonies around the )orld became sub(ect to negotiation by the soon/to/be ictorious po)ers. The Fnited Btates of America suggested a multi/lateral trusteeship for Korea in its general preference for the establishment of gradual independence processes. 5n .=4&@ in anticipation of ?apan’s defeat@ the Allied Po)ers at the Cairo Conference set out an agreement for the independence of Korea Iin due courseJ. 5n .=4$@ the Fnited Btates decided on the &1th parallel to di ide the Korean peninsula into t)o Eones of control@ one under an American sphere of influence and the other under a Bo iet one. The Fnited Btates sent #$@000 troops to Bouth Korea in fulfilment of these arrangements. They )ere often met )ith resentment and resistance. 5n August .=4$@ the Bo iet Fnion sent its #$ th Army to :orth Korea )here it set up the Bo iet Ci il Administration. =%. The ?apanese departure from the Korean peninsula )as abrupt. Belf/go ernance groups@ or people’s committees@ appeared throughout the peninsula to fill the acuum. The Fnited Btates acti ely suppressed these groups )hile the Bo iet Fnion de eloped them into core institutions of go ernance. Ahen the Bo iets arri ed in Pyongyang@ the leader of the Korean nationalists@ Cho 7an/si;@ the most popular politician in :orth Korea@ had established the Bouth Pyongan Committee for the Preparation for 5ndependence. Among the Bo iet troops )ho )ere dispatched to :orth Korea )ere IBo iet KoreansJ@ ethnic Koreans )ho had been either been part of the substantial Korean minority population follo)ing immigration into the Russian 4ar -ast in the late .1%0s or those more recent arri als )ho had fled from 7anchuria under intensified ?apanese pressure against guerrilla


## #& #4

5n 7ay #0.#@ the Republic of Korea’s Bupreme Court in a decision that re ersed pre ious lo)er court decisions and ruled that the right of former forced )or;ers and their families to see; )ithheld )ages and compensation )as not in alidated by the .=%$ treaty that normaliEed bi/ lateral ties. 5n ?uly #0.&@ the Beoul "igh Court ruled in fa our of four Korean men )ho )ere ta;en into forced labour@ ordering :ippon Bteel M Bumitomo 7etal to pay them a total of 400 million )on. The 9usan "igh Court@ on &0 ?uly #0.&@ ordered 7itsubishi "ea y 5ndustries to pay the same amount in compensation to fi e Koreans. 5n 8ctober #0.&@ the ,)ang(u District Court ordered 7itsubishi "ea y 5ndustries <td. to pay four Korean )omen@ )ho )ere forcibly conscripted as labourers@ .$0 million )on *about FBR.4.@$.0+ each in compensation. ?apan maintains that all indi idual compensation claims )ere settled )ith the .=%$ treaty. IBouth Korean court orders 7"5 to pay Korean )omen for forced labourJ@ Kyodo Ne)s@ . :o ember #0.&. Appeals against these (udgements )ere pending )hen this report )as finaliEed. According to 9ruce Cummings@ &# per cent of the entire labour force of ?apan )as Koreans. 9ruce Cummings@ *he +rigins of the Korean ,ar$ %iberation and the Emergence of Separate Regimes# -./0--./1 *Princeton Fni ersity Press@ .=1.+@ p. #1. 9ruce Cummings@ *he +rigins of the Korean ,ar@ p. #$. Charles Armstrong@ *he Koreas *:e) Oor;@ Routledge@ #002+@ pp. =$/.0.. After the )ar@ half of the Koreans in China chose to stay@ and about %00@000 Koreans remained in ?apan. Charles Armstrong@ *he Koreas@ pp. .01/.... #&


fighters there. These Bo iet Koreans included the && year/old Korean guerrilla hero Kim 5l/ sung )ho )as a military officer )ith the ran; of captain in the Bo iet Army. =2. Ahen the Bo iet Fnion decided against retaining Cho 7an/si; as the local leader@ Kim 5l/sung )as selected as an alternate candidate. 8n .4 8ctober .=4$@ Kim 5l/sung spo;e publicly for the first time to a mass rally in honour of the Bo iet Army. "e )as introduced by Bo iet ,eneral <ebede as a Inational heroJ and an Ioutstanding guerrilla leaderJ. :e ertheless@ Kim 5l/sung )as only one of three :orth Koreans )ho spo;e at the e ent. "e )as not the most senior of them as Cho 7an/si; remained the head of the Administrati e Committee of the 4i e Pro inces@ the first proto/go ernment established by the Bo iets. 5n December .=4$@ ho)e er@ the foreign ministers of the Bo iet Fnion@ the Fnited Btates and Fnited Kingdom met in 7osco) )here they agreed to a (oint trusteeship of Korea for fi e years. :ationalists in Beoul staged rallies against the decision. Cho 7an/si;@ li;e)ise@ refused to sign the declaration of support of trusteeship in ?anuary .=4%. "e )as subsequently imprisoned and died in 8ctober .=$0. =1. 9y .=4%@ the Bo iet Ci il Administration de ol ed authority to the local administration. Kim 5l/sung )as made head of the Pro isional People’s Committee of :orth Korea. There )as less resistance to the Bo iet Fnion’s influence in the :orth than there )as to the Fnited Btates in the Bouth. 5n 7arch .=4%@ the Pro isional People’s Committee issued a <and Reform <a) )hich )as signed by Kim 5l/sung. <and belonging to ?apanese entities and indi iduals as )ell as large lando)ners )as confiscated and redistributed to former peasant tenants.#$ The land reform in the :orth )as generally successful and helped to strengthen the position of the ne) regime. 5n August .=4%@ the Pro isional People’s Committee nationaliEed industry. Technically@ only ?apanese o)ners and Korean collaborators )ere sub(ect to confiscation@ but this effecti ely included all large and most medium siEed industries. -fforts to promote national culture and education )ere also popular )ith the people. 5n .=42@ the DPRK launched its first economic plan. ==. At the top@ this early period )as mar;ed by intense factional (oc;eying for po)er that continued for o er a decade. Kim 5l/sung began to consolidate his po)er by placing his supporters@ the young guerrillas )ho had fought )ith him against ?apan in 7anchuriaSthe ,uerrilla 4action@ into positions of po)er and purging those )ho posed a threat to his assumption of authority. 5n .=4%@ former Bo iet police officer Pang "a;/se )as appointed to head the Bection on Political Defence of the state )ithin the Becurity Department@ )hich )as the first organiEation for the political police and counter/intelligence. Pang "a;/se is credited as the founder of the :orth Korean political police. Despite coming from the Bo iet Korean 4action@ and not from Kim 5l/sung’s o)n ,uerrilla 4action@ he maintained lifelong loyalty to him. .00. Although Kim 5l/sung )as by most accounts an accomplished guerrilla fighter@ he quic;ly began to bolster his standing through enhancement of his personal record and engendering a cult of personality that has come to characteriEe the go ernance of the DPRK and the state’s approach to)ards freedom of information@ opinion and e>pression. 4ormer Chairman of the Btanding Committee of the Bupreme PeopleTs Assembly ")ang ?ang/yop e>plained3 The reason )hy Kim )as chosen from among the Koreans in the 11 th 5nfantry 9rigade )as apparently because he )as young and had a good outloo;. "is e>periences )ere no match for the Chinese KKoreanL leaders of the day@ though. ->aggerated propaganda )as necessary in order to ele ate a Russian army captain to

The DPRK’s official biography of Kim 5l/sung notes that@ IThrough the agrarian reform@ a total of .@000@&#$ hectares of land that had belonged to ?apanese imperialists@ pro/?apanese elements@ traitors to the nation and landlords )ere confiscated and distributed to 2#4@$## peasant households )hich had had little or no land.J Kim 2l Sung$ Condensed 3iography *Pyongyang@ 4oreign <anguages Publishing "ouse@ #00.+@ p. .&..



the status of legendary :orth Korean hero@ but at that time Korea had (ust e>perienced painful oppression under ?apanese rule. This presented a good opportunity for e>aggerated propaganda.#% .0.. 5n .=4%@ there )as a consolidation of all political groups into the :orth Korean Aor;ers’ Party. The :orth Korean armed forces )ere also organiEed and reinforced. They )ere trained and equipped by the Bo iet military although initially they )ere disguised as police and rail)ay defence units. 9y the time the DPRK )as established in Beptember .=41@ Kim 5l/sung )as firmly in position as the head of the Cabinet of 7inisters *or Premier+. Bo iet forces then )ithdre) in large numbers from the DPRK. 5n .=4=@ the DPRK instituted compulsory military ser ice@ bringing the total number of troops to bet)een .$0@000 and #00@000@ organiEed into ten infantry di isions@ one tan; di ision and one air force di ision. This large military force )as equipped )ith Bo iet )eapons@ including T/&4 tan;s and Oa; fighter planes. These forces )ere further bolstered by the return of 4$@000 )ar/hardened Korean soldiers from China follo)ing the end of the ci il )ar there. .0#. 9et)een .=4$ and .=41@ the &1th parallel turned into a hea ily guarded border@ )hile both sides of the di ided peninsula contemplated the use of military force to achie e reunification. Tensions and military pro ocations increased after the respecti e departures of Bo iet and Fnited Btates forces in .=41. 8n #$ ?une .=$0@ Kim 5l/sung@ after finally securing support from both ?oseph Btalin and 7ao Uedong@ #2 initiated the Korean Aar by sending up to =0@000 Korean People’s Army troops o er the &1 th parallel in a multi/pronged attac; that surprised both the R8K authorities and their Fnited Btates ad isors.#1 Kim 5l/ sung )as sta;ing his claim to the leadership of the entire peninsula based on the percei ed illegitimacy of the R8K leadership and e>pectations of insurgency in the Bouth. 5nitially@ the Korean People’s Army easily o er)helmed the forces of the R8K@ )hich numbered fe)er than .00@000 men. The capital Beoul fell in three days. .0&. Fnited Btates President "arry B. Truman interpreted the attac; by the DPRK on the R8K as the first ma(or test of the Cold Aar. "e quic;ly ordered the deployment of Fnited Btates troops )hile see;ing endorsement of his actions from the Fnited :ations Becurity Council. The Becurity Council had initially adopted a Fnited Btates/led resolution calling for the immediate cessation of hostilities and the )ithdra)al of :orth Korean forces to beyond the &1th parallel )ith a ote of = to 0 )ith three abstentions. #= The Bo iet Fnion )as




")ang ?ang/yop )as the highest le el defector to the R8K. Bee 4)ang 'ang-yop 4oegoro *")ang ?ang/yop’s memoirs+ *Published in Korean by Ueitgeist@ #00%@ translated by Daily :K+. BF900%4. ?oseph Btalin bac;ed Kim 5l/sung’s )ar by )ithdra)ing his earlier opposition to it@ minimiEing his o)n contribution and putting the onus of support on 7ao Uedong’s ne) go ernment in China. The Bo iet Fnion pro ided hea y )eaponry to the DPRK but did not pro ide troops. :e ertheless@ Kim 5l/sung’s top military ad isors in the early phase of the )ar )ere Russian generals )ho re/dre) :orth Korean in asion plans to their o)n specifications. 7ao pledged to send Chinese troops if the Americans entered the )ar. Da id "alberstam@ *he Coldest ,inter$ America and the Korean ,ar *:e) Oor;@ "yperion@ #002+@ pp. 42/$=. Bo iet archi es also support this account@ in Andrei <an;o @ (rom Stalin to Kim 2l Sung$ *he (ormation of North Korea@ .=4$/%0 *<ondon@ "urst and Company@ #00#+@ p. %.. The DPRK has al)ays claimed that the Korean Aar )as initiated by an attac; by R8K forces. "o)e er@ archi al material from the Bo iet Fnion confirms the stated sequence of e ents. 4or e>ample@ see ITop Becret Report on the 7ilitary Bituation in Bouth Korea from Bhty;o to Comrade Ua;haro J@ #% ?une .=$0@ "istory and Public Policy Program Digital Archi e@ Collection of Bo iet military documents obtained in .==4 by the 9ritish 9roadcasting Corporation for a 99C TimeAatch documentary titled IKorea@ Russia’s Becret AarJ *?anuary .==%+. A ailable from http3!!digitalarchi e.)ilsoncentre.org!document!..0%1%. 5n fa our of Becurity Council Resolution 1# *.=$0+ )ere the Fnited Kingdom@ the Republic of China *Tai)an+@ Cuba@ -cuador@ 4rance@ :or)ay and the Fnited Btates. #'


not present to e>ercise its eto as a Permanent 7ember of the Becurity Council. The Bo iet Fnion had been refusing to participate in the Becurity Council since ?anuary .=$0 o er the issue of the accreditation of China. China’s seat in the Fnited :ations )as still held by the representati e of the Republic of China@ based in Tai)an@ despite the defeat of :ationalist forces on the mainland.&0 8n #2 ?une .=$0@ President Truman ordered Fnited Btates air and na al forces to support the R8K. Becurity Council Resolution 1&@ adopted on the same day@ determined that Ithe armed attac; upon the Republic of Korea by forces from :orth Korea constitutes a breach of the peaceJ. 5t recommended that Fnited :ations members Ifurnish such assistance to the Republic of Korea as may be necessary to repel the armed attac; and to restore international peace and security in the areaJ. 8n 2 ?uly .=$0@ the Becurity Council further recommended that all members pro iding military forces and other assistance do so under the unified command of the Fnited Btates and authoriEed Ithe unified command at its discretion to use the Fnited :ations flag in the course of operations against :orth Korean forces concurrently )ith the flags of the arious nations participating.J&. 4ifteen states@ in addition to the Fnited Btates@ contributed combat units to fight in the Iinternational field forceJ under the Fnited :ations Command. 5n August .=$0@ the Bo iet Fnion returned to the Becurity Council and etoed all further resolutions concerning the Korean Aar. The debate on Korea then shifted to the Fnited :ations ,eneral Assembly.&# .04. The ensuing months yielded a string of successes for the forces of the DPRK. 9y the end of August .=$0@ the DPRK’s military controlled =0 per cent of the Korean peninsula. "o)e er@ an amphibious landing of Fnited Btates troops under ,eneral Douglas 7acArthur in 5ncheon in Beptember .=$0 turned the tide. Aith the support of the Fnited :ations no) behind them@ the R8K forces marched north)ard and recaptured Beoul. ,eneral 7acArthur pushed F:/bac;ed forces up to the Chinese border despite )arnings from the Chinese. 9y :o ember .=$0@ the R8K supported by the Fnited :ations Command controlled =0 per cent of the peninsula. The People’s Republic of China then sent hundreds of thousands of troops to bolster the Korean People’s Army. They succeeded in pushing Fnited :ations and R8K forces bac; beyond the &1 th parallel. The DPRK in its subsequent accounts of the )ar has minimiEed the decisi e role played by the Chinese




The Kingdom of -gypt@ 5ndia and the Bocialist 4ederal Republic of Ougosla ia abstained. The Bo iet Fnion had assumed that the Becurity Council )ould not be able to discharge its functions under article #2@ paragraph & of the Fnited :ations Charter3 IDecisions of the Becurity Council on all other matters shall be made by an affirmati e ote of nine members including the concurring otes of the permanent membersJ. The other members of the Becurity Council decided that a member’s absence could not pre ent the body from carrying out its functions. Becurity Council Resolution 14. Those Btates contributing forces included3 Australia@ 9elgium@ Canada@ Colombia@ -thiopia@ 4rance@ ,reece@ <u>embourg@ the :etherlands@ :e) Uealand@ the Philippines@ Bouth Africa@ Thailand@ Tur;ey and the Fnited Kingdom. 4i e Btates contributed medical support3 Denmar;@ 5ndia@ 5taly@ :or)ay and B)eden. 8n & :o ember .=$0@ the ,eneral Assembly adopted the IFniting for PeaceJ Resolution *&22 A+ stating3 Ithat if the Becurity Council@ because of lac; of unanimity of the permanent members@ fails to e>ercise its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security in any case )here there appears to be a threat to the peace@ breach of the peace@ or act of aggression@ the ,eneral Assembly shall consider the matter immediately )ith a ie) to ma;ing appropriate recommendations to 7embers for collecti e measures@ including in the case of a breach of the peace or act of aggression the use of armed force )hen necessary@ to maintain or restore international peace and security.J The resolution affirmed that the ,eneral Assembly may recommend collecti e action including the use of force@ despite the F: Charter )hich gi es po)er to the Becurity Council on all matters relating to international peace and security. 8n . 4ebruary .=$0@ the ,eneral Assembly adopted Resolution 4=1@ finding that the People’s Republic of China )as Iengaging in hostilities against Fnited :ations forcesJ in the DPRK and called on Iall Btates and authorities to continue to lend e ery assistance to the Fnited :ations action in KoreaJ.



I olunteersJ.&& :e ertheless@ Chinese forces carried the main military burden for the rest of the )ar.&4 The DPRK has consistently do)nplayed the e>tent of outside assistance that it recei ed not only during the )ar but in rebuilding after the )ar and then sustaining its post/ )ar economy. The counter/offensi e by Fnited :ations forces reduced the gains made by the Korean People’s Army and caused massi e destruction in the :orth. Thereafter@ t)o years of bitter stalemate ensued. During this time@ more bombs )ere dropped on the DPRK than had been deployed in the entire Pacific theatre during Aorld Aar 55. &$ The de astation caused to all parts of the Korean peninsula )as enormous.&% .0$. The Korean Aar ended in .=$& in a ceasefire. 8n #2 ?uly .=$&@ the Armistice Agreement )as signed by <ieutenant ,eneral of the Fnited Btates Army Ailliam K. "arrison@ ?r.@ for the Fnited :ations Command@ and ,eneral of the Korean People’s Army :am 5l for the Korean People’s Army and the Chinese People’s Colunteers. 8 er # million Koreans had been ;illed. Around %00@000 Chinese and o er &%@000 Fnited Btates combatants died.&2 8ther nationalities’ fatalities include o er .@000 from the Fnited Kingdom@ and hundreds from Australia@ 9elgium@ Canada@ Colombia@ -thiopia@ 4rance@ ,reece@ the :etherlands@ the Philippines@ Thailand and Tur;ey. ,ra e breaches of international humanitarian la) )ere reportedly committed on both sides. &1 Fnited Btates military historian B.<.A. 7arshall called the Korean Aar the Icentury’s nastiest little )arJ. 5t has also been referred to as the 4orgotten Aar in the Fnited Btates.&= The conflict@ ho)e er@ is far from forgotten in the DPRK )here the )ar sacrifices )ere used to bolster the narrati e of Kim 5l/sung’s Iforging of the nationJ. 5n the DPRK@ the authoriEed history remains that the 4atherland <iberation Aar )as started by the Fnited Btates@ and that Kim 5l/sung not only defended the nation but )rought de astation on the American military. This rhetoric continued for decades. 4or e>ample@ food aid from the Fnited Btates pro ided during the mass star ation in the .==0s )as reportedly e>plained to the population as )ar reparations.40 .0%. The legacy of the Korean Aar remains unresol ed. The Armistice Agreement recommended a political conference )ithin three months of the ceasefire. The .=$4 ,ene a

&4 &$






The People’s Republic of China also characteriEed participation by Chinese soldiers in the Korean Aar as action by I olunteersJ in ;eeping )ith its depiction of the conflict on the peninsula as an internal armed conflict. Andrei <an;o @ (rom Stalin to Kim 2l Sung@ pp. %./%#. ")ang ?ang/yop notes in his memoirs@ I5n the :o ember of .=$&@ 5 came bac; to Pyongyang from life in 7osco). Pyongyang )as not )hat it had been before 5 left. There )as literally not a single decent house on the groundN only huts filled the city.J 4rom 4)ang 'ang-yop 4oegoro *")ang ?ang/yop’s memoirs+ *Published in Korean by Ueitgeist@ #00%@ translated by Daily :K+@ #.. A report issued by the 7inistry of ->ternal and 5nter/,erman Trade of the ,erman Democratic Republic indicated that the steel@ non/ferrous metal@ cement and fertiliEer industries of the DPRK )ere entirely destroyed and that the o erall capacity of state businesses had been reduced to .$/#0 per cent. The report is cited in <iana Kang/BchmitE@ I:ord;oreas Fmgang mit AbhVngig;eit und Bicherheitsrisi;oJ@ PhD dissertation@ The Fni ersity of Trier@ #0.0@ pp. $=/%0. Also a ailable from http3!!ubt.opus.hbE/nr).de! ollte>te!#0..!%&%!pdf!:ord;oreaWDDR.pdf. Casualty figures still ary significantly by source. These figures come from the Fnited Btates Department of Defense in #000 and the -ncyclopaedia 9ritannica. 9ruce Cummings@ *he Korean ,ar$ A 4istory *:e) Oor;@ 7odern <ibrary@ #0.0+@ pp. .2#@ .12 and .=0. Bamuel <yman At)ood 7arshall )as a chief Fnited Btates Army combat historian during Aorld Aar 55 and the Korean Aar. Da id "alberstam@ *he Coldest ,inter@ pp. ./#. Be en million bags )ith American logos )ere used to distribute food aid pro ided by the Fnited Btates in response to the food crisis of the .==0sN these bags )ere seen by DPRK citiEens as they )ere re/used and appeared in mar;ets. Andre) :atsios@ Aashington Public "earing@ &. 8ctober #0.&@ morning *0.341300+. #$


Conference )as attended by the Republic of Korea@ the DPRK@ China@ the Bo iet Fnion@ and .% of the .2 states that had contributed forces under the Fnited :ations Command. After t)o months@ these tal;s collapsed and ha e not resumed. There has not been a comprehensi e peace treaty. 8n both sides of the border@ there remains fear of in asion and infiltration. 5n the DPRK@ this fear has been instrumental in maintaining a state of emergency in o;ed to (ustify harsh go ernmental rule and its accompanying human rights iolations. 5n this conte>t@ percei ed political dissidents ha e been branded as spies in the ser ice of foreign po)ers. Bhortages in food and other essential means of sur i al ha e been blamed on a hostile outside )orld. The R8K li;e)ise e>periences the insecurities of the unresol ed )ar@ )hich the country addresses through general conscription and other security measures. These security measures include restrictions that appear to infringe on the human rights of its citiEens in particular respects such as the freedom of e>pression. 4. .02. The Fnited Btates by .=$4 )as disassociating its forces from the Fnited :ations Command and continued its engagement in the R8K through the Fnited Btates/R8K 7utual Defence Treaty. At the same time@ the other states that had committed troops to the Fnited :ations Command )ithdre) most or all of their forces. The Fnited Btates maintains a military presence in the R8K of about #1@$00 people. .01. Throughout the .=%0s and .=20s@ there )ere daily e>changes of fire along the demilitariEed Eone ;illing some =00 soldiers and ci ilians. 5n .=%2@ the DPRK sought to destabiliEe the R8K by utiliEing its secret ser ices. 5n .=%1@ &. men from Fnit .#4 of the DPRK’s special forces attempted to enter the 9lue "ouse in Beoul in an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate President Par; Chung/hee. :e ertheless@ in .=2#@ follo)ing secret negotiations bet)een Kim 5l/sung’s brother Kim Oong/(u and the R8K’s chief intelligence officer Oi "u/ra;@ the R8K and DPRK released a (oint statement on achie ing reunification peacefully )ithout the use of military force or e>ternal forces. Despite these de elopments@ the DPRK sponsored a number of terrorist acts against ci ilian targets of the R8K. These included3 the .=1& attempted assassination of the R8K President Chun Doo/h)an in Oangon through a bombing that ;illed #. people including four 7yanmar nationalsN the .=1% ,impo Airport bombing that ;illed fi e peopleN and the .=12 Korean Airlines bombing that ;illed ..$ people. These actions contributed to the increasing international isolation of the DPRK. .0=. The )ounds inflicted by the Korean Aar )ere deep and are still felt. The Commission ac;no)ledges the suffering that has occurred on both sides of the border.


)mposition of the @upreme 8eader <suryong= system

..0. Ahile Confucian principles ha e remained enmeshed in Korean culture@ in the :orth they )ere in many )ays instrumentaliEed by Kim 5l/sung in the effort to consolidate his authority and that of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea under his control. The relationship bet)een so ereign and sub(ect that is enunciated as a mutually binding one under traditional Confucian precepts has been stretched to one of absolute obedience to the leader as articulated in the suryong# or Bupreme <eader@ system 4# established by Kim 5l/sung and carried on under Kim ?ong/il and Kim ?ong/un. The I7andate of "ea enJ@ a Confucian principle@ is the right to rule granted to ancient Korean rulers by the gods. This mandate


The R8K’s o)n domestic legal frame)or; is influenced by its ongoing conflict )ith the DPRK. Among the R8K’s o)n human rights challenges are the go ernment’s interpretation of the si>/decade/old :ational Becurity <a) and other la)s to limit freedom of e>pression as )ell as the (ailing of conscientious ob(ectors to military ser ice. Bee the report of the Bpecial Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and e>pression *A!"RC!.2!#2!Add.#+. The Suryong *supreme leader+ system embeds all po)ers of the state@ party and military under one singular leader.



con eyed obligations on rulers to rule (ustly and fairly and for the benefit of all the people. The Suryong system positioned Kim 5l/sung *and his heir apparent+ as unchallenged rulers due to their proclaimed )isdom and bene olence under )hich the general population )ould li e in a prosperous and righteous society. 5n this )ay@ the suryong system has facilitated the unchec;ed iolation of human rights in the DPRK. .... 5n .=4=@ Kim 5l/sung secured his designation as Suryong@ Bupreme <eader. 5n order to eliminate any opposition to his rule@ he established a system of go ernance built on an elaborate guiding ideology@ a single mass party led by a single person@ a centrally/planned economy@ a monopoly on the means of communication@ and a system of security that employed iolence and a political police. As a matter of priority@ the DPRK built up its state security apparatus. The 7inistry of 5nternal Affairs@ modelled on the Bo iet security system@ )ith 4@000 to $@000 headquarters staff@ )as comprised of .#@000 regular police@ &@000 political police@ and 4$@000 employees )ithin the Becurity ,uard units@ 9order Constabulary and Railroad 9rigade. The Political Becurity 9ureau )ithin the 7inistry )as responsible for ensuring loyalty to the regime by unco ering and stopping resistance to authority and sub ersi e acti ities. The Political Becurity 9ureau also pro ided operational guidance to the Political Defence 9ureau )ithin the 7inistry of Defence@ )hich carried out the same functions )ithin the military. The security system also employed an informant net)or; of 400@000 people@ an estimated $ per cent of the population at that time. 4& ..#. "a ing already commenced in the early stages of Kim 5l/sung’s rule@ the persecution of political and ideological opponents intensified during the Korean Aar .44 A large number of KoreansSestimates range from %1$@000 to millionsSmo ed to the Bouth during the )ar.4$ 9efore .=4$@ Protestant Christians )ere a politically acti e and substantial population but many departed :orth Korea. The remaining population )as often sub(ect to suspicion. 7any )ere arrested@ imprisoned or e>ecuted. 5n .=$.@ Kim 5l/sung reorganiEed the 7inistry of 5nternal Affairs and transformed the Political Becurity 9ureau into its o)n ne) ministry@ the 7inistry of Public Becurity@ to suppress political opposition more effecti ely. ..&. After the Korean Aar@ Kim 5l/sung turned his focus to further consolidating his po)er through a series of purges targeting ri al factions. The factional struggle )ithin the leadership )as comprised of four groups. The Domestic 4action@ numbering about $00@ )as Koreans )ho had )or;ed through the underground Communist mo ement through the colonial period. 7any of them had mo ed to the :orth from the Bouth. The Oanan 4action



Ken -. ,ause@ ICoercion@ Control@ Bur eillance and Punishment3 An ->amination of the :orth Korean Police BtateJ@ The Committee for "uman Rights in :orth Korea@ #0.#@ pp. 11/=.. *->hibit A02+. Also a ailable from http3!!))).hrn;.org!uploads!pdfs!"R:KWKen/,auseWAeb.pdf. The official biography of Kim 5l/sung@ published by the DPRK@ notes the follo)ing3 I5n December .=4$@ Kim 5l Bung con ened the Third -nlarged ->ecuti e Committee 7eeting of the Central 8rganiEing Committee of the CP:K in order to crush the machinations of the factionalists and local separatists )ho had been hindering the implementation of the Party’s organiEational line@ and radically impro e Party )or; X The meeting too; a historic measure to strengthen the Party’s central leadership organ by acclaiming Kim 5l Bung as its head@ and meted out stern punishment to the factionalists )ho had contra ened the instructions of the Party Centre and iolated Party discipline.J Kim 2l Sung$ Condensed 3iography@ pp. .##/.#&. According to the .=$$ population and housing census conducted by the R8K Central Btatistical 8ffice@ 2&$@$0. persons of the total population had come from the :orth *before and during the Korean Aar+. Korea 5nstitute for :ational Fnification *K5:F+@ ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.&+@ p. $0=. During the Armistice negotiations@ the DPRK insisted that $00@000 Koreans )ho had been Ita;en a)ayJ from the :orth during the hostilities had to be returned. Transcript of Proceedings of the Armistice :egotiations of .@ & and .# ?anuary .=$#@ as reflected in Korean Aar Abduction Research 5nstitute@ People of No Return$ Korean ,ar Abduction Pictorial 4istory *Beoul@ #0.#+@ pp. $%/$1. The Commission recei ed no information indicating that those )ho left the :orth during the )ar )ere forcibly abducted. #.


)ere Koreans )ho had left for China in the .=#0s and .=&0s@ initially basing themsel es in Bhanghai then mo ing )ith the Communists to their ci il )ar headquarters of Oanan. The Bo iet Korean 4action@ ethnic Koreans born or raised in the Bo iet Fnion@ numbered bet)een .$0 and #00. Kim 5l/sung )as able to play one faction against another )hile supporting his o)n ,uerrilla 4action@ those Koreans )ho fought against ?apanese forces in 7anchuria )ith him. 5n December .=$#@ Kim 5l/sung denounced factions in a long speech to the Plenum of the Central Committee of the Party. 5n .=$&@ rumours of an aborted coup attempt by the Domestic 4action led to the arrest of their leaders. T)el e members of this group@ leaders of the Bouth Korean Aor;ers’ Party responsible for organiEing guerrilla acti ities in the Bouth@ )ere charged )ith planning a coup and spying for the Fnited Btates. 8n the basis of trials that )ere highly orchestrated and hea ily publiciEed@ ten )ere con icted and sentenced to death )hile t)o )ere gi en long prison sentences.4% ..4. Kim 5l/sung continued to face pressure )ithin the leadership o er his increasingly autocratic rule and emerging cult of personality as )ell as the direction of his economic policies. After .=$&@ the Bo iet Fnion )as itself undergoing a campaign of Ide/ BtaliniEationJ that did not comport )ith Kim 5l/sung’s efforts to consolidate his o)n rule. 5nstead@ the Bo iet Fnion )as promoting collecti e leadership@ peaceful co/e>istence and an end to the e>cesses of the Btalin era. ..$. 5n August .=$%@ the members of the Oanan 4action openly criticiEed Kim 5l/sung during the Party’s Central Committee Plenum. According to a Bo iet account@ one official Iattac;ed Kim 5l/Bung for concentrating entire state and Party po)er in his handsJ.42 The leaders of the Oanan faction )ho had tried to orchestrate the IAugust ConspiracyJ )ere out/maneu ered by Kim 5l/sung )ho isolated them before purging the ran; and file of the faction members.41 ..%. 5n response to the criticism )ithin the Party against his rule@ Kim 5l/sung e>panded the 7inistry of 5nternal Affairs to underta;e )hat became one of the DPRK’s first large scale purges. 8n &0 7ay .=$2@ the Btanding Committee of the Central Committee of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea adopted the resolution I8n the Transformation of the Btruggle )ith Counter/Re olutionary -lements into an All/people All/Party mo ementJ *7ay &0th Resolution+ to e aluate the political bac;ground of e ery adult in the DPRK. These de elopments )ere to become a turning point for the DPRK. -arlier purges had differed in that they had targeted specific groups of people@ such as landlords@ Christians and high/ ran;ing Party members )ho )ere potential ri als to Kim 5l/sung. 4= This purge@ lasting until .=%0@ resulted in thousands of e>ecutions@ often in public. Pang "a;/se@ the 7inister of Public Becurity@ told a Bo iet diplomat that .00@000 people )ere e>posed as Ihostile and

4% 42



Andrei <an;o @ (rom Stalin to Kim 2l Sung@ pp. 21/.0=. Record of con ersation bet)een the 4irst Becretary of the Bo iet -mbassy ,. Oe. Bamsono and the departmental head of the Korean Aor;ers’ Party Central Committee Ko "ui/nam from Bo iet archi es. Andrei <an;o @ (rom Stalin to Kim 2l Sung@ p. .%=. According to the DPRK’s official biography of Kim 5l/sung3 IAt a plenary meeting of the Party Central Committee held in August .=$%@ Kim 5l Bung too; resolute measures to e>pose and eliminate the anti/Party@ counterre olutionary factionalists )ho fle) in the face of the Party. X The anti/?apanese re olutionary eterans and other attendants at the meeting deli ered a telling blo) to this desperate challenge. The sectarian group sub(ected to e>posure and destruction during the meeting )as not a mere faction but an atrocious anti/Party and counterre olutionary clique that attempted to o erthro) the Party and the go ernment in collusion )ith the FB imperialists.J Kim 2l Sung$ Condensed 3iography@ pp. #00/#0.. Andrei <an;o @ IThe Repressi e Bystem and Political Control in :orth KoreaJ@ -nglish ersion of a chapter from Be ernaia Koreia3 chera i segodnia *:orth Korea3 Oesterday and Today+@ published in Russian in .==$ *7osco)@ Costochnaia literatura+. A ailable from http3!!north/ ;orea.narod.ru!controlWlan;o .htm.



reactionary elementsJ bet)een .=$1 and .=$=.$0 5n .=$=@ the Ambassador of the ,erman Democratic Republic to the DPRK also reported to his capital that@ I5n recent times@ the persecution of comrades )ho e>press a different opinion has been increased. They are being sent to rural areas@ mines@ hydropo)er dams and also into prison camps.J $. 5n order to sustain the large/scale purges of the late .=$0s@ a system of secret political prison camps )as set up@ )hich )as later e>panded.$# ..2. The 7ay &0th Resolution effecti ely launched the Songbun system. Songbun translates literally as IingredientJ but effecti ely means bac;ground. 5t is a system through )hich the state categoriEes citiEens of the DPRK into classes based on their percei ed political allegiance to the regime@ ascertained by reference to family bac;ground and particular actions ta;en by family members. 9ased on this assessment@ citiEens fall into three broad classes3 core@ )a ering and hostile. $& Decisions about residency@ occupation@ access to food@ health care@ education and other ser ices are contingent on songbun. Ahile the official songbun structure )as quite elaborate and changed o er time@ its main feature has been the unchallengeable nature of the designation )hich is inherited mainly through the paternal line.$4 4ollo)ing the 7ay &0th Resolution@ the Cabinet issued Decree :o. .4= prohibiting members of the hostile class from residing near the DemilitariEed Uone or coastal areas@ )ithin $0 ;m of Pyongyang or Kaesong@ or )ithin #0 ;m of any other large city. 5n effect@ a large number of people )ere forcibly transferred to the rough mountainous regions in the northern part of the country )here special settlements )ere created for these e>iles.$$ ..1. After the Korean Aar ended in .=$&@ the DPRK go ernment collecti iEed agriculture and established a centrally/planned economy based largely on hea y industry. Those people )ho remained on farms )ere allo)ed to ;eep a small proportion of their production )hile the rest )as ta;en by the state. The go ernment assigned people to compulsory employment.$% 5n .=$2@ the DPRK instituted the Public Distribution Bystem to pro ide food and to ration other goods. As the DPRK )as highly urbaniEed@ an estimated %0 to 20 per cent of the population relied on the state for these food distributions. The Public Distribution Bystem suppressed pri ate production and monopoliEed distribution of food and household necessities. The entire economic frame)or; of the country@ and in



$# $&

$4 $$ $%

Andrei <an;o notes public e>ecutions became a customary practice in the DPRK in the .=$0s. "e cites Bo iet archi es for Pang "a;/se’s con ersation )ith Counsellor C. 5. Pelishen;o. IKim Ta;es Control3 The I,reat PurgeJ in :orth Korea@ .=$%/.=%0J@ Korean Studies@ ol. #%@ :o. . *#00#+@ pp. =1/.0$. Cited from a diplomatic cable sent in .=$= by the Ambassador of ,erman Democratic Republic *,DR+. 5n .=$2@ the ,DR -mbassy already noted information according to )hich students )ho had returned from Poland had been sent to prison camps in Pyongyang that )ere guarded by soldiers. 4or a citation of the original ,erman te>ts@ )hich )ere found in ,DR archi es after reunification@ see <iana Kang/BchmitE@ I:ord;oreas Fmgang mit AbhVngig;eit und Bicherheitsrisi;oJ@ pp. ##$/##%. Bee section 5C.D.&. This classification appears to ha e been re ised at arious points@ and later the three broad categories became the core@ basic and Icomple>J@ )hich includes both the )a ering and hostile classes. Bee section 5C.9. Ken -. ,ause@ ICoercion@ Control@ Bur eillance and PunishmentJ@ p. .0.. 5n December #00&@ the Committee on -conomic@ Bocial and Cultural Rights in its concluding obser ations of the DPRK’s initial report@ e>pressed concern Ithat the right to )or; may not be fully assured in the present system of compulsory state/allocated employment@ )hich is contrary to the right of the indi idual to freely choose his!her career or his!her )or;placeJ *-!C..#!.!Add.=$+. #2


particular the Public Distribution Bystem@ became an important means of social@ economic and political control.$2 ..=. 9y the early .=%0s@ Kim 5l/sung successfully suppressed public dissent. Any critical remar; about the political or economic situation could@ and not infrequently did@ lead to imprisonment and )orse. According to Russian obser ers )ho )ere in the DPRK at the time@ arrests and e en e>ecutions )ere imposed for an attitude deemed to be e>cessi ely )arm to)ards the Bo iet Fnion@ as )ell as any positi e remar;s about the scientific@ technical@ or cultural achie ements of other countries.$1 .#0. Ahile the threat of these e>treme human rights iolations constituted a form of terror deployed against the general population@ Kim 5l/sung continued periodically to instigate purges )ithin the leadership of the party and military. $= 4or e>ample@ in .=%4@ after the resolution I8n 4urther Btrengthening the Aor; )ith Carious ,roups and Btrata of the PopulationJ )as adopted by the 1 th Plenum of the Party’s Central Committee@ a ne) campaign )as launched to further refine the Songbun system. 9et)een .=%4 and .=%=@ this )or; )as conducted by specially created groups. This e>ercise led to more people being e>iled@ arrested and e>ecuted as enemies of the regime.%0 .#.. 4rom the early days of the DPRK@ Kim 5l/sung and the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea had employed the la) and the (ustice system for purposes of maintaining the Party’s supremacy and suppressing political dissent. 5n his 7arch .=$1 speech I4or the -laboration of the ?udicial Policy of our PartyJ@ Kim 5l/sung e>plained that the dictatorial functions of the (udicial@ procuratorial and public security organs should be enhanced. "e said that Ithe DPRK’s la)s should ser e as a )eapon to champion socialismJ and emphasiEed that Iall the )or;ers of the (udicial organs should be true to the Party’s leadership and intensify the struggle against counter re olutionaries by firmly relying on the (udicial policy of the PartyJ.%. According to official DPRK sources@ Kim ?ong/il carried on )ith the approach of ma;ing the (ustice system@ and (udges in particular@ sub(ect to the instructions of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea. According to official DPRK sources@ Kim ?ong/il Isa) Kto itL that Party committees at all le els )ere strengthened and their functions and roles )ere impro ed in order to intensify Party guidance o er X public security )or;@ and (udicial and procuratorial )or;.J%# .##. The political function of the la) and the (ustice system has also been entrenched in the DPRK’s criminal legislation@ starting )ith the .=$0 Criminal Code@ )hich borro)ed language from the Criminal Act of the Bo iet Fnion that )as in force under ?oseph Btalin.
$2 $1



%. %#

Bee section 5C.D. Andrei <an;o @ IThe Repressi e Bystem and Political Control in :orth KoreaJ. Bee also section 5C.-. The 4irst Becretary of the Polish -mbassy in Pyongyang noted in .=$1@ I5n the party and in pri ate life it )ould be unthought/of to e>press the smallest critique or to e>press doubts regarding the correctness of this or that party directi e from the party or the go ernment. 5f one does critique@ then along the lines of the formulations used in official speeches. 5.e.@ first one needs to point to a large number of achie ements and then criticiEe )hat is officially being criticiEed. 5f one does not )ant to be depri ed of the means of support and of all perspecti es for the future@ including remo al from Pyongyang@ one must act this )ay only.J I:otes from a Con ersation bet)een the .st Becretary of the PR< -mbassy in the DPRK )ith the Director of a Department in 8ne of the 7inistriesJ@ 0$ ?anuary .=$1@ "istory and Public Policy Program Digital Archi e@ Polish 4oreign 7inistry Archi e. 8btained by ?a;ub Poproc;i and translated by 7aya <atyns;i. A ailable from http3!!digitalarchi e.)ilsoncentre.org!document!...2&#. These )ere called I%#0 groupsJ specially created for this purpose. Andrei <an;o @ IThe Repressi e Bystem and Political Control in :orth KoreaJ. Kim 2l Sung$ Condensed 3iography@ pp. #02/#01. Kim 'ong 2l$ 3rief 4istory *Pyongyang@ 4oreign <anguages Publishing "ouse@ .==1+@ p. $..



7any of the o ert references to the function of criminal la) as a tool of political control )ere remo ed in subsequent re isions. "o)e er@ the present criminal la) of the DPRK still requires the state to carefully identify friends and enemies of the state in its struggle against Ianti/state and anti/people crimesJ@ and to subdue the small minority of enemies. %& 4urthermore@ the state is tas;ed to rely on the po)er and )isdom of the masses in its handling of criminal cases@ %4 rather than to impartially apply the la). 7oreo er@ the Criminal Code currently in use defines ICrimes against the state or the peopleJ *called anti/ re olutionary crimes in the past+ in such broad and ague terms that the e>ercise of any number of human rights can be prosecuted as a crime.%$ .#&. To the e>tent that the la) and the (ustice system ser e to legitimiEe iolations@ there is a rule by la) in the DPRK@ but no rule of la)@ upheld by an independent and impartial (udiciary. - en )here rele ant chec;s ha e been incorporated into statutes@ these can be disregarded )ith impunity. Decisions of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea and the Bupreme <eader are generally considered to o erride formal la)s. This principle is reflected in article .. of the Constitution according to )hich the DPRK conducts all acti ities under the leadership of the Party. %% The Constitution also establishes that orders of the Bupreme <eader supersede la)s or other directi es.%2 The political function of the (udiciary is inscribed in article .%# of the Constitution@ )hich@ among other tas;s@ requires the courts to protect through (udicial procedure state po)er and the socialist system and to staunchly combat class enemies. The superiority of e>ecuti e orders and the political function assigned to the courts se erely curtails the independence and impartiality of the (udges. .#4. 4ormally@ (udges in the DPRK are appointed by and accountable to the Bupreme People’s Assembly and pro incial people’s assemblies. 8ne former official@ ho)e er@ directly acquainted )ith the process@ indicated that (udges are in practice selected by and sub(ect to the orders of the Bupreme <eader and the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea. %1 As a matter of la)@ the courts are reportedly also sub(ect to the detailed o ersight of the 8ffice of the Prosecutor@ )hich is legally required to consider each case to determine )hether a hearing has been conducted at the right time and in the correct manner as required by la).%= .#$. 5n the .=%0s@ after Kim 5l/sung had eliminated his potential ri als )ho )ere largely affiliated )ith the Chinese and Bo iet factions@ he acti ely distanced himself from the Bo iet Fnion and China. China by .=%% )as in the throes of the Cultural Re olution )hich caused great human suffering and disruptions that threatened to spill o er into the DPRK. 20 As Kim 5l/sung also reduced contact )ith the Bo iet Fnion and -ast -uropean socialist

%4 %$ %%





Article #@ Code of Criminal Procedure. Anti/state and anti/people crimes are set out in articles $= ff. of the Criminal Code and comprise of aguely )orded and e>tremely broad offenses targeting political acti ities. Article &@ Criminal Code. Bee section 5C.-.$. 5t is e en more e>pressly entrenched in the reported Ten Principles for the -stablishment of the 8ne/5deology Bystem. Principle $.& reportedly stipulates that Kim 5l/sung’s instructions must be ie)ed as a legal and supreme order. According to article .0= of the DPRK Constitution@ the :ational Defence Commission has the duty and the authority to abrogate the decisions and directi es of state organs that run counter to the orders of the Chairman of the :ational Defence Commission and to the decisions and directi es of the :ational Defence Commission. Article .00 stipulates that the Chairman of the :ational Defence Commission is the Bupreme <eader of the DPRK. T<C0&2. Aitnesses )ho )ere confidentially inter ie)ed by the Commission are identified by only a si> digit code. The identity of each )itness is ;no)n to the Commission. Article .. of the Prosecutory Buper ision <a)@ as stated in K5:F@ ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.&+@ p. .24. 5n the late .=$0s to early .=%0s@ in the )a;e of the massi e famine brought on by China’s ,reat <eap 4or)ard@ it is estimated that bet)een $0@000 and 20@000 ethnic Korean Chinese emigrated to the DPRK. '&


states@ economic assistance from these countries@ )hich had been substantial@ li;e)ise began to d)indle.2. At the same time@ he e>panded his cult of personality and set out a policy of self/reliance and e>treme nationalism ;no)n as 'uche.2# Kim 5l/sung promoted the 'uche ideology in con(unction )ith a policy to focus on military readiness under the 4our 7ilitary <ines doctrine. .#%. 'uche has been ariously called a philosophy@ an idea and an ideology. 4irst espoused in a speech in December .=$$ entitled I8n -liminating Dogmatism and 4ormalism and -stablishing ?uche in 5deological Aor;J@ Kim 5l/sung called for a Korea/ centred re olution rather than one designed to benefit another country or the international fraternal mo ement. According to 'uche ideology@ citiEens should de elop the potential of the nation through its o)n resources and human creati ity as guided by the Bupreme <eader. Ahere er the leader con eys his )isdom through instructions@ it )as the duty of the people to learn from him. As Confucianism placed high alue on enlightenment achie ed by mastering of the classics and applying these lessons@ the DPRK imposed rigorous and constant study sessions of Kim 5l/sung’s )or;s@ particularly those dealing )ith 'uche@ on all citiEens young and old.2&



4rom Aorld Aar 55 until .=14@ it is estimated that the DPRK recei ed R4.2$ billion in aid from the Bo iet Fnion *roughly $0 per cent+@ China *#0 per cent+ and the Bo iet/aligned countries of -astern -urope *&0 per cent+. Cictor Cha@ *he 2mpossible State$ North Korea# Past and (uture *:e) Oor;@ -cco@ #0.#+@ p. #1. 4or a detailed o er ie) of assistance recei ed bet)een .=$& and .=%0 from not only the Bo iet Fnion and China but also -ast ,ermany@ Poland@ CEechoslo a;ia@ Romania@ "ungary@ 9ulgaria@ Albania@ 7ongolia and :orth Cietnam@ as )ell as the brea;do)n of Bo iet aid by product such as rolling metal@ tires and sugar@ see Btephen Kot;in and Charles Armstrong@ IA Bocialist Regional Aorld 8rder in :orth -ast Asia After Aorld Aar 55J@ in Korea at the Center@ Charles K. Armstrong and others@ eds@ p. .#.. According to the -mbassy of the ,erman Democratic Republic in .=%.3 IThe cult of personality surrounding Comrade Kim 5l Bung has been gro)ing steadily for some time. - erything the Party and the Korean people earn is attributed to Comrade Kim 5l Bung. There is no room@ no classroom@ no public building in )hich a photo of Kim 5l Bung cannot be found. The 7useum of the Aar of :ational <iberation is designed entirely around the role of Kim 5l Bung. There are no less than .# figures of Kim 5l Bung in the rooms of the museum@ each larger than the ne>t. The history of the re olutionary )ar and the formation of the Communist Party of Korea are not correctly portrayed. The decisi e role of the Bo iet Fnion in the liberation of Korea is completely do)nplayed. 5ts role is addressed on only a single panel. This is also e>pressed in the materials as )ell as in films and depictions. Thus@ a legend of Kim 5l Bung has been created that does not correspond to the actual facts if one considers )hat Comrade Kim 5l Bung has actually done. Party propaganda is not oriented to)ard studying the )or;s of 7ar>ism!<eninism@ but rather is solely and completely oriented to)ard the I)ise teachings of our glorious leader@ Comrade Kim 5l Bung. 7any rules of Party life@ such as the lin; to the masses@ are portrayed as if they )ere disco ered by Kim 5l Bung rather than by 7ar>@ -ngels@ and <enin. There are almost no articles or e ents in )hich Comrade Kim 5l Bung is not mentioned. 5t is also a fact that all of those )ho are not in agreement )ith such an approach are characteriEed as sectarians@ and recently as re isionists.J IReport@ -mbassy of the ,DR in the DPRK to the 4oreign Policy and 5nternational Department of the Bocialist Fnity Party@ ,DRJ .4 7arch .=%.@ "istory and Public Policy Program Digital Archi e@ BAP78/9A@ Dy &0@ 5C #!#0!.&2. Translated by ,race <eonard. A ailable from http3!!digitalarchi e.)ilsoncentre.org!document!..#&0&. Kim ?ong/il e>plained3 IFnder the guidance of the great leader Comrade Kim 5l Bung@ our Party and our people ha e firmly maintained the ?uche character and properly sustained the national character in the re olution and construction and thus ad anced the ?uche re olutionary cause ictoriously. The respected leader Comrade Kim 5l Bung )as a great thin;er@ theoretician and a great statesman )ho ad anced the idea of preser ing the ?uche character and national character for the first time in history@ translated it brilliantly into reality and ga e successful leadership to the re olution and construction. Keeping and embodying the ?uche character and national character is the principled requirement of the re olution and construction elucidated by the ?uche idea created by the great leader Comrade Kim 5l Bung. The ?uche idea@ the man/centred outloo; on the )orld@ is a noble idea



.#2. 'uche principles underlie the economic system established by the leadership. 'uche requires self/sacrifice and hard )or;. Therefore@ 'uche became another element of control@ as self/reliance meant that the state )ould pro ide all the needs of the people through the labour of the people@ the natural resources of the land and the ingenuity of their efforts but required that the people follo) the guidance of the state. Thus@ the solution to any shortfall in the needs of the country )ere to be found in intensified campaigns to increase production through more enthusiastic labour and longer hours. 24 The country )ould not use trade to address the structural difficulty in producing sufficient food for the population but find unique strategies to o ercome it. The DPRK’s solution to inhospitable gro)ing conditions )as to de elop one of the most input/intensi e agricultural system in the )orld@ one )ith complete dependency on fertiliEers and pesticides.2$ .#1. 'uche# ho)e er@ did not pro e to be an appropriate basis for an effecti e economy. The industrial inheritance from the ?apanese and the input/intensi e agriculture )as maintained for some decades )ith the support of the largesse from the Bo iet Fnion and China. 5n the mid/.=20s@ per capita ,:P in Bouth and :orth Korea )as about the same. 8nce assistance from outside dried up the DPRK did not ha e the s;ills or the political )ill to address its deeply rooted economic problems. 4or a brief period in the .=20s@ the DPRK attempted to borro) funds from the international community. "o)e er@ the state had no plans on ho) to re/pay these debts or ho) to in est these resources into the de elopment of the country. The DPRK )ent into default on billions of dollars and )as unable to borro) further. The choices that the leadership made o er the years led to serious food shortages long before the famine of the .==0s. Recurring patterns of shortages are reported as early as .=4$/4%@ .=$4/$$ and .=20/2&.2% Bur i al of the political system and its leadership rather than systemic economic de elopment or concern about feeding its population appears to ha e been the priority of the DPRK leadership.


Consolidation of power under the Kim dynasty

.#=. Kim ?ong/il spent #0 years preparing for his succession to po)er. According to reports@ it had actually been his uncle@ Kim Oong/chu@ his father’s younger brother@ )ho had been the original presumpti e heir to Kim 5l/sung. Kim ?ong/il )as e entually able to
of lo ing the people as )ell as an idea of true lo e for the country and nationN it is a great re olutionary idea of our times )hich illuminates the road of ad ancing the cause of )orld independence forcefully. The ?uche idea clarified that the country and nation are the basic unit for shaping the destiny of the masses and that the popular masses must firmly maintain the ?uche character and national character of the re olution and construction in order to shape their destiny independently. I8n Preser ing the ?uche Character and :ational Character of the Re olution and ConstructionJ@ .= ?une .==2. A ailable from http3!!))).;orea/dpr.com!lib!....pdf. According to Andrei <an;o @ .=$2 sa) Ithe Yrst and@ perhaps@ most famous of the endless mobiliEation campaigns that later became so typical of :orth Korean society. 5n .=$2 Kim 5l Bung launched the much trumpeted ZCh’o[llima *4lying horse+ mo ement’ )hich )as initially an imitation of some contemporary Bo iet schemes but soon came to be in\uenced by and modelled after the Chinese ,reat <eap 4or)ard. The people )ere encouraged to )or; more and more@ to do their utmost to achie e high *and often unrealistic+ production targets.J Andrei <an;o @ IKim Ta;es Control3 The I,reat PurgeJ in :orth Korea@ .=$%6.=%0J@ Korean Studies@ ol. #%@ :o. . *#00#+. 8ther subsequent e>amples include 8ctober .=24 )hen the Ientire Party@ the )hole country and all the peopleJ started a 20/day campaign to fi> the mining industry@ e>ports and transport )hich resulted@ according to Kim ?ong/ilTs official biography@ in a 20 per cent increase in industrial production and gross industrial output alue for the year increased by .2.# per cent o er the pre ious year. Kim 'ong-il$ 3rief 4istory@ pp. $2/$1. Btephen "aggard and 7arcus :oland@ (amine in North Korea *:e) Oor;@ Columbia Fni ersity Press@ #002+@ Chapter #. "aggard and :oland@ (amine in North Korea@ Chapter .. ''





side/line his uncle and )in the confidence of his father particularly through his efforts to e>pand the cult of personality of Kim 5l/sung. 5t )as really in .=2# that the intensity of the cult of personality of Kim 5l/sung surpassed those of 7ao Uedong or ?oseph Btalin. DPRK citiEens began to )ear badges )ith his picture in addition to hanging his portrait on their )alls. Kim ?ong/il had been ser ing in the Party’s po)erful propaganda and organiEation departments until he organiEed the 4ifth Party Congress in .=20 )hich proclaimed 'uche as the monolithic ideology of the DPRK and further enhanced his father’s cult of personality thereby setting in motion the process for his succession. Around this time@ Kim ?ong/il introduced Kimilsungism@ a concept lin;ed to 'uche.22 Kim 5l/sung’s cult of personality became an important instrument of Kim ?ong/il’s consolidation of his o)n succession@ as his father )as the main source of his legitimacy to rule the nation. 21 .&0. The Central Committee of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea appointed Kim ?ong/il as the Party’s Becretary for 8rganiEation and ,uidance. This put him in control of the appointment process and system of inspections. "e used this position to build his po)er base@ sending inspection teams to e ery party and go ernment organiEation do)n to the local le el. Thus he )as able to establish a dedicated reporting system to monitor all information and to lin; important officials to his patronage net)or;. Aith the .=2# Constitution@ Kim ?ong/il reorganiEed the state administration and further e>panded the state security apparatus. At this time@ a ne) Btate Becurity Department )as set up that reported directly to Kim ?ong/il and supported the succession process. .&.. 8nce the Central Committee elected Kim ?ong/il to membership of the Politburo and endorsed his selection as Kim 5l/sung’s heir in .=24@ he deepened the ideological basis of the Suryong system. Kim ?ong/il announced the ITen Principles in -stablishing Party’s 7onolithic 5deological BystemJ 2= )hich called for Iunconditional obedienceJ and Iall our



IAe call the leader’s re olutionary thought Kimilsungism because the idea and theory ad anced by him are original. The definition that Kimilsungism is a system based on the idea@ theory and method of ?uche means that Kimilsungism is consistent )ith the ?uche idea in content and that it forms a system based on the idea@ theory and method in composition. 9oth in content and in composition@ Kimilsungism is an original idea that cannot be e>plained )ithin the frame)or; of 7ar>ism/<eninism. The ?uche idea )hich constitutes the quintessence of Kimilsungism@ is an idea ne)ly disco ered in the history of human thoughtJ3 Kim ?ong/il@ I8n Correctly Fnderstanding the 8riginality of Kimilsungism3 Tal; to Theoretical Propagandists of the PartyJ@ # 8ctober .=2% *Pyongyang@ 4oreign <anguages Publishing "ouse@ .=14+. Ambassador 4ranE - erhardt of the ,DR -mbassy in Pyongyang commented@ IThe economic situation in the DPRK is indeed e>tremely difficult and complicated. The main reasons for this are the cult of personality Ksurrounding Kim 5l/sungL and the sub(ecti ism deri ing from it.J Report from the ,DR -mbassy in the DPRK@ I:ote concerning a Con ersation in 7osco) on .# 7ay@ .=2%@ )ith the "ead of the 4ar -ast Department@ Comrade Kapitsa@ and the "ead of the Boutheast Asia Department@ Comrade Budari;o .J #2 7ay .=2%@ "istory and Public Policy Program Digital Archi e@ Political Archi e of the 4ederal 4oreign 8ffice@ 9erlin *PolA AA+@ 7fAA@ C %1$2. Translated for :K5DP by 9ernd Bchaefer. A ailable from http3!!digitalarchi e.)ilsoncentre.org!document!..4#=0. The Ten Principles@ comprised of a total of .0 articles and %$ clauses@ describes ho) to establish the one/ideology system3 .+ Ae must gi e our all in the struggle to unify the entire society )ith the re olutionary ideology of the ,reat <eader Kim 5l Bung. #+ Ae must honour the ,reat <eader comrade Kim 5l Bung )ith all our loyalty. &+ Ae must ma;e absolute the authority of the ,reat <eader comrade Kim 5l Bung. 4+ Ae must ma;e the ,reat <eader comrade Kim 5l Bung’s re olutionary ideology our faith and ma;e his instructions our creed. $+ Ae must adhere strictly to the principle of unconditional obedience in carrying out the ,reat <eader comrade Kim 5l BungTs instructions. %+ Ae must strengthen the entire party’s ideology and )illpo)er and re olutionary unity@ centreing on the ,reat <eader comrade Kim 5l Bung. 2+ Ae must learn from the ,reat <eader comrade Kim 5l Bung and adopt the communist loo;@ re olutionary )or; methods and people/ oriented )or; style. 1+ Ae must alue the political life )e )ere gi en by the ,reat <eader comrade Kim 5l Bung@ and loyally repay his great political trust and thoughtfulness )ith heightened political



loyaltyJ to Kim 5l/sung. 7oreo er@ article .0.. of the Ten Principles declares that I*t+he entire party and society )ill adhere strictly to the one/ideology system@ and establish the one and only leadership of the Central Party so as to complete in shining glory re olutionary achie ements of the ,reat <eader.J The ICentral PartyJ )as understood to mean Kim ?ong/il. .&#. 5n .=2$@ Kim ?ong/il applied the Imonolithic guidance systemJ to the military through three reporting lines3 the ,eneral Political 9ureau@ the ,eneral Btaff and the military secret police. 5n .=10@ Kim ?ong/il )as appointed to the Presidium of the Politburo and the Central 7ilitary Commission.10 At this stage@ he )as officially ran;ed fifth )ithin the DPRK’s leadership. :e ertheless@ only Kim 5l/sung and Kim ?ong/il held positions in all three of the Party’s leadership bodies *the Politburo@ Becretariat and Central 7ilitary Commission+. Kim ?ong/il subsequently shifted decision/ma;ing on all policies and personnel appointments from the Politburo to the Party Becretariat 8ffice@ his base of po)er. 5n .==.@ he )as appointed as supreme commander of the armed forces. .&&. Despite Kim 5l/sung’s highly personaliEed approach to running the DPRK@ he had formally in ol ed the Party in decision/ma;ing and go ernance processes. 5n contrast@ Kim ?ong/il adopted a highly centraliEed@ top/do)n leadership style that often relied on informal channels. "e also mo ed his organiEational base from the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea to the :ational Defence Commission )hich became the leading state body after the .==# re ision of the Constitution *the first re ision since .=2#+. 1. 5n .==&@ Kim ?ong/il became chairman of the :ational Defence Commission. .&4. Kim 5l/sung died in .==4 at the age of 1#. 5n .==2@ Kim ?ong/il further consolidated his grip on the state security apparatus )hen he transformed the Bocial Bafety Agency into the 7inistry of People’s Becurity and e>panded the o erall apparatus. 8n the basis of these changes@ the state security apparatus e>panded into a system that rested on fi e pillars. These continue to be in place under the present Bupreme <eader Kim ?ong/un31#


The Btate Becurity Department 1& *Ku gabo)ibu@ often referred to as simply 3o)ibu+ is the primary political police. <egally mandated to in estigate ICrimes against the state or the nationJ@ it has the tas; of identifying and iolently suppressing threats to the political system and the Bupreme <eaderN 5n addition to regular policing functions@ the 7inistry of People’s Becurity *2nminboanseong+ also ta;es on certain political policing functionsN


10 1.



a)areness and s;ill. =+ Ae must establish strong organiEational regulations so that the entire party@ nation and military mo e as one under the one and only leadership of the ,reat <eader comrade Kim 5l Bung. .0+ Ae must pass do)n the great achie ement of the re olution by the ,reat <eader comrade Kim 5l Bung from generation to generation@ inheriting and completing it to the end. Translation from ?oanna "osnia;@ IPrisoners of Their 8)n CountryJ@ CitiEens’ Alliance for :orth Korean "uman Rights@ #004 *8riginal Korean source from Korea Research 5nstitute for 7ilitary Affairs+. The Ten Principles )ere amended in #0.& to include references to Kim ?ong/il. Kim 'ong-il$ 3rief 4istory@ p. 10. 5n the .==# Constitution@ the :ational Defence Commission )as ele ated to a separate body from the Central People’s Committee. 9efore this re ision@ the President held the position of :ational Defence Commission Chairman as the head of the military. This separation of po)er from the President effecti ely made the Chairman of the :ational Defence Commission the Chief Commander of the Btate e>ercising the highest military authority. Ooon Dae/;yu@ IThe Constitution of :orth Korea3 5ts Changes and 5mplicationsJ@ (ordham 2nternational %a) 'ournal@ ol. #2@ :o. 4 *#00&+@ p. .#==. 4or a detailed analysis of the acti ities of the security apparatus and their compliance )ith international human rights obligations see section C@ in particular sub/sections C.A@ C.9@ C.9.. and C.D. The Ku gabo)ibu is sometimes also translated as the :ational Becurity Agency or the 7inistry of Btate Becurity% '$


&. 4. $.

The 7ilitary Becurity Command *3o-)i Saryeong-bu+ ser es as the political police of the Korean People’s ArmyN Apart from its ordinary prosecutorial function@ the 8ffice of the Prosecutor e>ercises legal and political monitoring rolesN and Bpecial bodies )ithin the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea at the Central Committee le el monitor and police senior officials and the security agencies.

.&$. 5n practice@ the distribution of roles bet)een the respecti e security agencies has aried o er time and bet)een pro inces@ influenced by political priorities@ a ailable capacity@ the relati e po)er of senior officials and the e>tent to )hich a particular agency en(oyed the trust of the Bupreme <eader. 5n many cases@ the three main security agenciesS Btate Becurity Department@ 7inistry of People’s Becurity and 7ilitary Becurity Command Scompeted to sho) their efficiency in identifying ideological opponents to gain fa our )ith Kim ?ong/il. 5n relation to incidents or issues seen as ma(or political threats@ the Bupreme <eader or central/le el decision/ma;ing organs required security agencies to coordinate their in estigations. There are reports that semi/permanent structures )ere set up by secret order of Kim ?ong/il and maintained under Kim ?ong/un.14 .&%. 4ollo)ing a three/year mourning period@ Kim ?ong/il )as formally elected leader by the Bupreme People’s Assembly in .==1. The constitution )as again re ised in .==1@ and Kim 5l/sung )as designated -ternal President. The re ised constitution ele ated the :ational Defence Commission to be the highest organ of the state@ and thus its chairman@ Kim ?ong/il@ to the highest position in the go ernment. 1$ <ac;ing the )ar hero credentials of his father@ Kim ?ong/il shifted the fundamental orientation of the state in his effort to )in the support of the military by besto)ing on it policy influence and prestige@ as )ell as a large share of the national budget@ through the Songun@ or 7ilitary 4irst@ doctrine. This doctrine has sur i ed the death of Kim ?ong/il and the ascendancy of his son Kim ?ong/un as his successor. 8n #$ August #0.&@ Kim ?ong/un elaborated at length on the Songun doctrine during the Day of Bongun celebration3 Bongun )as the ,eneral’s KKim ?ong/ilL re olutionary idea@ his practice in the re olution@ his political ideal and his political modeX. Regarding the strengthening of the KPA KKorean People’s ArmyL as the most important of affairs in the Bongun re olution@ he raised the KPA as the buttress@ the main force@ of our re olution and achie ed the historic ictory in the grim anti/imperialist@ anti/FB sho)do)n in defence of the country’s security and socialism by training the KPA to be the army of the leader boundlessly faithful to the cause of the APK *Aor;ers’ Party of Korea+@ to be an in incible re olutionary army. "e defined the spirit of defending the leader unto death@ the spirit of implementing his instructions at any cost and the self/sacrificing spirit displayed by the ser ice personnel as a re olutionary spirit symbolic and representati e of the Bongun era@ as the re olutionary soldier spirit@ and led all the ser ice personnel and people to li e and struggle in that spirit@ thus ensuring that a great turn and changes )ere brought about in all sectors of the re olution and construction. 5n order to consolidate the successes of his Bongun/ based leadership and administer Bongun politics in a comprehensi e )ay@ he sa) to it that the 4irst Bession of the Tenth Bupreme People’s Assembly of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea adopted the Bocialist Constitution that embodies the idea and principles of the Bongun re olution and established a ne) state administration structure@ )hose bac;bone is the :ational Defence Commission@ and

14 1$

Bee section 5C. Article .00 of the DPRK Constitution states3 The Chairman of the :ational Defense Commission of the Democratic PeopleTs Republic of Korea is the supreme leader of the Democratic PeopleTs Republic of Korea.



led all state affairs to be conducted on the principle of gi ing precedence to military affairs.1% .&2. 5n ;eeping )ith the Songun orientation@ the DPRK embar;ed on a quest to de elop nuclear )eapons and ballistic missiles.12 The DPRK presently has the )orld’s fourth largest standing army )ith ..# million acti e troops and 2.. to 1.& million in paramilitary reser es. 5t is belie ed that the DPRK’s military capability has been steadily decreasing due to obsolescence of equipment@ difficulty in training@ and lo)ering of standards for soldiers follo)ing the o erall decline in nutritional status of the population and its subsequent impact on the height of prospecti e recruits. As the DPRK has e>perienced this decrease in capability@ it has responded by focusing on the de elopment of nuclear )eapons and other Iasymmetrical forcesJ such as special operations forces@ chemical and biological )eapons@ and mini/submarines.11 Reportedly@ the DPRK has one of the )orld’s largest stoc;s of chemical )eapons. 5n addition to destabiliEing security in the region and further isolating the DPRK@ the dri e to be a nuclear state has had profound consequences on resource allocation in the DPRK particularly as parts of the population )ere already reported to be food insecure for some time.1= .&1. The DPRK leadership’s decision to de elop a nuclear programme in addition to other Songun policies had serious economic and political consequences. Although the .==0s mar;ed an impro ement in relations bet)een the DPRK and the Fnited Btates@ =0 the





Kim ?ong/un@ I<et Fs 4ore er ,lorify Comrade Kim ?ong 5l’s ,reat 5dea and Achie ements of the 7ilitary/4irst Re olutionJ@ Rodong Sinmun and Chosun People5s Army@ #$ April #0.&. Accessed through Bino/:K@ IKim ?ong/un and the Bongun Retrenchment3 A ]uintessential -quationJ@ &0 :o ember #0.&. 5n .=$=@ the DPRK signed its first agreement on cooperation in nuclear research )ith the Bo iet Fnion. A similar agreement )ith China quic;ly follo)ed. 9y .=%$@ the DPRK had a Bo iet/designed research reactor@ the 5RT/#000@ )hich it moderniEed through the .=20s. 9y the late .=20s@ the DPRK’s interest in the de elopment of its nuclear capacity had shifted from energy production to nuclear )eapons. 5n .=22@ the DPRK yielded to pressure and agreed to 5nternational Atomic -nergy Agency *5A-A+ inspections of its research reactor de eloped )ith the Bo iet Fnion but did not allo) access to a second reactor. 5n .=1$@ at the behest of the Bo iet Fnion@ the DPRK ratified the Treaty on the :on/Proliferation of :uclear Aeapons *:PT+@ although it refused the safeguard agreement )hich it did not sign until .==#. :e ertheless@ the Fnited Btates detected nuclear testing in .=1$. 5n .==#@ the DPRK and the R8K agreed to the ?oint Declaration for a :on/:uclear Korean Peninsula. "o)e er@ in .==& the DPRK failed to implement an agreement )ith the 5A-A for inspection of the DPRKTs nuclear facilities and threatened to )ithdra) from the :PT. Tensions escalated )ith the Fnited :ations urging the DPRK to cooperate )ith the 5A-A. 5n .==4@ the DPRK triggered the first nuclear crisis by unloading fuel rods from the Oongbyon reactor@ )ithdra)ing from the 5A-A@ and e(ecting inspectors. This ultimately resulted in the Fnited Btates/DPRK Agreed 4rame)or; negotiated by former Fnited Btates President ?immy Carter. The Fnited Btates administration under President 9ill Clinton pro ided non/aggression assurances@ promised normaliEation and t)o light )ater reactors for a nuclear freeEe@ reciprocal mo es )ith a timetable including the halt to construction of a $0 mega)att and a #00 mega)att reactor. This first episode appears to ha e set the pattern )hereby the DPRK precipitates a crisis and then negotiates fa ourable terms for the resolution of the crisis. Asymmetrical forces are those that are more difficult to counter and address percei ed )ea;nesses in the other side. Bee ?oseph B. 9ermudeE@ ?r@ Aashington Public "earing@ &. 8ctober #0.&@ afternoon *003.0300+. 4or details on the DPRK’s obligations to ensure the right to food in the conte>t of defence funding and the de elopment of nuclear )eapons@ see section 5C.D.4. 5n Beptember .==.@ the Fnited Btates supported the DPRK’s bid to (oin the Fnited :ations. The Fnited Btates also )ithdre) all land and sea tactical nuclear )eapons from around the )orld@ including the Korean peninsula. 5n ?anuary .==#@ the Fnited Btates ended its Team Bpirit military training e>ercises that had incensed the DPRK. <ater that month@ Fnder/Becretary of Btate for Political Affairs Arnold Kanter met )ith the Korean Aor;ers’ Party Becretary for 5nternational Affairs Kim Oong/sun to discuss impro ing relations. '.


DPRK’s first nuclear crisis occurred in 7ay .==4 )hen the DPRK unloaded fuel rods from the Oongbyon reactor and )ithdre) from the 5nternational Atomic -nergy Agency@ e(ecting its inspectors. This crisis ris;ed derailing progress on the amelioration of relations )ith the Fnited Btates. Through negotiations bro;ered by former Fnited Btates President ?immy Carter@ the .==4 FB/DPRK Agreed 4rame)or; pro ided Kim ?ong/il )ith non/ aggression assurances from President 9ill Clinton as )ell as other concessions. .&=. The DPRK had al)ays been hea ily dependent on assistance from the Bo iet Fnion and China@ including for agricultural inputs. Throughout the .=20s and .=10s@ the DPRK also accumulated substantial debt to the Bo iet Fnion and China )hich it )as un)illing or unable to pay. 9y the mid/.==0s@ the collapse of the Bo iet Fnion coincided )ith the end of Chinese patience )ith its neighbour. .40. After 7ao Uedong’s death in .=2%@ Deng Piaoping instigated unprecedented reform in China@ bringing hundreds of millions out of po erty. China also built ties )ith ?apan as part of this process. 5n .=1=@ the Bino/Bo iet split came to an end. China normaliEed relations )ith the R8K in .==#@ )hich unsettled the DPRK. The death of Kim 5l/sung in .==4 contributed to strains in the relations bet)een the DPRK and China. 5n fact@ one of the pro>imate causes of the .==0s famine )as the change in trade le els )ith China. After the DPRK’s bilateral trade )ith the Bo iet Fnion dropped more than ten/fold from R#.$% billion .==0 to R..4 million in .==4@ the DPRK became dependent on China for assistance.=. "o)e er@ the DPRK’s bilateral trade )ith China fell from FBR=00 million in .==& to R$$0 million in .==$@ )hile food e>ports fell by half bet)een .==& and .==4. =# The seasonal arri al of e>treme rains in ?uly and August .==$ compounded by soil erosion and ri er silting led to flooding that destroyed the har est and contributed to the period of star ation that has been deemed the great famine and referred to as the IArduous 7archJ by the DPRK. 9et)een .==% and .===@ it is estimated that bet)een 4$0@000 and # million people star ed to death.=& .4.. 8ne of the unintended consequences of the human/made famine )as the )idespread emergence of informal mar;ets. 5t is estimated that informal economic acti ities reached 21 per cent of total income for :orth Korean households a decade after the famine. =4 As the Public Distribution Bystem )as no longer able to pro ide e en minimal amounts of food@ the authorities )ere unable to e>ercise the le el of control they had once been able to. The brea;do)n of social control led to fissures in the bloc;ade on information from outside the country. At the same time@ control on the freedom of mo ement )as loosened as large numbers of people attempted to escape from the DPRK and others sought to obtain supplies from China to trade. As many more :orth Koreans tra elled bac; and forth to China@ they )ere seeing for themsel es the relati e prosperity of China and recei ed information about the R8K )hich )as astly different from the official propaganda of the go ernment. The leadership made numerous efforts to rein in the mar;ets and constrain the freedom of mo ement. These measures met )ith arious le els of resistance. =$ .4#. 5n the R8K@ t)o politically liberal presidentsSKim Dae/(ung elected in .==2 and Roh 7oo/hyun elected in #00#S)ho had strong human rights credentials@ pursued policies of engagement )ithout conditions in a bid to impro e relations. Their goal )as to gradually mo e to)ards reunification rather than to engender sudden regime collapse in the DPRK or

=# =& =4 =$

Andrei <an;o notes the difficulty in realiEing the actual le el of support from the Bo iet Fnion and China as much of their aid )as pro ided indirectly through subsidiEed trade3 Andrei <an;o @ *he Real North Korea$ %ife and Politics in the (ailed !topian State *8>ford@ 8>ford Fni ersity Press@ #0.&+@ pp. 2&/2%. Cictor Cha@ *he 2mpossible State# p. &#2. Bee section 5C.D. Andrei <an;o @ *he Real North Korea@ pp. 1#/=0. Bee section 5C.D.



iolent confrontation. President Kim Dae/(ung’s IBunshine PolicyJ culminated in a historic summit )ith Kim ?ong/il in Pyongyang in #000. President Roh 7oo/hyun essentially continued the Bunshine Policy under the IPeace and Prosperity PolicyJ . The Bunshine Policy is estimated to ha e pro ided FBD & billion in aid from the R8K to the DPRK. The R8K also engaged in (oint pro(ects to pro ide opportunities to the DPRK to earn foreign e>change and to pro ide channels to the international mar;et. The Kaesong 5ndustrial Comple> )as the ;ey cooperation pro(ect.=% .4&. 5n #00#@ Kim ?ong/il attempted to underta;e economic reforms. The I2.. 7easuresJ *named for the date . ?uly #00# )hen they )ere announced+ included the increasing of consumer prices to more accurately reflect mar;et prices@ increasing official )ages@ changing policies on management of state enterprises to allo) more independence@ and the formal establishment of general mar;ets. Ahile these e ents )ere unfolding domestically@ Kim ?ong/il )as continuing to see; international assistance to compensate for the country’s economic shortfall on terms that )ere not easy for humanitarian agencies to accept. =2 :ormaliEation tal;s bet)een ?apan and the DPRK had begun in .==0s. They culminated in a summit bet)een ?apanese Prime 7inister ?unichiro KoiEumi and Chairperson Kim ?ong/ 5l of the DPRK :ational Defence Commission in Beptember #00#. .44. The second nuclear crisis occurred in late #00#. During a isit to Pyongyang@ Fnited Btates Assistant Becretary of Btate ?ames Kelly announced e idence of a secret uranium/ enriching programme carried out in iolation of the .==4 Agreed 4rame)or;@ )hich he said DPRK authorities had ac;no)ledged. The DPRK subsequently remo ed seals and sur eillance equipment from the Oongbyon reactor@ shipped .@000 fuel rods to the reactor@ e>pelled t)o 5nternational Atomic -nergy Agency nuclear inspectors from the country@ and announced its intention to reopen a reprocessing plant that could start producing )eapons grade plutonium )ithin months. 5n #00&@ Fnited Btates President ,eorge A. 9ush ended bilateral discussions )ith the DPRK. 5nstead@ the Bi> Party Tal;s =1 )as determined to be the appropriate forum for further negotiations. .4$. 5n the meantime@ Kim ?ong/il’s #00# economic reform initiati e appears to ha e met )ith bac;lash from the military@ and ultimately he retreated. 5n #00$@ the DPRK attempted to re i e the Public Distribution Bystem and confiscated grain from farmers. At the same time@ the go ernment made it more difficult to cross the border into China. :e ertheless@ by #00%@ the ban on trading in rice and corn )as effecti ely ended.== .4%. 5n ?uly #00%@ the DPRK launched se eral long/range missiles. This led to the imposition of sanctions by arious countries and a resolution by the Fnited :ations Becurity Council condemning the multiple launches and calling on the DPRK to suspend all ballistic missile related acti ity..00 7onths later@ the DPRK announced its first nuclear test. China issued strong statements criticiEing the DPRK for its actions and supported for the first time a Becurity Council resolution imposing sanctions on the DPRK to pre ent nuclear and ballistics )eapons de elopment..0. :e ertheless@ the criticism )as quic;ly toned do)n as China has remained generally supporti e of the leadership in the DPRK.

=2 =1

== .00

The temporary closure of the Kaesong 5ndustrial Comple> in early #0.& demonstrated the difficulties for the DPRK in engaging in the international economy. After the DPRK shuttered the operation for se eral months in a political stand/off@ the comple> reopened in Beptember #0.&. R8K/ based companies suffered serious financial damage and face an uncertain future. Bee section 5C.D. The Bi> Party Tal;s are aimed at ending the DPRK’s nuclear programme through negotiations in ol ing China@ the Fnited Btates@ the DPRK@ the R8K@ ?apan@ and Russia. After se eral rounds of negotiations@ the Beptember #00$ agreement )as reached )hereby the DPRK agreed to abandon its pursuit of nuclear )eapons. 5n #00=@ the DPRK abruptly ended its participation in the Bi>/Party Tal;s. Discussions to re/start the tal;s continue. Bee section 5C.D. B!R-B!.%=$ *#00%+. '2


.42. The #002 election of President <ee 7yung/ba; in the R8K re ersed the Bunshine Policy approach and focused on reciprocity and denucleariEation. Fnhappy )ith the change in tone@ the DPRK made personaliEed attac;s against him .0# and escalated military tensions. Bince #002@ there ha e not been any ministerial le el tal;s bet)een the R8K and the DPRK. 5n #001@ Kim ?ong/il suffered a stro;e. 5n #00=@ the DPRK’s leadership attempted to gain control o er its citiEens and the process of mar;etiEation by implementing a drastic currency reform. Although the DPRK had pre iously attempted currency reforms in .=$=@ .=2= and .==#@ the #00= currency reform failed by causing )idespread dismay and disruption by triggering massi e inflation and temporarily halting the mar;ets. The so/ called reform introduced ne) notes )ith a de aluation of the currency but the salaries of state employees )as effecti ely raised resulting in massi e inflation. 7any citiEens had their sa ings disappear through the e>change limitation and the subsequent drastic rise in prices..0& .41. 5n #00=@ the DPRK conducted missile tests@ )ithdre) from the Bi> Party Tal;s@ e(ected all international monitors from the Oongbyon facility )here it reprocessed 1@000 fuel rods and conducted its second nuclear test. The Becurity Council passed Resolution .124 tightening sanctions..04 The DPRK accused the Fnited Btates and the R8K of declaring )ar@ leading to its announcement that the DPRK )as no longer bound by the .=$& Armistice Agreement. .4=. 4ollo)ing his stro;e@ Kim ?ong/il began to focus more e>plicitly on the issue of his succession. Fntil #00.@ his first/born son@ Kim ?ong/nam@ had been presumed to be heir/ apparent )hen )ith se eral family members he attempted to enter ?apan on fa;e Dominican passports. 5n early #00=@ the official propaganda organs started mentioning the I:e) Btar ,eneralJ. 4ormal e idence of the selection of Kim ?ong/un as Kim ?ong/il’s heir apparent only emerged in #0.0. 5n 7arch #0.0@ the R8K’s na al cor ette Cheonan )as attac;ed and sun; by an under)ater torpedo@ ;illing 4% sailors..0$ 5n Beptember #0.0@ during the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea’s first con ention since the .=10 Party Congress@ Kim ?ong/il’s sister Kim Kyong/hui and Kim ?ong/un )ere promoted to four/star generals although neither had ser ed in the military. At the same time@ Kim ?ong/un )as appointed the Cice/Chairman of the Central 7ilitary Commission. 5n :o ember #0.0@ the DPRK shelled Oeonpyeong 5sland ;illing four R8K citiEens. 8n .= December #0..@ the go ernment announced that Kim ?ong/il had died t)o days earlier. Dynastic succession promptly mo ed to the third generation of Kim 5l/sung’s family. 5t appears that this


.0& .04


Acting under Chapter C55 of the Fnited :ations Charter@ but barring automatic military enforcement of its demands under the Charter’s article 4.@ the Council unanimously adopted resolution .2.1 *#00%+@ )hich pre ents a range of goods from entering or lea ing the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and imposes an asset freeEe and tra el ban on persons related to the nuclear/)eapon programme. Through its decision@ the Council prohibited the pro ision of large/scale arms@ nuclear technology and related training to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea@ as )ell as lu>ury goods@ calling upon all Btates to ta;e cooperati e action@ including through inspection of cargo@ in accordance )ith their respecti e national la)s. 4or e>ample@ in #0.#@ the Korean Central :e)s Agency captioned a cartoon of President <ee 7yung/ba;3 IThe dirty hairy body of rat/li;e 7yung/ba; is being stabbed )ith bayonets. 8ne is right in his nec; and the heart has already burst open. 9lood is flo)ing out of its filthy bottom hole.J A ailable from http3!!))).bbc.co.u;!ne)s!)orld/asia/##0&1&20. 4or more detail on the #00= currency reform@ see section 5C.D . 9et)een #00% and #0.&@ the Fnited :ations Becurity Council passed fi e resolutions on the DPRK imposing sanctions and counter/proliferation measures against missiles3 resolutions .%=$ *#00%+@ .2.1 *#00%+@ .124 *#00=+@ #012 *#0.&+ and #0=4 *#0.&+. A (oint in estigation by the R8K@ Fnited Btates@ Fnited Kingdom@ B)eden and Australia too; si> months and found that the Cheonan )as attac;ed by an under)ater torpedo manufactured by the DPRK. China did not accept the results and bloc;ed the F: Becurity Council resolution condemning the DPRK for the attac;.



transition occurred )ithout any formal democratic process or effecti e engagement )ith the people of the DPRK. .$0. Kim ?ong/un is belie ed to ha e been born on 1 ?anuary .=1& or .=14. "e )as thus under &0 years of age at the time he succeeded to the highest political@ e>ecuti e and military po)er in the DPRK as the Bupreme <eader. "e has been endea ouring to consolidate his authority. 5n the )ee;s after Kim ?ong/il’s death in #0..@ Kim ?ong/un )as gi en the title of IBupreme CommanderJ of the ma(or military organiEations. 8fficial statements from arious state organs referred to him as the nation’s Isole national leaderJ. .$.. 5n early #0.#@ the DPRK announced it )ould suspend nuclear tests and allo) international inspectors to monitor the moratorium in e>change for food aid from the Fnited Btates. 5n April #0.#@ ho)e er@ the DPRK launched an ad anced missile@ the Fnha/ &@ )hich failed. The Fnited Btates still cancelled planned food aid. .$#. 5n the same month@ Kim ?ong/un consolidated his po)er by ta;ing on the posts of the 4irst Becretary of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea and the Chairman of the Central 7ilitary’s Commission@ as )ell as 4irst Chairman of the :ational Defence Commission. .0% "e filled )ith his o)n appointees the top (obs at the 7inistry of People’s Armed 4orces@ the ,eneral Political 9ureau and ,eneral Btaff of the Korean People’s Army. "e further consolidated his hold o er the military in ?uly #0.# by retiring the head of the army@ promoting a pre iously little ;no)n general in his place@ and assuming for the first time the ran; of marshal. .$&. 5n December #0.#@ the DPRK launched a roc;et putting its first satellite into orbit. 7any analysts argued this )as a co er to de elop intercontinental ballistic missiles. The Becurity Council condemned the launch as a iolation of resolutions barring testing of technology used for ballistic missiles@ and adopted tightened sanctions against the country. The DPRK conducted its third nuclear test in 4ebruary #0.& and see;s recognition as a nuclear state from the international community. .02 .$4. After assuming supreme po)er in the DPRK@ Kim ?ong/un e>pressed his desire to re i e the countryTs economy. 8n &. 7arch #0.&@ Kim ?ong/un announced the IDual Policy of -conomic Construction and :uclear Arsenal ->pansionJ )hich seemed to add impro ing the economy to the priority of the de elopment of the DPRK’s nuclear arsenal. "e subsequently continued to add the slogan of Iimpro ing the li es of our peopleJ to his public statements. 5n :o ember #0.&@ the plan to establish .4 special economic Eones to attract more foreign in estment )as announced. .$$. The Commission has met )ith credible international sources )ho ha e remar;ed on increased signs of prosperity in Pyongyang in the past couple of years. They cite the increased use of mobile phones in the DPRK *albeit )ithout international access+@ belie ed to number up to # million subscribers@ .01 as )ell as the pre alence of ne) ehicles on the formerly quiet streets. They mar el at the opening of ne) restaurants )hich appear to be


5n a tradition set by his father@ Kim ?ong/il retains his former titles of Becretary/ ,eneral of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea and Chairman of the :ational Defence Commission after his death. 8n .# 4ebruary #0.&@ the Bpo;esperson of the 7inistry of 4oreign Affairs of the DPRK addressed the President of the Becurity Council3 IThe DPRK’s nuclear test is a (ust step for self/defence and is not contradictory to any international la). The F.B. has long put the DPRK on the list for pre/empti e nuclear stri;es. 5t is a quite natural@ (ust measure for self/defence to react to the e er increasing nuclear threat of the F.B. )ith nuclear deterrence. The DPRK )ithdre) from the Treaty on the :on/Proliferation of :uclear Aeapons after going through legitimate procedures and chose the )ay of ha ing access to nuclear deterrence for self/defence to protect the supreme interests of the country. There ha e been on the -arth more than #@000 nuclear tests and at least =@000 satellite launches in the history of the Fnited :ations@ spanning o er %0 years@ but there has ne er been a Becurity Council resolution on banning any nuclear test or satellite launchJ *B!#0.&!=.+. (&


)ell/frequented. Bome obser ers ha e been noting )hat could be moderniEing trends in the DPRK from Kim ?ong/un appearing publicly )ith his )ife in contrast to his father and grandfather@ the brief appearance of an unlicensed 7ic;ey 7ouse dancing )ith an unlicensed Ainnie the Pooh at a state/sponsored musical performance@ and the commercial launching of the country’s o)n home/gro)n tablet computer. Kim ?ong/un himself has also been promoting sports in the DPRK by ma;ing public appearances at arious athletic e ents. .$%. At the same time@ there has been a clampdo)n on the country’s borders since Kim ?ong/un’s succession to po)er. The number of :orth Koreans )ho ha e reached the R8K fell significantly in #0.# and #0.&..0= The Commission has recei ed reports of the use of blac;mail and coercion against those )ho ha e left the country@ including threats to family members in the DPRK to entice them to return to the DPRK. Certainly@ a number of Koreans )ho ha e returned to the DRPK from the R8K ha e appeared on state tele ision to e>press their apparent remorse for lea ing and oicing criticism of life in the Bouth. ..0 8ther control measures that ha e been reported include Kim ?ong/un placing ne) limits on pri ately/funded education abroad by elite families.... .$2. The sudden e>ecution of ?ang Bong/thae1> Kim ;ong-un’s uncle> in December #3&'> appears to be part of Kim ;ong-un’s consolidation process% ;ang @ong-thae1 had been considered the Acontrol towerB..#@ due to his role as a guide to the ne) leader@ and )as )idely considered to be second/in/command )ithin the DPRK po)er structure. "e )as the husband of the sister of Kim ?ong/il and daughter of Kim 5l/sung. "er condition was uncertain at the time this report was finished%


5:ternal dynamics and the human rights situation

.$1. Ahile an e>amination of the foregoing internal dynamics pro ides one e>planation for the e olution of the DPRK and its human rights situation@ it is also useful to e>amine the e>ternal en ironment to understand the particular influences that ha e shaped the character of the state. The end of Aorld Aar 55 brought to the forefront aspirations of many coloniEed peoples for national independence@ including the Koreans. At the same time@ the ne) )orld order ga e rise to ri alry bet)een the Fnited Btates and its allies and the Bo iet Fnion and its allies. The Cold Aar has played an important role in the international relations that ha e impacted the DPRK. -qually important ha e been regional dynamics.


.0= ..0



According to &1 :orth@ FB/Korea 5nstitute at BA5B@ ?ohns "op;ins Fni ersity@ the &, ser ice@ Koryolin;@ launched in December #001 by C"-8 Technology ?C Company@ a (oint enture bet)een the -gyptian telecommunications firm 8rascom and the go ernment/o)ned Korea Post and Telecommunications Corporation@ reached one million subscribers by 4ebruary #0.#. That rate )as then doubled in .$ months@ reaching an ostensible t)o million subscribers in 7ay #0.&. As #0..@ Koryolin;’s net)or; had 4$& base stations co ering Pyongyang@ .4 main cities and 1% smaller cities. Bee Kim Oon/ho@ IA Closer <oo; at the Z->plosion of Cell Phone Bubscribers’ in :orth KoreaJ@ #% :o ember #0.&. Bee section 5C.C. Alastair ,ale@ I:orth Korea Clamps Do)n on DefectionsJ@ ,all Street 'ournal@ #2 August #0.&. According to an e>pert inter ie)ed by the Commission@ one of the per;s en(oyed by the elite in the DPRK has been the education of children abroad. This pri ilege has e>panded beyond the small number of selected cadres to those business people )ho are able to pay for this access. As the number of :orth Korean children abroad has increased@ this situation has become more comple> leading to concerns about control. -CC00#. Ken -. ,ause@ I:orth Korean <eadership Dynamics and Decision/ma;ing under Kim ?ong/un3 A 4irst Oear AssessmentJ@ C:A Btrategic Btudies@ Beptember #0.&.



.$=. China has repeatedly e>pressed the desire for denucleariEation of the peninsula@ ..& and stability in the DPRK appears to be the main priority for China. :e ertheless@ the ma(ority of :orth Koreans )ho ha e sought to flee the DPRK ha e done so by crossing the border into China and transiting o erland to reach Bouth -ast Asia. ..4 This has raised questions regarding China’s treatment of these :orth Koreans and its adherence to international human rights la)@..$ )hile human rights iolations in the DPRK ha e directly impacted China. .%0. The ?apan/DPRK Pyongyang Declaration follo)ing the #00# summit noted that Iestablishing a fruitful political@ economic and cultural relationship bet)een ?apan and the DPRK through the settlement of unfortunate past bet)een them and the outstanding issues of concern )ould be consistent )ith the fundamental interests of both sides@ and )ould greatly contribute to the peace and stability of the region.J ..% The process )as derailed by the failure of the DPRK to follo) up on its admission of the abduction of ?apanese nationals...2 The abductions issue continues to resound forcefully )ith the ?apanese public@ as do the security threats from nuclear )eapons and ballistic missiles that the DPRK has tested and continues to de elop. .%.. 9oth the R8K and the DPRK ha e stated that unification of the peninsula is a goal. Fnder the R8K’s :ational Becurity <a)@ anyone )ho ;no)ingly supports or encourages Ianti/stateJ entities faces up to se en years’ imprisonment. FnauthoriEed trips to the DPRK also remain forbidden. 5n recent years@ the R8K has increased efforts to assist DPRK citiEens )ho ha e fled the DPRK. The DPRK has countered that citiEens of the DPRK )ho ha e escaped or are attempting to flee ha e been traffic;ed. Bince #002@ there ha e not been any ministerial le el tal;s bet)een the R8K and the DPRK. President Par; ,eun/hye announced a ne) frame)or; in the R8K’s approach to relations )ith the DPRK@ using the term ITrustpoliti;J to refer to an incremental trust/building process that )ould both pro ide a tough position as )ell as fle>ibility for negotiating )hen there are openings. ..1 Cabinet/ le el tal;s that )ere scheduled for .# ?une #0.& in Beoul )ere aborted after the t)o sides failed to agree on the composition of the delegations. 9eyond the aborted ministerial le el tal;s@ the ne) administration’s e>perience in negotiating )ith the DPRK has yielded mi>ed results. Ahile the Kaesong 5ndustrial Comple> )as reopened in Beptember #0.& after marathon rounds of tal;s@ family reunions organiEed for the national Chosu *"ar est 4esti al+ holiday )ere abruptly cancelled by the DPRK@ after ha ing raised the hopes of


..$ ..%


8n #4 7ay #0.&@ President Pi ?inping in his meeting )ith Choe Ryong/hae@ the director of the ,eneral Political 9ureau of the Korean PeopleTs Army and a member of the Presidium of the Political 9ureau of the Aor;ersT Party of Korea Central Committee )ho )as the special en oy of Kim ?ong/un@ said@ IChina has a ery clear position concerning the issue that all the parties in ol ed should stic; to the ob(ecti e of denucleariEation@ safeguard the peace and stability on the peninsula@ and resol e disputes through dialogue and consultation.J@ 6inhua Ne)s Agency. 8n #2 ?une #0.&@ President Pi ?inping re/affirmed this position during the summit )ith R8K President Par; ,eun/hye in 9ei(ing in a (oint statement issued at the end of their meeting. 7any of the )itnesses )ho testified at the Commission’s public hearings as )ell as confidential inter ie)s confirmed this route. The Korean 9ar Association’s 78-7 ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea noted that the usual escape route is ia China and Thailand@ p. $&&. Bee section 5C.C. Bee Pyongyang Declaration at http3!!))).mofa.go.(p!region!asia/ paci!nW;orea!pm 0#0=!pyongyang.html. The DPRK repeatedly raises historical grie ances such as the issues of conscription into the ?apanese military operations and the e>istence of Icomfort stationsJ during Aorld Aar 55. ?apan maintains that it is necessary to comprehensi ely resol e outstanding issues of concern@ such as the abduction issue and other security matters@ in order to normalise the ?apan/DPRK relationship.




long separated and mostly elderly family members on different sides of the Korean border. 4ollo)ing Kim ?ong/un’s #0.4 :e) Oear’s address urging the R8K to Iput an end to slander and calumny that brings no good to either sideJ and his offer to I(oin hands )ith anyone )ho opts to promote inter/Korean relationsXregardless of his or her pastJ # President Par proposed resumption of temporary family reunions for the %unar Ne) 9ear: *he proposal )as re;ected by the &PRK: .%#. The Commission recalls that the Korean Aar has not been concluded. 5n #0.&@ 1$ year/old Fnited Btates citiEen 7errill :e)man@ a eteran )ho fought in the Korean Aar@ )as arrested and detained for o er one month in the DPRK. This e ent again highlights the sensiti ities o er the Korean Aar that remain in the DPRK. Resolution of this conflict may need to be part of any process that integrates the DPRK into the international community as a responsible nation/state that respects the human rights of its o)n people. <i;e)ise@ the DPRK has continued to e>press discontent o er the colonial occupation. These matters similarly require attention as part of that process. Pursuing gradual progress on these matters should not detract from the Democratic People’s Republic of KoreaTs obligations under international la) that it must immediately implement.

)C% 9indings of the commission
!% Ciolations of the freedoms of thought> e:pression and religion

.%&. Article .1 of the 5nternational Co enant on Ci il and Political Rights *5CCPR+ pro ides for the right to freedom of thought@ conscience and religion. The Commission considered this pro ision along )ith article #0 of the 5CCPR )hen assessing the allegations of human rights iolations regarding the indoctrination of the DPRK people by the state. 5t is noted that article .4 of the Con ention of the Rights of the Child *CRC+ further pro ides the same right to freedom of thought@ conscience and religion specifically for children. .%4. Ahen loo;ing at the e>tent the DPRK people are able to freely e>press their opinions@ access information and (oin associations@ the Commission is guided by articles .= and ## of the 5CCPR as )ell as articles .#@ .&@ .$ and .2 of the CRC. &% )ndoctrination> propaganda and the related role of mass organi7ations

.%$. The population of the DPRK is indoctrinated from a young age in accordance )ith the single state ideology and the Ten Principles as sustained by the Bupreme <eader and the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea to such a degree that it not only infringes on the freedom to see; and recei e information as article .= of the 5CCPR and article .2 of the CRC en isage@ but it also supresses the emergence and de elopment of free thought and conscience@ )hich is protected by article .1 of the 5CCPR and article .4 of the CRC. The "uman Rights Committee has commented that the latter right is far/reaching and profound@ and encompasses freedom of thought on all matters. The fundamental character of these freedoms is also reflected in the fact that this pro ision cannot be derogated from@ e en in times of public emergency. ..= <a= )ndoctrination from childhood

.%%. Children are taught to re ere and idoliEe Kim 5l/sung@ Kim ?ong/il@ and no) Kim ?ong/un. Plaques )ith slogans@ posters and dra)ings e>pressing gratitude to the Bupreme <eader are found in ;indergartens irrespecti e of the children’s ability to fully comprehend


,eneral Comment :o. ##@ para. . *CCPR!C!#.!Re ..!Add.4+.



these messages..#0 5n addition to the usual sub(ects in schools@ such as mathematics@ science@ art and music@ an unusually large portion of the school syllabus is dedicated to the instruction about achie ements and teachings of Kim 5l/sung and Kim ?ong/il@ including the Ten Principles and the DPRK’s official ersion of its re olutionary history. .#. 8ne former educator in the DPRK suggests that the teachings of ideology based on the )ritings of and about Kim 5l/sung and Kim ?ong/il in fact Iconstitutes most of the educationJ in the DPRK..## The contents of these teachings are customiEed to suit the students’ capacity to understand and then memoriEe them..#& 5f the students do not perform )ell on the sub(ects of Kim 5l/sung’s philosophy and re olutionary history@ they may be punished e en if they do e>tremely )ell in other sub(ects..#4 These educational goals are contrary to those outlined in article #= of the CRC. .%2. There are t)o basic themes central to the :orth Korean indoctrination programme. 8ne is to instil utmost loyalty and commitment to)ards the Bupreme <eader. The other is to instil hostility and deep hatred to)ards ?apan@ the Fnited Btates of America *FBA+@ and the Republic of Korea *R8K+. The latter ob(ecti e is pursued )ith such deliberate and systematic efforts that it clearly amounts to ad ocacy of national hatred constituting incitement to discrimination@ hostility and iolence@ and to propaganda for )ar@ in iolation of article #0 of the 5CCPR..#$ .%1. Children are taught that they should aspire only to emulate Kim 5l/sung. 4or e>ample@ those inclined to dra)ing are encouraged only to dra) pictures of the Bupreme <eader or ma;e dra)ings )hich might ha e pleased Kim 5l/sung. ,ood dra)ings are put up in schools. Typically@ they either depict the Kim family or they depict children stabbing ?apanese or American soldiers )ith s)ords or pencils..#% ^ 8ne )itness stated that as a school student@ dra)ing anything other than images to please Kim 5l/sung ne er occurred to him. "e )as interested in becoming a great )arrior@ to become a ;iller of the enemies@ going to the Republic of Korea and dying for the sa;e of Kim 5l/sung and Kim ?ong/il..#2 .%=. Children are encouraged to be )illing to ris; their li es for the alues of Kim 5l/ sung and Kim ?ong/il@ more so than for their o)n parents. .#1 Children are surrounded by patriotic images and slogans pro(ecting Kim 5l/sung as a fatherly figure@ protecting the
.#0 .#. .##

.#& .#4 .#$


.#2 .#1

TAP00#@ TAP00$. TAP00$@ TAP00%. Par; K)ang/il@ IBeoul Bummit3 Promoting "uman Rights in :orth Korea 6 "uman Rights concerning -ducation3 :orth Korean Authoritarian Regime’s 5nfringement on "uman Rights Btarts from -ducationJ@ #00$. 8fficial sub(ects apparently include IDear <eader Kim 5l/sung’s childhood days@J IDear <eader Kim ?ong/il’s Childhood daysJ@ IDear <eader Kim 5l/sung’s Re olution Acti itiesJ@ and IDear <eader Kim ?ong/il’s Re olution Acti itiesJ@ p. .#0. TAP00%@ T<C0&$. T<C0&$. Article #0 indicates that such propaganda and ad ocacy should be prohibited by la)@ )hich entails not only the adoption of necessary legislati e measures against such acts@ but also that the Btate effecti ely prohibits them and also itself refrains from any such propaganda or ad ocacy@ "uman Rights Committee ,eneral Comments :o. ..@ paras. ./# *"R5!,-:!.!Re .= *Col. 5++. TAP00$. 4rom among the pictures ta;en in the DPRK by an Associated Press photographer@ one of the pictures featured )as described as IKindergarten ;ids’ dra)ings that depict children ;illing F.B. soldiers hang on the )all at Kaeson Kindergarten in central Pyongyang on = 7arch #0.&. 4or :orth Koreans@ the systematic indoctrination of anti/Americanism starts as early as ;indergartenJ. A ailable from http3!!))).nationalgeographic.com!.#$!photos!north/;orea/ guttenfelder!D utmWsource_:at,eocomMutmWmedium_-mailMutmWcontent_pomW#0.&..0&MutmWcampaign_Con tentQ.Fpddu:K;pa9. TAP00$. TB"0.=. ($


nation and pro iding for its citiEens..#= Buch messaging and indoctrination ser es not only to create loyalty to the leader from a young age@ but effecti ely )or;s to fracture familial ties as children are e>pected to display greater respect and commitment to)ards the Bupreme <eader than their o)n parents. .20. All school sub(ects are taught in a manner compatible )ith state ideology. 4or e>ample@ one )itness described that@ )hen reference )as made to a chemical gas in chemistry lessons@ a comparison had to be made bet)een ho) the t)o Korean go ernments )ould use the gas..&0 According to this rhetoric@ )hile the DPRK aimed at industrial de elopment@ R8K )ould use it for tear gas against protestors discontented )ith the conditions of their li es. 5n a .=1. speech@ Kim 5l/sung had reminded that3 5t is important in class education to intensify anti/imperialist education@ education against FB imperialism and ?apanese militarism. They are s)orn enemies of the Korean people and the target that must be attac;ed in the Korean re olution. Ae must intensify anti/imperialist@ anti/FB and anti/?apanese education among Party members and the )or;ing people so that they fight indomitably against FB imperialism and ?apanese militarism. Ae must also educate people to harbour bitter hatred for the landlords@ comprador capitalists@ and reactionary bureaucrats the anti/ popular fascist ruling system of Bouth Korea and to ha e the spirit to fight them )ithout compromise..&. .2.. Article #= of the CRC outlines the goals of education for children. Disproportionate time allocation to allo) )orship of the Kim family in school is contrary to these goals. 7ost alarming are the teachings of hate@ iolence and racism in direct contra ention of sub/ articles *.+*c+ and *d+ of article #=. <b= The *ass Dames and other compulsory mass propaganda e4ents

.2#. Children and uni ersity students in the DPRK are regularly required to participate in parades@ mass rallies and other choreographed performances )hich ser e a political purpose. The largest of these performances is the annual mass gymnastics@ today generally referred to as the 7ass ,ames. .2&. The ,ames feature appro>imately .00@000 children and young adults in a minutely choreographed display of gymnastics@ dance@ acrobatics@ and dramatic performance. 5n a lengthy tal; deli ered to the producers of the 7ass ,ames@ Kim ?ong/il in .=12 e>plained that the 7ass ,ames not only aim at fostering a particularly healthy and strong physique in participants@ but also a high degree of organiEation@ discipline and collecti ism in schoolchildren..&# "e )ent on3 The schoolchildren@ conscious that a single slip in their action may spoil their mass gymnastic performance@ ma;e e ery effort to subordinate all their thoughts and actions to the collecti e. X Bince mass gymnastics are creati e )or;s X KtLhe creati e )or;ers must present in great depth and breadth throughout their mass gymnastic productions the leader’s greatness@ the sagacity of his leadership@ his immortal re olutionary achie ements and his noble communist irtues. Their )or;s must also sho) in full the greatness and brilliant achie ements of the Party that effects historic changes X
.#= .&0 .&.


TAP00$@ T<C0##. T<C0&.. Kim ?ong/il@ I8n 4urther 5mpro ing Party 5deological Aor;3 Concluding Bpeech at the :ational 7eeting of Party PropagandistsJ@ 1 7arch .=1.. *Pyongyang@ 4oreign <anguages Publishing "ouse@ .=1=+. A ailable from http3!!))).;orea/dpr.com!lib!#.$.pdf. Kim ?ong/il@ I8n 4urther De eloping 7ass ,ymnastics3 Tal; to 7ass ,ymnastics ProducersJ@ .. April .=12. *Pyongyang@ 4oreign <anguages Publishing "ouse@ #00%+@ also a ailable from http3!!))).anightinpyongyang.com!pdf!0#.0$.0..pdf.



.24. The 7ass ,ames ha e become a ma(or source of foreign currency re enue for the DPRK. They attract large numbers of tourists@ )ho are often una)are of the human rights iolations endured by participating children@ )ho are compelled to participate *unless their physical appearance does not meet the state/determined ideal+. Training )ill often last an entire year@ including 4/% months during )hich the participants train all day at the e>pense of their schooling. Training practice is gruelling. Children )ho do not perfect their performances are sub(ected to physical punishment and additional e ening training. ^ A former uni ersity sports teacher informed the Commission that he )as required to train students for the 7ass ,ames. "e said students )ere forced to train %/.# hours a day in ery harsh conditions. Although most participants )ere school children and uni ersity students@ some army personnel also participated. Anyone )ith any sort of disability )as e>cluded. The )itness recalled that many children fainted from fatigue during training. 7any also suffered se ere in(uries..&& ^ 5n testimony before the Commission’s To;yo Public "earing@ 7s < described ho) she missed an entire semester of uni ersity education because her class )as required to practise for % months@ .0 hours a day@ for a short segment of a parade@ to be held in the Kim 5l/sung Btadium of Pyongyang in the presence of Kim ?ong/il. Training )as so intense that some participants fainted from e>haustion. 4ainting )as especially common during summer )hen students trained in the hot sun@ on concrete floor. Practice emphasiEed perfection. Anyone )ho made repeated mista;es )as made to remain on the training ground until midnight as a punishment. 7s < recalls that her teachers )ould in o;e the e>ample of a boy of 2 or 1 years of age )ho had practised through the intense pain of an acute appendicitis. "e e entually died because he did not recei e timely medical care. The dead child )as treated as a hero because he had dedicated his entire life for an e ent in the presence of Kim ?ong/il..&4 .2$. The strict training routine for the 7ass ,ames o er such a long period and in such conditions is dangerous to the children’s health and )ell/being. The Commission finds such e>ploitation of children to be in contra ention of articles &. and &# of the CRC pro iding for a child’s right to rest and leisure and to be protected from )or; that interferes )ith the child’s education or is harmful to the child’s health. <c= Confession and criticism sessions

.2%. Children in the DPRK are introduced at an early age to Iconfession and criticismJ sessions. Children gather in groups )ee;ly and ta;e turns standing up and describing their acti ities for the pre ious )ee;@ as far as possible sho)ing ho) they )ere li ing in accordance )ith the teachings of the Kim philosophy and the Ten Principles. The Principles are recited during the confession. Children must berate themsel es if they ha e failed in some )ay during the preceding )ee;N such as being absent from class or not ha ing made a contribution as e>pected. They must then ma;e a commitment to become better. They are also e>pected to describe the failings of at least one of their peers in the same group. Fntil they identify someone for criticism@ they are not allo)ed to stand do)n. .22. Aee;ly Iconfession and criticismJ sessions constitute a method for the state to monitor any percei ed foibles in its citiEens. .&$ These )ee;ly sessions are carried out throughout the li es of the DPRK citiEens. They ta;e place in prison and labour training camps. They are also underta;en for those mobiliEed to carry out public construction )or;s. .21. :otably@ sub/principle 4.$ of the Ten Principles calls for all to3 Participate )ithout absence in more than # hours of study groups@ lectures and collecti e studies de oted to re olutionary ideas of ,reat <eader Comrade Kim 5l/
.&& .&4


TB"00=. To;yo Public "earing@ #= August #0.&@ afternoon *)ith additional details pro ided by the )itness in a confidential inter ie)+. TAP00%@ TAP002@ TAP001@ TAP0.#@ TAP0.$@ T<C00$@ T<C0&$@ TB"0$#. (.


sung@ ensure discipline for these studies and ma;e these studies a habitual part of daily life@ at the same time struggling )ith any contradictions or neglect to)ards ensuring such studies are al)ays completed..&% .2=. 5t )as reported in August #0.& that the Ten Principles )ere re ised@ for the first time in &= years@ to add Kim ?ong/il’s name to that of Kim 5l/sung to be honoured )ith loyalty by the people. 5t )as further reported a month later that the DPRK authorities had Iordered a nation)ide round of public criticism sessions and associated )ritings to determine )hether Kthe re ised Ten PrinciplesL are being upheldJ..&2 .10. 5n the aftermath of the e>ecution of Kim ?ong/un’s uncle@ ?ang Bong/thae;@ in December #0.&@ the number of indoctrination sessions across the country appears to ha e been increased@ )ith the population e>pected to pledge their loyalty in )riting and to reflect upon their o)n beha iour. The e>ecution of 7r ?ang had reportedly caused a considerable amount of bafflement and fear among the DPRK population. .&1 "o)e er@ there )as no room for criticism of the process@ its lac; of transparency@ its unseemly haste@ and its iolent ending. 8nly e>pressions designed to further the interests of the Bupreme <eader and the dictates of the leadership are tolerated.

.&% .&2


As translated by CitiEens’ Alliance for :orth Korean "uman Rights. I:K Adds Kim ?ong 5l to ZTen Principles’J@ &aily NK@ = August #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).dailyn;.com!english!read.phpDcata5d_n;0.$00Mnum_.01#1N IBessions 8rdered to Chec; on Ten PrinciplesJ@ &aily NK@ #4 Beptember #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).dailyn;.com!english!read.phpDcata5d_n;0.$00Mnum_.0==1. I->ecution prompts surprise@ fear inside :orth KoreaJ@ 33C Ne)s@ .% December #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).bbc.co.u;!ne)s!)orld/asia/#$&==.4&.




Compulsory membership in mass organi7ations

.1.. Article ## of the 5CCPR@ article .$ of the CRC@ and the DPRK Constitution pro ide for the right to freedom of association..&= .1#. The DPRK has claimed that if anyone )ishes to form a democratic social organiEation@ an application should be sent to the Cabinet thirty days in ad ance@ specifying the purpose of the organiEation@ the number of its members@ its organiEational structure@ date of inauguration@ and the name of the leader@ accompanied by a copy of the proposed statute..40 There are reportedly associations such as the Fnified Culture and Arts <eague@ the Democratic Attorneys’ Association@ the Anti/:uclear Peace Committee and the Africa/ Asia Coalition Committee. "o)e er@ all of these bodies appear to also be under the o ersight of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea. .4. 5n practice@ not a single officially registered political party or ci il society organiEation appears to e>ist that is not effecti ely under the control of the state and of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea. .1&. All citiEens are required to become members of and participate in the acti ities of mass associations that are under the o ersight of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea. .4# 7embership starts on entry to elementary school. .4& All children aged bet)een 2 and .& are made members of the Children’s Fnion. Their acti ities are o erseen by officials of the Kim 5l/sung Bocialist Oouth <eague@ )hich is made up of DPRK citiEens aged bet)een .4 and &0..44 After the age of &0@ a citiEen becomes a member of the ,eneral 4ederation of Korean Trade Fnions@ Democratic Aomen’s Fnion or the Fnion of Agricultural Aor;ing People depending on one’s employment and marital status. .4$ Although the on/going socio/ economic changes ma;e Party membership less attracti e than in the past@ most citiEens )ould still aspire to become a member of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea. This is@ ho)e er@ a pri ilege granted only to about .$ per cent of the population. Party members also become officials of the mass associations controlled by the Party. .4% 5t is compulsory to be a member of one of these associations until one’s death..42 8ne )itness remar;ed that e en those )ho )ere forcibly repatriated )ould resume membership upon release from detention..41 .14. 7embership of these associations ser es se eral basic functions. 8ne is to organiEe and monitor the daily acti ities of the people )hether at )or; or outside of )or;. Another is to ensure continued indoctrination through regular classes on teachings of the Kim philosophy as )ell as sharing of information on current and foreign affairs. .4= ^ A former official for the Kim 5l/sung Bocialist Oouth <eague spo;e of four categories of basic duties to be discharged by members of the Oouth <eague. 4irst and foremost is the duty to I)orship the Kim familyJ. Becond is the duty to Iarm the peopleJ )ith re olutionary ideas. Third is the duty to Isecure the nationJ through the monitoring and assessment of loyalty. 4ourth is the duty to

.40 .4. .4# .4& .44 .4$ .4% .42

.41 .4=

Article %2 pro ides that *.+ CitiEens are guaranteed freedom of speech@ the press@ assembly@ demonstration and associationN and *#+ The Btate guarantees the conditions for the free acti ities of democratic political parties and social organiEations. FPR DPRK national report@ A!"RC!A,.%!%!PRK!.@ para. 44. K5:F@ ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.&+@ p. #=%. TAP002@ TB"0$#. TAP00%. TAP0.$. TAP00$@ TAP00%@ TAP002. TAP002. TAP002N K5:F@ ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.&+@ pp. #=%/#=2N 5nternational Coalition to Btop Crimes against "umanity in :orth Korea *5C:K+@ I5ntroduction to :orth KoreaJ@ pp. .1/.=. TAP002. TAP00%@ TAP002@ TB"0.=. (2


Ibuild the socialist economyJ by mobiliEing select groups of people to carry out construction and related )or;s..$0 ^ 8nce a member of the Children’s Fnion@ one )itness spo;e of stri ing to be a model student@ and to be e>emplary in her studies and in e>tra/curricular acti ities. Bhe and other students )ere also e>pected to contribute to)ards their school by donating materials such as used paper and used inyl paper..$. ^ Another )itness spo;e of the Children’s Fnion members being engaged in certain acti ities such as chanting slogans of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea and beating drums on the street to secure public attention. They )ould also be as;ed to carry out acti ities aimed at generating income for the state as )ell as to chant slogans during election periods..$# ^ 8ne )itness )ho )as one of the officials for the Aomen’s Democratic Fnion e>plained that they are responsible for@ among others@ ensuring that lectures are administered for its members on 'uche and re olutionary history@ as )ell as on internal politics and foreign affairs. 7embers are also assigned to attain goods )hich may be sold to earn foreign currency. 4or e>ample@ in one year members are e>pected to deli er one gram of gold@ t)o adult hares’ s;in and t)o dogs’ s;in. These )ould be collected and sent to the central le el of the Party. .$& .1$. A ma(or acti ity underta;en by the Oouth <eague is to mobiliEe its members and administer I olunteerJ labour units to carry out public construction )or;s. 5t is e>pected that ordinary DPRK citiEens@ aged from .2 years old on)ards@ )ould be mobiliEed and enlisted into groups to )or; on arious construction pro(ects building roads or public structures. At the le el of a county@ only a group of .@000 )ould be requiredN #0@000 at the pro incial le el and as many as .00@000 people )ould be necessary for pro(ects in a large city such as Pyongyang. .$4 Those selected to perform these duties reportedly consider it an honour to ser e in this )ay. Buch participation is ie)ed as one of the stepping stones to impro ing one’s chances of becoming a member of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea or being accepted for further study. .1%. Refusing participation in these acti ities does not appear to be an option as doing so )ould reduce one’s prospects for social and political mobility and lea e a blac; mar; on one’s dossier..$$ 5n addition to a registration system )here all DPRK citiEens are issued an identity card )hich they ;eep in their possession@ there is another record system maintained by the ,o ernment )ith respect to each indi idual )hich has direct impact on one’s ability to succeed and ad ance in society@ and )hich the indi idual has no right to access. .$% <e= 6biquity of propaganda

.12. CitiEens in the DPRK are constantly e>posed to ubiquitous state propaganda. The Propaganda and Agitation Department )ithin the Central Committee of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea is primarily responsible for generating propaganda directi es. .$2 5n a speech to IParty PropagandistsJ in .=1.@ Kim ?ong/il stated@ IX solid foundations for propaganda and agitation )or; ha e been laid under the single guidance of the Party Central Committee.J Kim ?ong/5l pro ided guidance on ho) to intensify ideological education as )ell as propaganda and agitation for the construction of the socialist economy. "e spo;e of

.$0 .$. .$# .$& .$4 .$$ .$% .$2

TAP00%. TAP0.$. T<C0&$. TAP002. TAP00%@ TAP00=. TAP001@ TAP00=. This is e>plained further in section 5C.9. TAP00=.



I erbal agitationJ@ Iagitation by artistsJ@ effecti e use of isual aids and officials setting personal e>amples as different forms of agitation that are po)erful and influential..$1 .11. The propaganda units in local administrations@ schools@ places of )or; and at arious other le els are responsible for reproducing messages determined at the centre. They also put up propaganda materials under the directi e of the Central Committee’s Propaganda Department. 5n e ery pro ince for e>ample@ there is an art centre responsible for dra)ing the portraits of the Bupreme <eaders and portraying their accomplishments )hich are displayed in e>hibitions@ and hung in the hall)ays and on the )alls of public departments and companies..$= 7ansudae Art Btudio in Pyongyang is reportedly the central le el body responsible for producing propaganda paintings@ murals@ posters@ billboards@ and monuments re ering the Kim family. 5t has been suggested that it is the largest art factory in the )orld@ employing roughly 4@000 DPRK nationals@ including some .@000 artists..%0 .1=. ->ceptionally good dra)ings by children are put up not only in their o)n schools but also other schools. There are also designated artists in uni ersities and in the military )ho dra) such propaganda materials for posters and billboards to be put in uni ersity halls and premises@ and for dra)ings in te>tboo;s and other publications for teachings in the military academy. .%. .=0. Pictures of the Bupreme <eaders and monuments dedicated to them are omnipresent. The Korean Central :e)s Agency *KC:A+ reported in April #0.& that@ I44.1 per cent of the total state budgetary e>penditure Kfor the pre ious yearL for the economic de elopment and impro ement of people’s li ing standard )as used for funding the building of edifices to be presented to the .00 th anni ersary of the birth of President Kim 5l/sung@ the consolidation of the material and technological foundation of 'uche/based@ modern and self/supporting economy and the )or; for face/lifting the country.J.%# Another report@ citing sources in the DPRK@ estimates that the equi alent of FBD#00 million has been spent on &@#00 eternal life to)ers@ about 400 mosaic murals and #&/metre high Kim 5l/sung and Kim ?ong/il statues..%& .=.. 5n each and e ery household in the DPRK@ there must be at least three framed pictures on display@ i.e. one of Kim 5l/sung@ one of Kim ?ong/il and one of the t)o of them appearing to be in discussion. Kim ?ong/un’s picture has not yet been ordered to be displayed. This may be in ;eeping )ith the e>ample set by Kim ?ong/il. "e did not add his o)n image until the end of the traditional mourning period of three years follo)ing his father’s death. 5t has been )idely reported ho) e ery DPRK citiEen must )ear a badge or


.$= .%0

.%. .%#


Kim ?ong 5l@ I8n 4urther 5mpro ing Party 5deological Aor;3 Concluding Bpeech at the :ational 7eeting of Party PropagandistsJ. TAP00#. I7ansudae Art Btudio@ :orth Korea’s Colossal 7onument 4actoryJ@ 3usiness ,ee @ % ?une #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).business)ee;.com!articles!#0.&/0%/0%!mansudae/art/studio/ north/;oreas/colossal/monument/factory. TAP00$. Korean Central :e)s Agency *KC:A+ is the state/run agency of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as stated on its )ebsite. IRe ie) of 4ulfillment of Btate 9udget for <ast Oear and Btate 9udget for This OearJ@ KCNA@ . April #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).;cna.co.(p!item!#0.&!#0.&04!ne)s0.!#0.&040./#0ee.html. I:. Korea spent $&0 million dollars in idoliEation propagandaJ@ &ong-A 2lbo@ #1 :o ember #0.&. A ailable from http3!!english.donga.com!sr !ser ice.php&D bicode_0$0000Mbiid_#0.&..#14&&41. $&


lapel pin )ith Kim 5l/sung’s portrait as a sign of loyalty. .%4 - eryone is also e>pected to bo) to these portraits and to al)ays ma;e sure that they are ;ept in pristine condition..%$ .=#. As the follo)ing accounts illustrate@ any damage to or destruction of the images of the leaders is considered a political crime sub(ect to the harshest of punishments. ^ 8ne )itness described ho) his father had unintentionally soiled an image of Kim ?ong/il printed in a used ne)spaper )hich he had used to mop up spilt drin; and )as consequently sent to a political prison camp * )anliso+. The rest of the family )as spared this fate@ but )as rendered as a family )ith hostile songbun and thus suffered decades of harsh official discrimination..%% ^ According to one )itness@ a staff member of a hospital in :orth "amgyong Pro ince )as in estigated by the Btate Becurity Department *BBD+ for one month after accidently brea;ing the glass on a portrait of Kim 5l/sung )hilst carrying out the mandatory )ee;ly cleaning of it. .%2 .=&. 5n ?uly #0.#@ KC:A published the supposed testimony of a man )ho )as allegedly in ol ed on behalf of the R8K and the FBA in )hat the authorities described as Iterrorist acti itiesJ designed to destroy Kim family statues and monuments. The article implied that the man )ould be e>ecuted..%1 8ther sources erified that he )as indeed e>ecuted for his alleged actions..%= .=4. Propaganda permeates e ery aspect of the li es of citiEens of the DPRK. Apart from the state/controlled media@ they are also e>posed to inescapable propaganda broadcasts in their homes and in public spaces. A foreigner )ho had isited DPRK recounted to the Commission ho) she )as struc; by the per asi eness of loudspea;er systems broadcasting state propaganda in public..20 5n addition to the controlled tele ision and radio broadcasting *see belo)+@ DPRK nationals recei e information from the state through Ifi>ed lineJ broadcasting. The fi>ed line system operates through the use of spea;ers in e ery DPRK household. These spea;ers are inspected regularly by officials to ensure they are still functioning. These fi>ed lines are often used for broadcasting IforbiddenJ ne)s and information *i.e. ne)s that the outside )orld is not supposed to ;no)+ and also for emergency situations. 5nformation that is transmitted through the fi>ed lines includes conditions of factories and farmlands@ and ho) each collecti e farming effort has performed in output and production. Details regarding criminals@ the crimes they ha e committed and the punishments imposed are also transmitted through the fi>ed lines. The names of criminals are released along )ith their places of residence so that others are alerted and also deterred from committing the same crime..2. ^ 7s ?eong ?in/h)a )or;ed as a ne)spaper reader for the radio system on the trains. Ahile some pri ate transport ser ices ha e recently emerged@ rail remains the main mode of public transport for long distances in the DPRK. As such@ it pro ides an e>cellent opportunity for indoctrination.


.%% .%2 .%1 .%=

.20 .2.

Bee for e>ample3 IThe day Kim 5l/sung died his first deathJ@ Asia *imes@ #$ Beptember #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).atimes.com!atimes!Korea!K8R/0./#$0=.&.htmlN 9arbara Demic;@ Nothing to En"y$ +rdinary %i"es in North Korea *:e) Oor;@ Bpiegel M ,rau@ #00=+@ p. 4%. TAP00=N 5n 7ay #002@ there )ere apparently instructions issued by the 8rganiEation 9ureau of the Central Party on I8 erall 5nspections on "o) to Carry out Respect for the Portraits of ,reat <eader and 9elo ed ,eneralJ@ K5:F@ ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.&+@ p. #1#. T9,00$. TB"0$.. Bee http3!!))).;cna.co.(p!item!#0.#!#0.#02!ne)s.=!#0.#02.=/01ee.html. T<C004 noting@ ho)e er@ that real reason for the arrest and e>ecution of the man had been his in ol ement in the politically sensiti e smuggling of cameras and radios into the country. Bee also section 5C.-. Bubmission to the Commission3 Confidential source. TAP00=.



As a reader on these trains@ 7s ?eong )as gi en specific instructions from Pyongyang on )hich specific articles from the Rodong Sinmun *the official ne)spaper of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea+ she had to read. 5n addition@ to reading these articles li e o er the train radio system@ she )as also sent cassette tapes *later compact discs+ containing ne)s and other pre/recorded items from the Party Propaganda Department in Pyongyang to be played on the train radio system. .2# Bhe stated3 <And it seems that the ,or ers5 Party papers that 2 read no) are the same as the papers 2 read 78 years ago: +n the first page and on the second page they deal )ith political issues about )hat5s happening )ith the Kim family# that5s dealt )ith in section - and section 7: Section = and section / of the paper tal about the de"elopment# about the economies and about some of the issues related to residents of North Korea: And section 0 and section > deal )ith other countries# such as South Korea and the !nited States: And so )hat5s dealt )ith in the paper# that is the ne)spaper# is the same right no) as it )as 78 years ago:?-1= .=$. Readers are specifically trained at the 8ffice of Bpea;ing ,uidance in the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea on ho) to read the articles. There is a manual on ho) to spea; and enunciate. 4or e>ample@ )hen saying the name of the ,reat <eader or the Dear <eader@ there is a special slo) and high pitch that had to be used to con ey admiration and endearment. 8n the other hand@ )hen spea;ing about the Americans or the Bouth Koreans@ a pitch that is grating is used. The )ords are che)ed in order to con ey hostility and hatred. 8n e ery train@ there )as a political agent )hose (ob )as to not only monitor the passengers but also the train cre) including the radio ne)s readers. A reader could get into trouble for mispronouncing or stumbling o er the names of the ,reat or the Dear <eader. Ahen the electricity current on the train got too lo)@ the tape recording )ould become distorted. 8n these occasions@ the reader had to quic;ly ta;e out the cassette to pre ent the names of the <eaders from being broadcast in a distorted and therefore unacceptable )ay. .=%. The people of the DPRK are taught from young to re ere the Kim family and to internaliEe the state ideology as their o)n thoughts and conscience. The Commission finds that throughout the li es of the DPRK citiEens@ )hether at )or; or outside of it@ the acti ities of citiEens are regulated and closely monitored by the state. The indi idual has no option but to participate in state/directed associations and acti itiesN as other)ise@ one’s record )ould be tainted and opportunity for up)ard mobility )ould be impeded. #% Control of information through tightly controlled @tate media and prohibition of any e:ternal information> including non-political information .=2. Bumming up the impressions that numerous persons )ho fled the DPRK con eyed to the Commission@ one )itness emphatically stated 3 <9ou are brain)ashed @ don5t no) the life outside: 9ou are brain)ashed from the time you no) ho) to tal # about / years of age# from nursery school# brain)ashing through education# this happens e"ery)here in life# society# e"en at home @ North Korea is not open to the outside )orld# is a fenced )orld: So nothing should come through that fence: E"en listening to the radio# this is restricted to certain channels: *hey )ant the people to be blind# deaf to the outside )orld# so that the people )on5t no) )hat is happening:?-1/


.2& .24

Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ afternoon *)ith additional details pro ided by the )itness in a confidential inter ie)+. Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ afternoon *003.0341+. TAP00&. $'



Control of tele4ision and radio

.=1. There are four tele ision channels that are broadcast in the DPRK. 8ne channel is for the Iordinary peopleJ@ i.e. outside Pyongyang@ called Chosun Central Tele ision. Another channel is only for Pyongyang residents called -ducation and Cultural 9roadcasting. A third channel@ Kaesong Tele ision@ is broadcast to the R8K. 8n )ee;ends@ there is a fourth channel for foreigners called 7ansudae Tele ision. 4oreigners in Pyongyang can )atch the other channels in the Korean language )hereas 7ansudae Tele ision broadcasts programmes in their original language )ith subtitles in Korean. There are programmes in Chinese and Russian. People in Pyongsong@ :ampo@ and other regions close to Pyongyang can also )atch those channels meant for Pyongyang residents such as -ducation and Cultural 9roadcasting and 7ansudae Tele ision..2$ .==. 5n addition to direct propaganda programming@ there may be other programmes )ith songs and dramas. Their underlying message@ ho)e er@ remains about being loyal to the state. - en a romance bet)een a man and a )oman typically includes their pledging allegiance to the go ernment..2% Cinema is also directed@ under the instructions of Kim 5l/ sung and Kim ?ong/il@ to Iplay a mobiliEing role in each stage of the re olutionary struggle.J.22 #00. Ahen people buy tele ision sets in the DPRK@ they ha e to register the tele ision )ith a go ernment authority@ the Transmission Bur eillance 9ureau of the BBD@ referred to as Department or 9ureau #2. This bureau is responsible for modifying the equipment so that it is able to recei e only the appro ed channel*s+ and to bloc; off tele ision channels broadcast from the R8K@ China and Russia. The DPRK also deploys sophisticated (amming equipment to bloc; foreign tele ision broadcasts. .21 "o)e er@ such (amming efforts face limitations considering they are energy/intensi e )hile the DPRK commonly suffers from energy shortages. #0.. Due to the different capabilities of radio )a e frequencies and the changing radio signals depending on atmospheric conditions and solar acti ity@ it is much harder to control radio transmissions. 4or e>ample@ the radio channel used to listen to IChosun Central 9roadcastingJ *a state/appro ed channel+ in the summer s)itches to an R8K radio channel called I8ne/:ation 9roadcastingJ in the )inter. 4or this reason@ the state does not normally permit ordinary DPRK residents to o)n radios. Radios inside cars and automobiles are remo ed before ordinary DPRK citiEens can acquire a ehicle. DPRK citiEens are allo)ed to o)n cassette recorders. These are usually foreign produced and come equipped )ith a radioN the ICommunication 7aintenance 9ureauJ and 7inistry of People’s Becurity *7PB+ is responsible for remo ing the radio components of the cassette recorder before it can be used by ordinary citiEens. 4ree/dial radios are confined to specific organiEations@ or are used by the military for purposes of emergency situations..2= #0#. DPRK citiEens )ith some technical ;no)ledge are able to listen to the radio@ including foreign broadcasts@ )hile a oiding detection. A s;illed technician can substitute the missing components in a recorder such that a nail can be used e>ternally to complete the circuit to allo) someone listening to the radio using earphones to appear as if he or she )as simply listening to the recorder. Bhort )a e radio broadcasts produced by stations located in or set up by the R8K are also easily accessible )ith appropriate equipment. .10 Be eral of these Beoul/based radio stations@ some funded by the FBA@ are run by former DPRK
.2$ .2% .22

.21 .2= .10

TAP00=. 7s ?eong ?in/h)a@ Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ afternoon. A quotation by Kim 5l/sung in Kim ?ong/il@ IThe Cinema and DirectingJ *Pyongyang@ 4oreign <anguages Publishing "ouse@ .=12+. A ailable from http3!!))).;orea/dpr.com!lib!#0=.pdf. TAP00=. TAP00=@ T?"001. TAP00=.



nationals and pro ide listeners )ith not only ne)s from outside the DPRK but also ne)s regarding the DPRK and the go ernment’s acti ities not normally broadcast internally. .1. #0&. As portable free/tuning radios from China are ine>pensi e and can easily be concealed@ DPRK citiEens are also reported to secretly purchase and smuggle these into the country@ despite the ob ious ris;s of being caught )ith one. .1# Kim ?ong/il reportedly issued an order in .=== to the BBD that anyone found to ha e a small mobile radio should be treated as a spy. Department #2 officials carry out surprise inspection isits to pri ate households in order to in estigate )hether people ha e manipulated their state/appro ed radios!recorders and tele isions or secretly acquired equipment@ smuggled in from China@ in order to recei e foreign broadcasts. 5f anyone is detected )ith forbidden equipment@ their tele ision set or radio is confiscated and they are sent for ideology re/education. 5f they are officials@ they are liable to lose their positions..1& ^ 8ne )itness@ )ho )or;ed as an inspector chec;ing tele isions and radios in :orth "amgyong Pro ince near the Chinese border@ described ho) he had to chec; the equipment in an area inhabited by pri ileged officials. "e remembered once catching a mother )ho allo)ed her small children to )atch the cartoon ITom and ?erryJ on Chinese tele ision. The mother pleaded )ith him not to report her@ and@ in e>change for a bribe@ he did not..14 <b= Control of print media and the )nternet> and other means of communication

#04. 5n #00=@ the DPRK informed the "uman Rights Council that there are 410 ne)spapers published and circulated in the DPRK at national and pro incial le els@ factories@ enterprises and uni ersities. 5t )as also claimed that there I)ere hundreds of ;inds of magaEines published by scores of publishing houses.J.1$ #0$. A )itness )ho )or;ed in the state media apparatus in the DPRK told the Commission that all of these ne)spapers@ despite their different titles and reporters@ ha e essentially the same content. All media content@ including tele ision@ ne)spapers and radio@ is controlled by the Publication and 9roadcasting Department )hich operates )ithin the Propaganda Department of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea. #0%. There is no editorial freedom in the DPRKN all stories published at all le els are pre/ determined and centrally controlled. The Publication and 9roadcasting Department issues a Imonthly plan for publication and reportJ to the Central Party and each regional ne)spaper agency@ broadcasting bodies@ and magaEine publishing houses. All publication@ broadcasting and magaEine publishing entities formulate their )or; plan based on this monthly plan..1% 4or e>ample@ if the go ernment )ere to order that more grass eating animals are to be reared@ all media content do)n to the regional le els )ould relate to this topic..12 #02. All content prepared by (ournalists goes through se eral layers of re ie). Ahile editing does occur@ the layers of re ie) relate more to censorshipN ensuring that content is in line )ith the directi e and state ideology. .11 ?ournalists are liable to be admonished for


.1& .14 .1$ .1% .12 .11

Reporters Aithout 9orders@ I:orth Korea3 4rontiers of Censorship 6 5n estigation ReportJ@ 8ctober #0..@ pp. 4@ 1. 5ntermedia@ IA ]uiet 8pening3 :orth Koreans in a Changing 7edia -n ironmentJ@ 7ay #0.#. p. #.. A ailable from http3!!))).intermedia.org!a/quiet/opening/in/north/;orea!. TAP00=@ T?"001. T?"001. A!"RC!A,.%!%!PRK!.@ para. 4#. TAP00=N 7r ?ang "ae/sung@ Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ afternoon. TAP00=. :ote sub/principle 4.2 of the Ten Principles )hich states@ IFse considerately the guidelines of the <eader )hen preparing reports@ discussions@ lectures or printed materials and eliminate any )ords or )riting that is contrary to his instructions.J $$


seemingly minor mista;es in not adhering to the Publication and 9roadcasting Department directi e or the state ideology. .1= ^ 7r ?ang "ae/sung pro ided testimony at the Beoul Public "earing of the Commission saying that he made a typographical error and misspelled Kim 5l/sung’s name in a report. "e )as sent to a training camp for si> months as punishment for this transgression. .=0 #01. <ocal (ournalists are not ordinarily allo)ed to go abroad on reporting assignments. A ery small number of (ournalists at the central le el )ould be permitted to go o erseas on assignment@ usually to China or Russia. 4oreign correspondents in the DPRK@ initially mainly coming from China@ Russia and Cuba@ are apparently only allo)ed to )rite stories complimentary of the DPRK. They are also not allo)ed to spea; to the general population..=. 5t has been often reported that the DPRK permits foreign media only for occasional isits@ usually for important ceremonial e ents. 5n those situations@ the foreign (ournalists are sub(ect to restricted mo ement and must be accompanied by officials at all times. #0=. There has been some recent liberaliEation of restrictions on foreign (ournalists operating )ithin the DPRK though the system is still far from free. Associated Press *AP+ opened a )estern ne)s bureau in ?anuary #0.#. 5t claimed at the time that its Pyongyang bureau@ )hich is based inside the official Korean Central :e)s Agency@ )ould operate under the same standards and practices as AP bureau> )orld)ide. .=# A foreign correspondent *)ho is part of a small team of AP (ournalists )ho are allo)ed to isit the DPRK on a regular basis+ spo;e of ha ing a minder accompanying him at all times during field isits. Attempting to e ade the minder )as not possible as the (ournalist )ould ha e had their isa re o;ed in response. Requests to ie) certain e ents or locations not already planned by the authorities are usually declined. 8fficial permission is also required for ordinary citiEens to meet foreigners. 7embers of the public )ho are introduced by the minders to foreign (ournalists typically ha e only positi e things to say about the situation in the country. .=& ^ 8ne )itness spo;e of ha ing to memoriEe a script )hich )as incomprehensible to her and other employees of a public facility )hich )as e>pected to recei e foreign officials inspecting the facility. As the Party secretary )as e>pected to accompany the inspectors@ e eryone )as fearful and practised the gi en script repeatedly so as not to ma;e a mista;e. .=4 ^ Another )itness described ha ing a friend )ho )or;ed in the Propaganda department. "is friend told him that )hen there )ere inter/Korean or other international meetings@ the department )ould pro ide a script to be follo)ed by participating DPRK officials. 5f someone di erted from the script@ the meeting )ould be halted and that person )ould be reproached. .=$ #.0. The Commission learned that )hile it is possible for an indi idual to ha e a telephone installed in the DPRK@ it is restricted and e>tremely e>pensi e. Airetapping of such telephones )as also found to be Ienforced in an effort to cut off and control the flo) of information.J.=% 5t )as reported in mid/#0.& that the only &, mobile pro ider in the DPRK is no) nearing # million subscribers *close to ten per cent of the population+. 7obile
.1= .=0 .=. .=#


.=4 .=$ .=%

TAP00=N 7r ?ang "ae/sung@ Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ afternoon. Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ afternoon. TAP00=. IAssociated Press opens ne)s bureau in :orth KoreaJ@ *he Auardian@ .% ?anuary #0.#. A ailable from http3!!))).theguardian.com!)orld!#0.#!(an!.%!associated/press/bureau/north/ ;orea. I:o) Oou Bee 5tJ@ National Aeographic@ 8ctober #0.&. A ailable from http3!!ngm.nationalgeographic.com!#0.&!.0!north/;orea!sulli an/te>t. TB"0$.. TB"0$#. K5:F@ ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0..+@ pp. #2$/#22.



phone usage )as apparently rare before the :orth Korean mobile phone ser ice@ ZKoryolin;’@ )as launched in #001. The ser ice is no) a ailable in all ma(or cities and along main roads and rail routes across the country. Ahile the ser ice includes oice calls and B7B@ the go ernment does not allo) its citiEens to ma;e international calls or connect to the 5nternet. 4oreigners and tourists isiting the country are allo)ed to use the 5nternet and international communication@ but are barred from contacting most domestic telephone lines..=2 Koryolin; also reportedly sells a Chinese/made mobile phone )ith only basic functions..=1 #... Ahile around # million citiEens are said ha e access to computers@ they only ha e access to an intranet system that contains information filtered and determined by the go ernment. 5nternet access is restricted to a limited fe) such as uni ersities or some members of the elite..== Computers must be registered )ith the authorities including those for official organiEational use and home computers are not connected to the intranet system.#00 #.#. Reportedly@ follo)ing the e>ecution in December #0.& of Kim ?ong/un’s uncle@ ?ang Bong/thae;@ about &$@000 articles from the KC:A )ebsite and a further #0@000 items from the Rodong Sinmun )ebsite )ere remo ed.#0. This appears to be part of the )ider efforts to purge 7r ?ang from the DPRK’s *political+ history and is reflecti e of ho) the state controls and manipulates information to support its official position. #.&. Department #2 is also belie ed to be responsible for monitoring email transmissions@ and the use of mobile phones and satellite phones including those of foreigners. #0# Bur eillance apparatus in the DPRK is increasingly sophisticated@ and the areas monitored are increasingly e>panding beyond the border areas. 5nformation recei ed by the Commission indicates that the BBD employs a large number of hac;ers )ho interfere )ith )ebsites critical of the regime.#0& ^ 7r Kim ?oo/il@ )ho fled the DPRK and no) runs a )ebsite )ith political ne)s and human rights information about the DPRK@ testified before the Commission that his page )as attac;ed on







8rascom Telecom "olding *8T"+ subsidiary Koryolin; is operated through Cheo Technology@ a (oint enture bet)een 8T" and the :orth Korean 7inistry of Posts and Telecommunications. 8T" o)ns 2$ per cent of the operation@ )ith the DPRK go ernment o)ning the rest. Koryolin; launched its &, co erage in Pyongyang in December #001 )ith an initial $@&00 subscribers. I8rascom Telecom :orth Korean mobile subsidiary nears # million subscribersJ@ &aily Ne)s Egypt@ . 7ay #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).dailyne)segypt.com!#0.&!0$!0.!orascom/ telecom/north/;orean/mobile/subsidiary/nears/#/million/subscribers!. I:orth Korean Traders Bcramble for Bmartphones 4rom BouthJ@ Radio (ree Asia@ .$ :o ember #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).rfa.org!english!ne)s!;orea!smartphones/ ...4#0.&.1$.$1.html. TAP00=N :ational "uman Rights Commission of Korea@ Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ afternoonN K9A@ 78-7 ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea @ p. &.& footnote .&. 5ntermedia@ IA ]uiet 8pening3 :orth Koreans in a Changing 7edia -n ironmentJ@ pp. $2@ 2#. I5n .=14 moment@ :. Korea deletes near entirety of ne)s archi esJ@ NK Ne)s@ .% December #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).n;ne)s.org!#0.&!.#!in/.=14/moment/n/;orea/deletes/ near/entirity/of/ne)s/archi es!. T9,0&.. T<C04. referred to 9ureau .4 being responsible for monitoring telephone )a es. Bee also I:orth Korea’s ZAorld Class’ Cyber Attac;s Coming from ChinaJ@ B+A Ne)s@ #. :o ember #0.&. 8fficials in the R8K )ere reported to ha e said that recent cyber attac;s traced to Pyongyang ha e demonstrated hac;ing capabilities that are )orld class@ and that there are se en :orth Korean hac;ing organiEations and a net)or; of spies operating in China and ?apan. A ailable from http3!!))). oane)s.com!content!north/;oreas/)orld/class/cyber/attac;s/coming/ from/china!.2=$&4=.html. $.


so many occasions that his ser ice pro ider had informed him that it )as no longer )illing to host the )ebpage.#04 <c= Crac1down on foreign mo4ies and mobile telephones

#.4. All CDs and DCDs used in the DPRK must ha e a stamp to sho) they are go ernment appro ed. 8 er the last fe) years )ith the gro)th of informal mar;ets@ mo ies and recorded tele ision programmes from the Republic of Korea are increasingly being smuggled into the DPRK for use on CD!DCD players and mini dis; dri es. <ocal officials@ sometimes including BBD agents@ or persons connected to these officials@ are often in ol ed in secretly selling and distributing R8K films. A #0.# study on the changing media en ironment in the DPRK found that half of its sample reported ha ing )atched a foreign DCD.#0$ #.$. 7any )itnesses spo;e about crac;do)ns and inspections searching for R8K soap operas and films on DCDs@ CDs and FB9 stic;s. They recounted personally being caught and punished for )atching R8K content@ or ;no)ing people )ho )ere sub(ect to such treatment.#0% The minimum punishment for those found to ha e )atched Bouth Korean films or )ith Bouth Korean films in their possession )as a period in a labour re/education centre.#02 #.%. Articles .=4 and .=$ of the DPRK’s #00= Criminal Code pro ide for the punishment of reform through labour for any period less than fi e years@ depending on the gra ity of the offence@ )ith respect to the Iconduct of decadent actsJ such as I)atching or listening to music@ dance@ dra)ings@ photos@ boo;s@ ideo/recordings or electronic media that reflects decadent@ carnal or foul contentsJ as )ell as Ilistening to hostile broadcasting and collectKingL@ ;eeping and distributKingL enemy propagandaJ.#01 ^ 7s < testified that she regularly )atched R8K mo ies on a hard dis; or CD@ but she )as ery scared of being caught. Bome of the endors )ere shot to death. Bhe )as as;ed by the municipality to go to one of the e>ecutions@ but did not do so. The authorities could not force her@ because she )as out of school and they could not easily locate her. 5n her home pro ince@ there )as a special security force that )as assigned to crac; do)n on the ie)ing of Bouth Korean mo ies. They conducted door to door searches and chec;ed people’s CD players. 8n some occasions@ they )aited for the electricity po)er to come on and then deliberately cut it@ so that people could not ta;e out the CD from the player. 8n one occasion@ a friend thre) his CD player out of the )indo)@ so as not to get caught. Around #00%@ one of her sister’s friends@ a &. year old )oman and her brother )ere caught )atching Bouth Korean mo ies and )ere tortured. Bhe )as detained for one month@ during )hich she )as depri ed of sleep and beaten. Bhe had to )rite a long apology for days on end. Bhortly after her release@ 7s < sa) the )oman and noticed ho) thin she )as. Bhe also heard that the )oman’s brother )as beaten so badly that he could not )al; for a )hile.#0= ^ A former BBD official@ )ho ser ed in a border pro ince@ indicated that the BBD )ould be responsible for monitoring illegal importation of IcapitalistJ goods such as soap operas from the R8K and pornographic material. Those implicated in such crimes )ould be shot to death or sent to an
#04 #0$

<ondon Public "earing@ #& 8ctober #0.&@ session 4. 5ntermedia@ IA ]uiet 8pening3 :orth Koreans in a Changing 7edia -n ironmentJ@ p. 1. TAP00.@ TAP00#@ TAP001@ TAP0.$@ T?"0.2@ T?"0#1@ TB"0.=@ TB"0$#. TAP00#N 5ntermedia@ IA ]uiet 8pening3 :orth Koreans in a Changing 7edia -n ironmentJ@ p. 2.. #00= Criminal Code of the DPRK as translated by CitiEens’ Alliance for :orth Korean "uman Rights. To;yo Public "earing@ #= August #0.&@ afternoon *)ith additional details pro ided by the )itness in a confidential inter ie)+.

#0% #02





ordinary prison camp * yoh)aso+ for .0/.$ years depending on the se erity of the crime and le el of in ol ement.#.0 ^ 8ne )itness informed the Commission that@ in #001@ a relati e of hers had )atched CD/roms from China and then ga e the CD/roms to his friends. "e )as arrested by the local authorities and ItriedJ publically@ and e entually e>ecuted in "oeryong. #.. #.2. The Commission )as informed by se eral )itnesses that orders )ere apparently handed do)n directly by the Bupreme <eader to crac; do)n on foreign mo ies. ,roup .0=@ an inter/agency sur eillance group named after the date of its establishment on = 8ctober #00& by Kim ?ong/il@ is mentioned as being responsible for specifically crac;ing do)n on these items.#.# ,roup .0= also gathered people in a stadium@ more than t)ice a month@ as spectators to those )ho had been caught and )ould be sent to an ordinary prison camp * yoh)aso+ as a )arning for the rest.#.& According to one former BBD agent@ ,roup .0= )as made permanent in #00= and )ith more specialiEed agents.#.4 ^ According to one )itness@ there )as a ery large crac;do)n under the order of Kim ?ong/il on items illegally imported from the R8K and other prohibited goods into the DPRK to)ards the end of #004. A central inspection group )as reportedly established@ comprising representati es from the Central Committee of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea@ the prosecutor’s office@ the (udiciary@ BBD intelligence@ the police@ the Oouth <eague@ Aomen’s Fnion@ and Aor;ers’ 8rganiEation. The central inspection group had full authority to underta;e inspections@ arrests and imprisonment. 5t had the ob(ecti e of IclearingJ the areas near the border including 7usan@ "oeryong@ and 8nsong in :orth "amgyong Pro ince@ and in Ryanggang Pro ince. ->amples of prohibited items included illegal boo;s *such as boo;s not printed in the DPRK@ and religious and other DPRK boo;s published )ithout ,o ernment appro al+ and illegal recordings *such as CD/roms@ ideo tapes@ and memory cards+ from foreign countries. 5llegal acti ities in ol ing traffic;ing in persons and smuggling@ as )ell as any acti ities related to defecting from the DPRK@ also fell under the pur ie) of this central inspection group. During this crac;do)n@ the )itness@ )ho had been in ol ed in smuggling CDs and tapes from China@ )as arrested and sent to Kyoh)aso ?eongori Camp :o. .# )here he )as detained for si> years. #.$ #.1. The crac;do)n on foreign mo ies has been reinforced again from #0.0 )hen Kim ?ong/un became the designated successor and started assuming control. 8rders )ere reportedly handed do)n from the Bupreme <eader ordering the security agencies to form an inter/agency tas; force to crac; do)n on the smuggling of mo ies and also on drug traffic;ing.#.% 5n ?anuary #0.&@ the 7PB apparently issued a proclamation on behalf of the :ational Defence Commission that urged the population to report arious types of beha iour to the security forces@ including possessing Istrange and decadentJ goods such as recordings@ ideos@ pictures and publications@ )hich do not conform to the local custom@ and )atching and distributing foreign tele ision sho)s. 5n 8ctober and :o ember #0.&@ a string of public e>ecutions reportedly occurred targeting people mainly for )atching and distributing foreign pornographic material and mo ies from the R8K.#.2 #.=. DCDs reportedly became a ailable to DPRK nationals from early to mid/#000s and remain popular. 7ore recently ne) media de ices such as 7P& players and FB9 flash dri es are increasingly being used to )atch and listen to foreign content as )ell as to share information.#.1 5n :o ember #0.&@ it )as reported that the I:orth Korean authorities are focusing on Fni ersal Berial 9us *FB9+ flash dri es and -nhanced Cersatile Disc *-CD+
#.0 #.. #.# #.& #.4 #.$ #.% #.2

T?"0.$. T9,0#1. TAP00#@ TAP001@ T9,0&.. TAP001. T<C04.. TAP0.%. T?"004. Bee section 5C.-. $2


players they belie e are the primary )ay the recordings are being smuggled into the country.J#.= ##0. People li ing along the border )ith China ha e also recently started using mobile phones of Chinese ser ice pro iders to ma;e unauthoriEed international telephone calls. Bome offer this ser ice to others for a fee. Although the use of illegal Chinese mobile phones and!or ser ice pro iders is limited by geography and carries a high ris; for those )ho are caught@ it has been found to ha e a large impact on cross/border trade@ efforts by separated family members in maintaining contact )ith each other including for purposes of arranging border crossings@ and the flo) of information into and out of the DPRK. ##0 The authorities consider the unauthoriEed use of foreign mobile phones to be a political crime. Department #2 has deployed sophisticated monitoring equipment to pic; up the emissions of Chinese mobile phones.##. Those caught are sub(ect to interrogation by the BBD@ often under torture. Fsers are regularly sub(ect to imprisonment in a labour training camp or sometimes an ordinary prison camp * yoh)aso+.### ^ 5n #00=@ one )itness@ )ho )as planning to flee the DPRK@ )as caught )hile calling from a mobile phone through a localiEation de ice employed by the BBD. "e )as stripped and searched. Ahen the mobile phone )as disco ered@ the agents accused him of espionage and beat him@ before detaining him at the BBD 5nterrogation Detention Centre in "yesan@ Ryanggang Pro ince. 5n detention@ the agents too; turns beating him )ith a piece of )ood. "e lost his teeth in the lo)er (a). The )itness managed to escape and )as later told by a contact in the BBD that he )ould ha e been e>ecuted if he had stayed.##& ^ Another )itness recalled a man being arrested for the use of a Chinese mobile phone and in ol ement in smuggling acti ities in #00%. "e )as interrogated by the BBD and se erely tortured@ resulting in head in(uries and fractured bones. The ictim )as released )ithout further punishment follo)ing the payment of a substantial bribe.##4 ##.. The Commission finds that the DPRK strictly controls the information and opinions that reach the population through media as a necessary precursor to indoctrinating the population. :o local pri ate media is allo)ed to e>ist in the DPRK. The state media is sub(ect to central le el direction and strict censorship to further the ob(ecti es of the state and the Party. The DPRK further crac;s do)n systematically on any attempts or enterprise )hich might allo) foreign influences into the country@ )hether through telecommunications or information technology. '% @uppression of freedom of e:pression and opinion through sur4eillance and 4iolence ###. 5ntensi e state indoctrination occurs in an en ironment )here the e>ercise of the right to e>press facts and opinions critical of the state or its official ideology is not tolerated. 8ne submission recei ed by the Commission highlighted that@ K<Lac; of freedom of e>pression does not only mean a prohibition of certain things. 5t rather means that e erybody has to tal; and beha e in a certain manner. 5f@ for



##. ### ##& ##4

5ntermedia@ IA ]uiet 8pening3 :orth Koreans in a Changing 7edia -n ironmentJ@ pp. 1@ .%/.=@ $2/$1. IPyongyang crac;s do)n on Zrecordings’ from outsideJ@ *he Korea *imes@ #0 :o ember #0.&. A ailable from https3!!))).;oreatimes.co.;r!)))!ne)s!nation!#0.&!..!..%W.4%$%2.html. 5ntermedia@ IA ]uiet 8pening3 :orth Koreans in a Changing 7edia -n ironmentJ@ pp. $4/$2. T?"001. Bee section 5C.-. T9,004. T?"0##@ T?"0#&.



e>ample@ a DPRK citiEen )ho participates in a mass gathering fails to shout I man seJ *I7ay he li e .0@000 years`J+ and to applaud at the appearance of the IDear respected 7arshallJ Kim ?ong Fn@ he might be denounced and punished.##$ ##&. Among the long list of offenses allegedly committed by ?ang Bong/thae;@ uncle to Kim ?ong/un@ )ho )as e>ecuted in December #0.&@ )as Iun)illingly standing up from his seat and half/heartedly clappingJ )hen Kim ?ong/un )as elected ice/chair of the Central 7ilitary Commission of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea and announced at the Party’s Third Conference.##% ##4. A )itness related to the Commission ho) he )as discouraged since his youth by his parents from aspiring to become a )riter as no one could )rite freely. ##2 5n the DPRK@ one can only )rite about matters )hich put Kim 5l/sung@ Kim ?ong/il and the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea in a good light. Ariters )ho )rite beyond this remit )ere liable to be arrested and treated as political criminals.##1 ^ At the Beoul Public "earing@ 7r ?ang "ae/sung told the Commission3 <Cy friends# people )ho used to be )riters @ [)]e are ne"er allo)ed to )rite our ideas# our thoughts @ for eDample# this )riter# he slipped )hen he )as tal ing to someone else: 4e )as drun at the time# he slipped and he said that )riters are ne"er allo)ed to )rite their ideas and ;ust by saying that# he )as sent to 9odo # Camp No: -0:::?##= ^ 7s ?eong ?in/h)a during the same session of the Beoul Public "earing added3 I*here are lots of people )ho )ere ta en li e that# especially in the media: 2f you are in the media in North Korea# if you slip# it becomes a political issue: And as Cr: 'ang said# )e sa) a lot of people ta en a)ay to the )anliso# the political camps: So some people# the general criminals go to the correctional camps# but these )riters# the people in the media# if they slip ;ust once# they can disappear o"ernight and their family can be gone o"ernight# and sometimes# the three generations are )iped [out]: So you see# some people are told that# people thin that they deser"e it because they turned their bac s on the regime: *his is )hat the people thin :J#&0 ^ 8ne )itness recalled memoriEing children’s songs such as IRe olutionary Army ,ameJ@ as part of the nation’s required music curriculum. 8nly classical music pieces composed before .1== could be played@ and )or;s by the Russian composer Rachmaninoff for e>ample )ere off limits because he had migrated to the FBA. The purpose of music in the DPRK )as to inspire adoration of the leader and the belief that socialism )ill triumph. Accordingly@ only pieces that con ey admiration for the Kim family and instil loyalty to)ards the nation and the Party are allo)ed. Popular music of the Aest and R8K is totally banned. A person responsible )ould be punished if caught for playing music of this genre.#&. ##$. Aitnesses inter ie)ed by the Commission@ )hile they did not understand the basis for the la)@ ;ne) that e>pressing their opinion freely )as not acceptable in the DPRK. Ahen as;ed about )hy no one )ould protest against the harsh li ing conditions and strict rules the population in the DPRK )as sub(ected to@ )itnesses indicated that such protest )as unimaginable and no one )ould dare to protest. As e>plained by 7r Kim ?ong/su@ Iprotest is eEui"alent to deathJ.#&#

##$ ##%

##2 ##1 ##= #&0 #&. #&#

Bubmission to the Commission3 BF90%0. ITraitor ?ang Bong Thae; ->ecutedJ@ KCNA@ .& December #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).;cna.co.(p!item!#0.&!#0.&.#!ne)s.&!#0.&.#.&/0$ee.html. TAP00=. TAP00=. Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ afternoon *0.30#3#0+. Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ afternoon *0.30&3#1+. T<C0&$. <ondon Public "earing@ #& 8ctober #0.&@ session . *0.3#=34$+. -&


##%. 5n its submission to the "uman Rights Committee@ the DPRK highlighted that its citiEens are guaranteed the right to freedom of opinion and e>pression under the Constitution and the Press <a). This right is not )ithout qualification ho)e erN Isuch e>pression of one’s thought is forbidden as encouraging others to attempt to o erthro)@ disrupt or undermine the state@ disclosing state secrets to do serious harm to the state security and the healthy public order@ insulting another or impairing his or her honourJ.#&& ##2. 5n responding to a question posed by a member of the Committee on -conomic@ Cultural and Bocial Rights on ho) the ,o ernment reconciled the difference bet)een indi idual rights and collecti e rights under the Co enant@ one DPRK representati e said@ 5ndi idual and collecti e rights )ere intert)ined3 )hat )as good for the indi idual )as good for the group and ice/ ersa. Bince indi iduals li ed in society@ there should be harmony bet)een indi idual and collecti e needs. 5f an indi idual e>pressed an opinion that )as contrary to that of the group@ the opinion )ould be ta;en into consideration@ but efforts )ould also be made to persuade the indi idual to bring his or her opinion into harmony )ith the collecti e opinion. Care )as ta;en not to resort to oppression in such cases.#&4 ##1. The Commission recalls that the "uman Rights Committee considers the right to hold opinions )ithout interference to be one )hich the 5CCPR permits no e>ception or restriction. IAll forms of opinion are protected@ including opinions of a political@ scientific@ historic@ moral or religious nature. 5t is incompatible )ith paragraph . to criminaliEe the holding of an opinion. The harassment@ intimidation or stigmatiEation of a person@ including arrest@ detention@ trial or imprisonment for reasons of the opinions they may hold@ constitutes a iolation of article .=@ paragraph . X Any form of effort to coerce the holding or not holding of any opinion is prohibitedJ.#&$ The CRC also obliges states to respect e ery child’s right to e>press their ie)s freely@ #&% and the right to see; and impart information and ideas of all ;inds@ either orally@ in )riting or print@ through art or any other media.#&2 ##=. The population is in fact encouraged to denounce any conduct that may pose a threat to the political system and its leadership. The Commission recei ed a document@ reportedly issued by the 7inistry of Public Bafety in ?anuary #0.&@ )hich pro ides a list of .1 acts or Ibeha ioursJ that are to be reported to the security forces. This list includes3 committing anti/state@ anti/national crimes and promoting to commit themN meeting foreigners illegally and e>changing letters and goodsN beha iours )hich corrupt public moralsN and all other ;inds of Iabnormal beha ioursJ. <a= *onitoring and sur4eillance system

#&0. The state has established a ast sur eillance apparatus to become a)are of the e>pression of sentiments deemed anti/state or anti/re olutionary. This includes the setting up of a large net)or; of secret informers@ )ho operate in all areas of life. 5n addition to the monitoring carried out by the officials of the mass organiEations@ of )hich membership is compulsory for all citiEens@ there is also the :eighbourhood Aatch. #&.. The :eighbourhood Aatch *2nminban+ is made up of about #0/40 households )ith a leader appointed to report to the police or BBD on unusual acti ities in the neighbourhood including unregistered isitors and monitor for anti/state acti ities and e>pressions of dissent. Bometimes illagers are also gi en orders by security agents to spy on their

#&& #&4 #&$ #&% #&2

CCPR!C!PRK!#000!#@ paras. ..2/..1. -!C..#!#00&!BR.44@ para. 4%. CCPR!C!,C!&4@ paras. =/.0. Bee CRC@ article .# Bee CRC@ article .&.



neighbours.#&1 The :eighbourhood Aatch has been described to be responsible for registering residents@ monitoring their acti ities@ pro iding ideological education@ and mobiliEing people for arious campaigns )ith leaders appointed by local party committees. The :eighbourhood Aatch scrutiniEes the intimate details of family life. 5t also has the authority to isit homes at any time@ e en at night@ to determine if there )ere unregistered guests or adulterous acti ities@ and to report these to security organs for action. #&= #&#. The Commission learned that e en casual remar;s shared in a small circle could end up being reported by informants@ leading to serious consequences. ^ 7r Bon ?ung/hun )as )or;ing in a trading company )ithin the Central Committee )hen he isited the house of his chief for a small :e) Oear gathering in ?anuary .==%. There he sa) scenes from a ideo tape recording of Aestern military )eaponry including fighter (ets. "e made the mista;e of saying out loud that the technology )as quite de eloped. "is act of ma;ing this statement )as reported@ and he )as called in for questioning. "e )as accused of praising capitalist nations and though he )as not charged or arrested *due to his good songbun and general good beha iour+@ he )as remo ed from his position.#40 #&&. The monitoring of the indi idual’s actions to assess and determine their loyalty happens at arious (unctures in their life. ^ 7r Kim ?oo/il e>plained at the <ondon Public "earing@ for e>ample@ ho) the Korean People’s Army has a t)o/trac; system of official political monitoring )hereby the commanding captain and a second political officer of a company monitor the soldiers’ political loyalty and then report to the Korean People’s Army *KPA+ political department run by the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea. 5n addition@ e ery platoon stationed close to the DemilitariEed Uone also had an officer from the KPA’s 7ilitary Becurity Command *the army’s o)n secret police+. - ery morning@ they )ould participate in an indoctrination session from = to .. a.m.#4. ^ 8ne )itness stated that in the DPRK@ people )ith lo) songbun are required to monitor each other. "er father could not (oin the Party. "e )as nonetheless forced to )or; as a spy for the BBD@ in estigating the ?apanese )ife of his friend because the BBD )anted to learn more about letters that she )as recei ing. The )itness also described the general fear most people li e in. People cannot tell their families )hat they thin; or tal; about attempting to escape the DPRK. An elderly )oman in her neighbourhood )as imprisoned in Camp :o. .$ at Oodo; for .0 years after her daughter/in/la) told authorities of plans to escape in ol ing her and her son. Ahen the )itness’s family *her mother@ father@ sister@ brother@ husband and daughter+ left the DPRK@ they did not tell her uncle. After they left@ they heard that he )as interrogated and se erely tortured. "is in(uries )ere so se ere that he )as unable to mo e for a long time after the torture.#4# #&4. Aitnesses also spo;e of ho) their mo ements or the mo ements of their family members )ere monitored more closely because of their bac;grounds.#4& #&$. "a ing come from Bouth Korea@ 7r <ee ?ae/geun@ )ho pro ided information to the Commission in Beoul@ felt that he )as under close sur eillance. "e stated ho) there )ere se en le els of sur eillance monitoring him@ and that e eryone )as )atching e ery single )ord he uttered@ e ery single act he undertoo;. Anything that appeared suspicious )as reported to the BBD.#44
#&1 #&= #40 #4.

#4# #4& #44

TAP00#@ TAP001. Ken -. ,ause@ ICoercion@ Control@ Bur eillance@ and PunishmentJ@ pp. 4#/41. TAP0... <ondon Public "earing@ #& 8ctober #0.&@ session 4 *)ith additional details pro ided by the )itness in a confidential inter ie)+. TB"0$.. T9,0.%. Beoul Public "earing@ #& August #0.&@ morning. -'


^ 8ne )itness@ )hose parents )ere born in ?apan and then IreturnedJ to the DPRK@ belie ed that their family )as closely monitored because they )ere returnees. "er parents ne er tal;ed about their former life in ?apan. They ad ised her ne er to tal; about ?apan in her school. Party officials came to their home and questioned the family@ particularly )hen they recei ed mail from ?apan.#4$ ^ A ?apanese national@ )ho had mo ed to the DPRK )ith her adopti e parents and later married a Korean )ho had also IreturnedJ from ?apan@ recalled ha ing to )rite in all letters that they )ere li ing )ell than;s to Kim 5l/sung@ and that all letters they recei ed appeared to ha e been opened before they recei ed them.#4% ^ 8ne )itness spo;e of the .0th Chamber )hich falls under the Department of 8rganiEation ,uidance under the Becretariat of the Party Central Committee that is responsible for monitoring and carrying out sur eillance on those )ho interact and fraterniEe )ith relati es of the Kim family. 5t )as necessary to submit a report to the .0 th Chamber about all interactions )ith the Kim family. Passing the second son of the second )ife of Kim 5l/sung in the corridor and being ac;no)ledged by him )as sufficient interaction that a report )as necessary. The )itness also related ho) one official )ho had been running errands for a similar relati e of Kim 5l/sung )hile posted abroad )as reportedly admonished and returned to the DPRK follo)ing a sur eillance report from the .0th Chamber.#42 #&%. 5n addition to crac;do)ns against foreign items such as DCDs described abo e@ there are also central inspection groups set up to regularly carry out inspections targeting specific crimes and )rongdoings including on acti ities deemed to be anti/socialist@ such as drug abuse@ and dealing )ith homeless people and agrants. #41 At a lo)er le el@ groups of citiEens are also mobiliEed to crac; do)n on )hat are referred to as morality iolations. These are iolations of decrees that are handed do)n from time to time li;e the prohibition against )omen )earing trousers or riding a bicycle. #4= 8ne crac;do)n in #00= on gambling in the par;s of Pyongyang led to those caught being sent to an ordinary prison camp * yoh)aso+ and their families e>iled from Pyongyang. #$0 #&2. 5n the rare e ent that political criticism is publically oiced@ this is considered a ma(or e ent and is harshly punished. ^ The Commission )as informed by a )itness of a young )or;er )ho had hung up a fe) doEen hand/printed posters in the city of :ampo that called for the o erthro) of Kim ?ong/il in ?une #00.. This )as considered a ma(or political incident and KPA Becurity Command@ 7PB and BBD formed a (oint tas;force to in estigate the case. Kim ?ong/il )as notified and he apparently personally issued orders to trac; do)n the suspects and persecute them se erely. 8 er the course of $ months@ the security agencies too; )riting samples from e ery inhabitant abo e the age of .0. The man )as caught after he confided about his conduct to a friend )ho )as an informant. Despite intense torture@ the man did not implicate any co/conspirators and the in estigators concluded that he had acted alone. 4or political reasons@ ho)e er@ the security agencies spread rumours that the man had been corrupted by ie)ing foreign mo ies and pornography and e entually agreed to commit the crime as a spy acting on behalf of the FBA. 9ased on a con iction by the 7ilitary Bupreme Court@ the man )as e>ecuted by hanging. "is immediate family and the entire city population )ere forced to )atch. The )ife of the ictim )as forced

#4$ #4% #42




T?"0#%. TB"0... TAP0.&. Bee Ken -. ,ause@ ICoercion@ Control@ Bur eillance@ and PunishmentJ@ p. %0 )here Z9ureau .0 targets’ are discussed and appear to refer to those )ho are pri y to the pri ate li es of the Kim family and continue to be monitored as members of the e>ploiting classN Oun Tae/il@ *he 2nside Story of the State Security &epartment *Beoul@ Aolgan Chosun@ #00#+. ,roup =#2 has been identified as the central inspection group dealing )ith the homeless and I agrantsJ. Bee section 5C.D for more on this i.e. the I=#2 retention campsJ. TAP00#N 5shimaru ?iro@ ed.@ Rim;in-gang$ Ne)s from 2nside North Korea *8sa;a@ Asiapress Publishing@ #0.0+@ pp. 4&1/44&N 5C:K@ I5ntroduction to :orth KoreaJ@ p. .=. T?"004.



to immediately di orce him )hen he )as arrested so as to a oid guilt by association. "is mother and t)o sisters )ere sent to K)anliso :o. .$.#$. #&1. There ha e been recent commentaries regarding DPRK citiEens increasingly e>pressing openly their anger about the economic conditions. 5t )as reported@ for e>ample@ that )hen )omen under $0 )ere banned from trading in the open mar;ets in :orth "amgyong Pro ince in early #001@ a protest staged by groups of )omen led to a rela>ing of the ban. A )a e of protests )as said to ha e ta;en place during the DPRK’s failed attempt at currency reform to)ards the end of #00=. People )ere seen burning old currency notes in public in protest. This )as ho)e er follo)ed by reports of around $0 e>ecutions ta;ing place including of the officials supposedly responsible for the policy reform. 5n early #0..@ )hen electricity )as di erted from :orth Pyongan Pro ince to light up Pyongyang in commemoration of Kim ?ong/il’s birthday@ the people there had spontaneously protested@ demanding both food and electricity.#$# #&=. The Commission noted that these random protests are mostly about economic conditions rather than direct criticisms against the state. The t)o appear to be closely connectedN and as information from the outside )orld comes through from China to the DPRK border areas and tric;les inland@ increasing numbers of DPRK citiEens learn of different truths. Aith the recent e>ecution of the supposed second most po)erful person after the Bupreme <eader@ ho)e er@ and purges of those associated )ith the former@ the people are again )arned of the state’s apparently arbitrary po)er o er life and death and its determination to stem anti/state or anti/re olutionary acti ities. (% Denial of freedom of religion and of religious e:pression

#40. 4reedom of religion and religious e>pression are guaranteed in articles .1 and .= of the 5CCPR@ as )ell as articles .& and .4 of the CRC. 9oth treaties not only call for Btate Parties to recogniEe these rights@ but also to protect associated rights to freedom of association and peaceful assembly. #$& Despite being a Btate Party to these treaties@ the Commission finds that these protections are not afforded to DPRK citiEens )ho are consequently unable to practise the religion of their choosing. <a= )nstitutionali7ation of the personality cult

#4.. At the <ondon Public "earing@ the Re erend Btuart Aindsor pro ided testimony regarding the institutionaliEation of Ithe personality cult and requirement of un)a ering obedienceJ such that Ino political de iation is toleratedJ.#$4 The re erence and idolatry of Kim 5l/sung )as compared to a religious belief@ and se eral sub/principles of the Ten Principles )ere highlighted to contain elements indicating the religious nature of the state ideology.#$$ 5n particular@ Principle 4 of the Ten Principles states3
#$. #$#

#$& #$4


T?"0.$. ICan the Z?asmine Re olution’ Bpread to :. KoreaDJ@ *he Chosun 2lbo@ #& 4ebruary #0... A ailable from http3!!english.chosun.com!site!data!htmlWdir!#0..!0#!#&!#0..0##&0.&00.htmlN I:.Korean Protestors Demand 4ood and -lectricityJ@ *he Chosun 2lbo# #& 4ebruary #0... A ailable from http3!!english.chosun.com!site!data!htmlWdir!#0..!0#!#&!#0..0##&00&1&.htmlN Reporters Aithout 9orders@ I:orth Korea3 4rontiers of Censorship 6 5n estigation ReportJ@ p. 4. Bee 5CCPR@ article #. and CRC@ article .$. <ondon Public "earing@ #& 8ctober #0.&@ session $ *)ith reference to )ritten submission+. ->amples of such sub/principles *as translated by CitiEens’ Alliance for :orth Korean "uman Rights+ include3 #.. The ,reat <eader Comrade K57 5l Bung is a genius of the re olution@ the sun of the people and a legendary hero )hom )e must respect unendingly@ re ere eternally and come to )ith the greatest happiness and glory. -$


Accept the ,reat <eader Comrade Kim 5l/sung’s re olutionary thought as your belief and ta;e the ,reat <eader’s instructions as your creed. Accepting the ,reat <eader Comrade Kim 5l/sung’s thought as one’s o)n belief and ta;ing his instructions as one’s creed is the most crucial element requested for one to become an endlessly loyal 'uche communist )arrior. 5t is also a precondition for the ictory of our re olutionary struggle and its construction. #4#. 5n Beoul@ 7r A told the Commission that@ <[i]n North Korea# the only ideology# the only religion that is allo)ed is the ideology of Kim 2l-sung J.#$% The Commission finds that the intolerance and non/acceptance of any other belief system than that of the official state ideology effecti ely meant the intolerance and non/acceptance of the people’s right to freedom of religion and the freedom to ha e or to adopt a religion or belief of one’s choice. ^ 7rs P at the Aashington hearing stated3 <,ell you can consider the entire North Korean society as some sort of religious group )ith the religious leader being Kim 2l-sung and their 3ible being the 'uche or self-reliance ideology: So if there are any other religions be that Christianity or Catholicism or )hate"er# if there5s any other religions that are some)hat in competition )ith that -- their main religion then it )ill be undermining the basic foundation of the Kim 2l-sung religion so that )ill mean more difficulty for the leadership to maintain or the control of the society: So if the North Koreans start to realiFe that Kim 2l-sung might not be the real god and there might be some other god out there then it5s not a good thing for the leadership and that5s )hy they )anted to a"oid all the other religions occurring in North Korean society and persecuted other religions:?#$2 #4&. The DPRK Constitution pro ides for freedom of religion in article %1. This is a qualified right as appro al must be sought for the construction of religious buildings and the holding of religious ceremonies. 5t further pro ides that@ IReligion must not be used as a prete>t for dra)ing in foreign forces or for harming the state and social orderJ. #44. Christianity has a long history in Korea )ith first contacts dating bac; to the .2 th century. 5t gained particular traction in the :orth@ and Pyongyang )as sometimes described as the I?erusalem of the -astJ.#$1 5n the #0th century@ Cheondogyo@ a religion blending elements of Confucianism@ Taoism and 9uddhism emerged and also gained a large number
#.& 9elie e firmly in the )ay pointed to by our ,reat <eader Comrade K57 5l Bung@ entrust our fate to the ,reat <eader and de ote our bodies and spirits for the re olutionary fight dri en by the ,reat <eader@ carrying )ith us al)ays@ the strong belief that there is nothing impossible if )e are under the leadership of the ,reat <eader. &.. "a e a firm position and perspecti e that no one else has the ;no)ledge required@ only the ,reat <eader Comrade K57 5l Bung. &.% Respectfully )orship our belo ed ,reat <eader Comrade K57 5l Bung’s sculptures@ plaster casts@ bronEe statues@ badges )ith portraits@ art de eloped by the ,reat <eader@ board )ith ,reat <eader’s instructions@ basic mottos of the Party. 4.& Fnconditionally accept@ treat as a non/negotiable condition@ and decide e erything based upon our ,reat <eader Comrade K57 5l Bung’s instructions and in e ery act thin; only about the greatness of our <eader. 4..0 4ight )ith all one’s )ill against anti/Party and anti/re olutionary thin;ing trends that ha e its origin in capitalistic ideas@ feudal Confucian ideas@ re isionism@ dogmatism@ toadyism and are contrary to the re olutionary thought of the ,reat <eader K57 5l Bung. "old on to the purity of re olutionary thought and ?uche ideas of the ,reat <eader. $.# Regard as a holy duty and supreme glory reducing the concerns of our 9elo ed <eader Comrade K57 5l Bung and fight for it )ith complete dedication. Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ afternoon *0#3&#3.0+. Aashington Public "earing@ &0 8ctober #0.& *0#34$3$0+. Andrei <an;o @ I:orth Korea’s missionary positionJ@ Asia *imes +nline@ .% 7arch #00$. A ailable from http3!!))).atimes.com!atimes!Korea!,C.%Dg0&.htmlN 7ichael 9reen@ 7oon Bun/myung@ IThe -arly Oears@ .=#0/$&3 Chapter % 6 ?erusalem of the -astJ. A ailable from http3!!))).unification.org!ucboo;s!earlyyears!Chap0%.htm.

#$% #$2 #$1



of follo)ers. Christian Bolidarity Aorld)ide quoted an estimate of more than #1 per cent of the population that had a religious belief in .=$0@ )hereas the .=$0 Oearboo; of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea placed the figure at almost #4 per cent. 9ased on figures pro ided by the DPRK to the "uman Rights Committee@ it is estimated that only 0..% per cent of the population follo)ed a religious belief in #00#. #$= 9asically@ according to official statistics@ there )ere appro>imately &1@000 DPRK nationals )ho )ere religious belie ers in #00# compared to o er # million in .=$0 *noting that in .=$0@ the entire population )as reported to number = million@ compared to appro>imately #& million in #00#+. #%0 <b= Religious persecution

#4$. 5nformation recei ed by the Commission indicates that religious persecution in the DPRK commenced before the Korean Aar. Ahile the rhetoric )as that of conciliation and unity )ith guarantees of religious freedom@ a parallel message being issued )as that religious people are pro/imperialist and pro/feudalist. #%. The o erall period of religious oppression has been described as being di ided into four phases *.=4%/.=$03 Pre/Korean AarN .=$0/.=$&3 Korean AarN .=$&/.=2.3 pre/Kimilsungism mo ementN .=2#/present3 era of 'uche+@#%# )ith the Korean Aar and pre/Kimilsungism mo ement periods described as the most icious in the persecution of religious belie ers. Religious people )ere ;illed@ e>iled and imprisoned. Christians )ere said to ha e been targeted the most as the mo ement of Christianity )as much more organiEed than the other religions and because of its supposed connection )ith the FBA. To)ards the end of the third phase and in preparation for the fourth and current phase@ members of the Chondo Party@ Christians@ and 9uddhists )ere included in the "ostile Class under the Songbun system.#%& #4%. The independent e>ercise of Christianity gre) in the .==0s@ as people )ho fled to China during the height of the food crisis came into contact )ith@ and often recei ed aid from@ local churches. Aitnesses claimed the e>istence of underground churches in the DPRK referring to instances )here Christians congregate secretly in homes or other places to practise their religion. 5t has been suggested that clandestine religious acti ities ha e increased since the early #000s@ although more specific details ha e been difficult to obtain.#%4 8ne estimate suggests that there are bet)een #00@000 and 400@000 Christians still professing their religion secretly in the DPRK despite the high ris;s.#%$ #42. ,enerally@ the DPRK’s policy to)ards religion has been described to be a dual one through )hich an appearance of religious tolerance is maintained for the international audience )hile in fact religious acti ities are suppressed internally. #%% #41. 5n the DPRK’s FPR submission@ it highlighted the e>istence of se eral officially recogniEed Christian congregations and associations of belie ers of other religions. 5t )as submitted that3

#$= #%0




#%4 #%$ #%%

"R5!C8R-!.!Add..01!Re ..@ p. .0N CCPR!C8!2#!PRK!Add..@ p. &. Christian Bolidarity Aorld)ide@ I:orth Korea3 A Case To Ans)er 6 A Call To ActJ@ #002@ p. %$. A ailable from http3!!dynamic.cs).org.u;!article.aspDt_reportMid_&$. Aon ?ae/chun@ IReligious Persecution in :orth Korea3 Process and phases of oppression .=4$/#0..J@ 2nternational 'ournal for Religious (reedom@ ol. 4@ :o. . *#0..+@ pp. 12/ .00. Database Center for :orth Korea "uman Rights *:KD9+ di ided it into si> periods co ering from .=4$/present3 see IReligious 4reedom in :orth KoreaJ@ ?anuary #0.&@ pp. #1/4.. Aon ?ae/chun@ IReligious Persecution in :orth Korea3 Process and phases of oppression .=4$/#0..J@ pp. 12/.00. :KD9@ IReligious 4reedom in :orth KoreaJ@ pp. 4.@ =1/.0#. Bubmission to the Commission3 BF9041. :KD9@ IReligious 4reedom in :orth KoreaJ@ p. #1. -.


There are such religious organiEations as Korea Christian 4ederation@ Korea 9uddhists’ 4ederation@ Korea Roman Catholic Association@ Korea Chondoist Bociety and Korea Religionists’ Bociety. 5n recent years the Pongsu Christian Church@ the ?anchung Roman Catholic Church in Pyongyang and Ryongthong 9uddhists’ Temple in Kaesong ha e been rebuilt and e>panded@ and the Bingye Temple in 7t. Kumgang and 9opun Temple in 7t. Ryonga; restored to their original state. A Russian 8rthodo> Church )as built in Pyongyang in August #00%@ )here Russian religious persons staying in the DPRK are holding religious ceremonies. The publications of the religious organiEations include ZChondoism Bcriptures’@ ZChondoism Digest’@ ZThe 8ld Testament’@ Z"ymn’@ ZChoice and Practice’@ Z<et’s learn Roman Catholicism’@ ZBteps of Religious <ife’ and ZCatholic Prayer’.#%2 #4=. 4urther@ according to DPRK’s submission to the "uman Rights Committee in December .===3 There are religious educational institutions managed by religious bodies. The Central Committee of the Korean Christians 4ederation runs the Pyongyang Theological Bchool@ the Central Committee of the Korean 9uddhists 4ederation KrunsL the Bchool of 9uddhism@ the Korean Central ,uidance Committee of the 9elie ers in Chondogyo KrunsL the Chondogyo Becondary Bchool@ and the Central Committee of the Korean Association of Roman Catholic also educates students. 5n .=1= the state ne)ly established the Department of Religion in Kim 5l Bung Fni ersity in ie) of the desire of some school parents for such education of their children. #%1 #$0. There are reportedly also some Ihouse churchesJ )hich the DPRK go ernment recogniEes and claims to number $00.#%= The participants in these gatherings are apparently indi iduals )hose families )ere Christians before .=$0N and as such@ they are allo)ed to gather for )orship )ithout leaders or religious materials. 7ost of the house churches are in urban areas and the families )ho attend are often segregated in separate housing units. The religious studies that )ere established in .=1= in the Kim 5l/sung Fni ersity co er Protestantism@ Catholicism@ 9uddhism@ Cheongdyo and 5slam. #20 #$.. "o)e er@ )itnesses ha e claimed that the opportunity to underta;e such studies is limited to only ery loyal citiEens@ and those )ho graduate from these studies include those )ho carry on to become ministers of state/appro ed churches. 4urther@ the Commission learned from )itnesses that state/appro ed churches e>ist for the purpose of earning foreign currency@ as those affiliated )ith such churches are meant to contact foreigners and raise e>ternally/sourced funds.#2. According to one report@ former attendees of the uni ersity said@ Igraduates from Kthe uni ersityL programme )or; for the religious federations@ the foreign trade sector@ or as border guards see;ing to identify clandestine religious acti ityJ . The same report alleges that state/appro ed churches are sho)pieces for foreign isitors. #2# Aitnesses ha e also told the Commission that the churches that ha e been established )ith permission by the state are not true churches that are open to those )ho )ant to practise Christianity freely. #2&
#%2 #%1 #%=

#20 #2. #2# #2&

A!"RC!A,.%!%!PRK!.@ para. 4$. CCPR!C!PRK!#000!#@ para. ..%. F.B. Commission on 5nternational Religious 4reedom *FBC5R4+@ I#0.& Annual ReportJ@ April #0.&@ p. .... A ailable from http3!!))).uscirf.go !reports/and/briefs!annual/ report!&=11/#0.&/annual/report.html. K9A@ 78-7 ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea@ p. #%#. 7r Timothy@ Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ afternoonN T<C0.1. FBC5R4@ I#0.& Annual ReportJ@ pp. ..0/.... 7r Timothy@ Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ afternoonN T<C0#4.



#$#. 9ased on first/hand testimonies recei ed from Christians in the DPRK@ one organiEation has surmised that3 *i+ no churches as such e>ist in the DPRK e>cept in Pyongyang@ and it )as questionable ho) far the family *or house+ churches sanctioned by the authorities are functioning or free to carry out their acti itiesN *ii+ churches and temples that do e>ist are substantially used for e>ternal propaganda and political purposesN and *iii+ all former DPRK citiEens inter ie)ed stated that one )ould certainly be persecuted for practising religion at a personal le el.#24 9uddhist temples and shrines are reported by former DPRK nationals to be maintained only as heritage and cultural sites@ and not as functioning places of )orship.#2$ <c= Practising Christianity as a political crime

#$&. The Commission finds that despite the establishment of se eral churches )ith state appro al apparently confined to Pyongyang@ the messaging from the state to the people regarding Christianity clearly suggests that ordinary citiEens in the DPRK are not permitted to be open to Christianity. 5t has been compared to a drug@ narcotics@ a sin@ and a tool of Aestern and capitalist in asion. Christian missionaries are portrayed as the product of FBA capitalism and )or; a;in to ampirism. #2% This appears in line )ith )hat Kim 5l/sung has been quoted to ha e stated regarding religion3 IReligion is a ;ind of myth. Ahether you belie e ?esus or 9uddha@ it essentially belie es a myth KsicL.J "e had also further directed that@ I)e cannot ta;e religious people to the socialist societyJ and Ireligious people should die to cure their habitJ.#22 ^ 7r Kim Bong/(u at the <ondon Public "earing told the Commission3 <*o my no)ledge# North Korea belie"es that religion is li e narcotics or drugs# and# as a result# it should be completely rooted out: *his is eDpressi"e of the CarDist belief that religion is the opiate of the masses:? #21 #$4. Although the practice of Christianity is not e>plicitly criminaliEed@ effecti ely the authorities consider it a political crime. The Commission finds that the BBD ma;es concerted efforts to identify Christians. 8ne report describes ho) security agents are trained to suppress religious acti ities@ and ho) they are re)arded for unco ering clandestine acti ities on the basis that religious practitioners are deemed political offenders. These agents also spo;e of being trained in religion so that they might infiltrate prayer meetings or pose as religious leaders@ and e en set up false underground religious meetings.#2= 5dentified Christians are interrogated for longer periods@ usually under torture@ in an effort to identify other members of underground Christian churches. The BBD also monitors the acti ities of the Korean churches in China and systematically interrogates persons repatriated from China to identify practising Christians among them. #$$. 8ne submission@ based on e>tensi e testimonies from Christians clandestinely practising their religion )ithin the DPRK@ presented three reasons )hy Christians are sought by the authorities and seen as political criminals3 I*.+ KTheyL do not genuinely )orship the leaders@ adhere to another ideology and therefore pose a threat to the stability of the societyN *#+ KTheyL are considered to be spies of ZChristian states li;e Bouth Korea and the Fnited Btates’N and *&+ KTheyL are held responsible for the end of the communist
#24 #2$ #2%


#21 #2=

K5:F@ ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.&+@ pp. #20/#2.. FBC5R4@ I#0.& Annual ReportJ@ p. .... 7r Timothy@ Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ afternoonN T<C0.1N a )itness included in one submission to the Commission described ha ing heard a story as a child of Christians li ing secretly in basements of hospitals and luring innocent people )ho )ere ;illed and )hose blood )ere suc;ed and sold to bad people@ BF9041. Bee K9A@ 78-7 ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea@ p. #$$ and footnote &&. <ondon Public "earing@ #& 8ctober #0.&@ session . *0.30$30%+. FBC5R4@ IA Prison Aithout 9arsJ@ 7arch #001@ chapter $N FBC5R4@ I#0.& Annual ReportJ@ pp. .01/..%. -2


bloc in -astern -urope and the Bo iet Fnion. 5n Poland@ the Roman Catholic Church )as a strong opposing force for e>ample. The protests that ended :icolae Ceauaescu’s regime in Romania )ere triggered by a "ungarian KProtestantL pastor@ <asElo To;es@ )ho publicly criticiEed the go ernment and refused to be e icted from his church/o)ned apartment.J #10 #$%. The Commission heard from numerous )itnesses that those forcibly repatriated from China )ere systematically interrogated about )hether they made contacts )ith churches and missionaries from the R8K and the FBA. Those found to ha e engaged in such conduct faced harsher punishment upon repatriation including being sent to a political prison camp if they made contact )ith any foreigners including American or Bouth Korean missionaries.#1. The Commission recei ed the follo)ing testimony3 ^ 8ne )itness e>plained that she had been specifically questioned follo)ing repatriation about )hether she had gone to church in China. Bhe )as caught again another time )hen she left the DPRK for China and )as tortured and detained for one year to confess that she )as a Christian. Bhe )as informed that her friend had told the authorities of her belief in Christianity. Bhe refused to confess and )as sent to Kyoh)aso :o. ...#1# ^ 7r Timothy’s father studied Christianity in an Iunderground churchJ in ChinaN and in #00&@ he )as arrested )ith &= other :orth Korean Christians. They )ere all repatriated@ and his father )as sent to Oodo; Camp. 9ecause of his father’s arrest@ 7r Timothy )ho )as about .4 years of age at the time )as also sent to a labour training camp for one year. "e nonetheless became a Christian and spent se eral years secretly propagating Christianity in the DPRK. "e ;ne) he had to do this in secret because other)ise he ris;ed being arrested and sent to a political prison camp for his actions. "e also spo;e of a fello) Christian )ho had been sentenced to a political prison camp because of his religious belief.#1& ^ 9oth of 7r A’s sisters )ere punished se erely for their religious belief and acti ities. 8ne )as disco ered to be preaching Christianity to a friend and )as caught )ith a 9ible resulting in a .& year sentence in an ordinary prison camp * yoh)aso+. The other )as caught in China. As a result of the star ation rations and horrendous li ing conditions@ the first sister almost died in prison and only sur i ed after 7r A paid a substantial bribe to free her after three years of confinement. The other sister )as labelled a political criminal because it )as disco ered that she had practised Christianity in China and had also attempted to flee to the R8K. Bhe )as sent to Oodo; Camp and )as ne er heard from again.#14 ^ 5n #00%@ China forcibly repatriated 7r Kim Bong/(u’s mother to the DPRK. According to his testimony@ the Chinese authorities informed their DPRK counterparts that his mother had practised Christianity in China. The BBD interrogated 7r Kim’s mother for si> months before she )as sentenced to three years in a yoh)aso. "o)e er@ because of the harsh treatment and the star ation conditions e>perienced in BBD detention@ she )as too )ea; to be sent directly to prison. The police sent her to the local hospital instead. There she )as tied to the bed. 7r Kim’s uncle )ent to isit her@ but she )as too )ea; to eat the food he brought. 7r Kim’s mother star ed to death@ tied to her hospital bed. The 7PB did not notify her relati es so they )ere unable to reco er her body. #1$

#10 #1.

#1# #1& #14 #1$

Bubmission to the Commission3 BF9041. Korea 5nstitute for :ational Fnification *K5:F+@ Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ afternoonN TAP0.&. T9,00%. 7r Timothy@ Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ afternoon. Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ afternoon. <ondon Public "earing@ #& 8ctober #0.&@ session . *)ith additional details pro ided by the )itness in a confidential inter ie)+.



^ 8ne )itness ga e information that he belie ed that his son )as arrested by the BBD and sent to K)anliso :o. .1 because he had ta;en 9ible studies in China )ith a Korean American pastor )ho )as then under the sur eillance of the BBD.#1% #$2. 5n #0..@ a )oman from Ryanggang Pro ince narro)ly escaped arrest by KPA 7ilitary Becurity after a fello) belie er ga e a)ay her name under torture. Bhe and other )itnesses also informed the Commission of ho) people )ho )ere caught in the possession of 9ibles )ere tortured during interrogation and in some cases e>ecuted after)ards. #12 #$1. Despite the toleration of a limited number of state/authoriEed houses of )orship in Pyongyang and some suggestions to the contrary@ the Commission finds that there is no effecti e freedom of religious belief in the DPRK. Buch belief is treated as basically incompatible )ith@ and hostile to@ the state/sponsored personality cult surrounding Kim 5l/ sung and his descendants. Countless numbers of persons in the DPRK )ho attempt to practise their religious beliefs ha e been se erely punished@ e en unto death. 5n consequence@ the population of religious adherents in the DPRK has fallen from about #4 per cent of the population in .=$0 to only 0..% per cent of the population in #00#@ estimates pro ided by the DPRK itself. $% Principal findings of the commission

#$=. Throughout the history of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea@ among the most stri;ing features of the state has been its claim to an absolute information monopoly and total control of organiEed social life. 9ased on )itness testimonies@ the Commission finds that there is almost complete denial of the right to freedom of thought@ conscience@ and religion as )ell as of the rights to freedom of opinion@ e>pression@ information@ and association. #%0. The DPRK operates an all/encompassing indoctrination machine )hich ta;es root from childhood to propagate an official personality cult and to manufacture absolute obedience to the Bupreme <eader *Suryong+@ effecti ely to the e>clusion of any independent thought from the official ideology and state propaganda. Propaganda is further used by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to incite nationalistic hatred to)ards official enemies of the state3 ?apan@ the Fnited Btates of America@ and the Republic of Korea@ and their nationals. #%.. Cirtually all social acti ities underta;en by citiEens of all ages are controlled by the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea. Through the associations )hich are run and o erseen by the Party@ and to )hich DPRK nationals are obliged to be members@ the state is able to monitor its citiEens as )ell as to dictate their daily acti ities. Btate sur eillance permeates the pri ate life of all citiEens to ensure that no e>pression critical of the political system or of its leadership goes undetected. DPRK nationals are punished for any Ianti/stateJ acti ities or e>pressions of dissent. They are re)arded for reporting on fello) citiEens suspected of committing such IcrimesJ. #%#. CitiEens are denied the right to access information from independent sources as state/controlled media is the only permitted source of information in the DPRK. Access to tele ision and radio broadcasts@ as )ell as the 5nternet@ is se erely restricted@ and all media content is hea ily censored and must adhere to directi es issued by the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea. Telephone calls are monitored and mostly confined to domestic connections for its citiEens@ )ho are punished for )atching and listening to foreign broadcasts@ including foreign films and soap operas.

#1% #12

T?"0.0. T?"0.2@ T?"0.1@ TB"0&=. .&


#%&. Btrengthening mar;et forces and ad ancements in information technology ha e allo)ed greater access to information from outside the country as information and media from the R8K and China increasingly enter the country. The state’s information monopoly is therefore being challenged by the increasing flo) of outside information into the country and the ensuing curiosity of the people for ItruthsJ other than state propaganda. Authorities see; to preser e the status quo by carrying out regular crac;do)ns and enforcing harsher punishments@ to halt the inflo) of information and ideas. #%4. The spread of Christianity is considered by the DPRK a particularly serious threat since it ideologically challenges the official personality cult and pro ides a platform for social and political organiEation and interaction outside the state realm. Apart from the fe) organiEed state/controlled churches@ Christians are prohibited from practising their religion. Christians caught practising their religion are sub(ect to se ere punishment in iolation of the right to freedom of religion and the prohibition of religious discrimination.

,% Discrimination on the basis of @tate-assigned social class <songbun=> gender and disability
#%$. The Fni ersal Declaration of "uman Rights in Article # states3 - eryone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration@ )ithout distinction of any ;ind@ such as race@ colour@ se>@ language@ religion@ political or other opinion@ national or social origin@ property@ birth or other status. 4urthermore@ no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political@ (urisdictional or international status of the country or territory to )hich a person belongs@ )hether it be independent@ trust@ non/self/go erning or under any other limitation of so ereignty. #%%. Article # of the 5nternational Co enant on Ci il and Political Rights *5CCPR+ and article # of the 5nternational Co enant on -conomic@ Bocial and Cultural Rights *5C-BCR+ similarly note the non/discrimination principle in ensuring the rights elaborated in these treaties that the DPRK has ratified. Article # of the Con ention on the Rights of the Child *CRC+ further e>plicitly calls for states to ta;e Iall appropriate measures to ensure that the child is protected against all forms of discrimination or punishment on the basis of the status@ acti ities@ e>pressed opinions@ or beliefs of the childTs parents@ legal guardians@ or family membersJ. #%2. The Con ention on the -limination of All 4orms of Discrimination against Aomen *C-DAA+ defines in article .3 4or the purposes of the present Con ention@ the term Idiscrimination against )omenJ shall mean any distinction@ e>clusion or restriction made on the basis of se> )hich has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition@ en(oyment or e>ercise by )omen@ irrespecti e of their marital status@ on a basis of equality of men and )omen@ of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political@ economic@ social@ cultural@ ci il or any other field. #%1. Article & of the 5CCPR also stipulates that Btate parties to the Co enant must underta;e to ensure the equal rights of men and )omen to the en(oyment of all ci il and political rights. #%=. Article # of the C-DAA prohibits discrimination against )omen and stipulates equality bet)een the se>es must be pursued in all areas including through the pro ision of protection and abolishment of discriminatory la)s@ regulations and customs. #20. According to the Con ention on the Rights of Persons )ith Disabilities@



IDiscrimination on the basis of disability means any distinction@ e>clusion or restriction on the basis of disability )hich has the purpose or effect of impairing or nullifying the recognition@ en(oyment or e>ercise@ on an equal basis )ith others@ of all human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political@ economic@ social@ cultural@ ci il or any other field. 5t includes all forms of discrimination@ including denial of reasonable accommodation.J &% Discrimination based on social class and birthE the songbun system> past and present #2.. Through the Songbun system@ the state places citiEens of the DPRK into three broad classes )ith appro>imately $. more specific categories@ although the actual categories seem to ha e been ad(usted o er the years. #11 Decisions about residency@ occupation@ access to food@ health care@ education and other ser ices ha e been contingent on songbun: Songbun is also reflected through geographic segregation.#1= #2#. -lites are concentrated among the population officially permitted to li e in Pyongyang@ )hich has a population of &.& million according to the #001 population census. The ruling elites among them are assigned to li e in the most modern part of the capital. ,oods and public ser ices in Pyongyang are superior to those in other regions. 8rdinary citiEens of lo) or medium songbun are precluded from residing in Pyongyang@ and e en obtaining the right to isit Pyongyang is difficult. ^ 7r Kim Boo/am of the Korea 5nstitute for :ational Fnification Kof the Republic of KoreaL described the continuing impact of songbun at the Beoul Public "earing3 <(amily bac ground is also a core factor in discriminating bet)een people# allo)ing different le"els of access to the right of food: *he core elites )ho li"e in Pyongyang or other ma;or cities still recei"e benefits in terms of medicine# and those )ho li"e in the ri ["illages]# the le"el of residents# they ha"e "ery limited access to medical facilities# so the rights to en;oy healthy life [are] also discriminated and not guaranteed@?7.8 ^ A )itness at the Beoul Public "earing@ 7s K)on Ooung/hee@ described the discrimination that her family confronted because both her parents )ere originally from Bouth Korea. The family encountered discrimination )hen they sought to lea e 7usan in :orth "amgyong Pro ince and mo e to Pyongyang3 <2 learned about the fact that )e )ere not able to relocate to Pyongyang: 3y the time )e learned about the re;ection )e )ere old enough to understand that )e )ere discriminated against# because my elder sister against her )ish had to apply to this other college and so my siblings suffered from this ind of discrimination:? 7.#2&. The Songbun system sa) antecedents in the early policies of the DPRK )hen the leadership sought to ele ate peasants and laborers o er the former landlords and those they deemed to ha e been ?apanese collaborators. 5n .=4%@ the :orth Korean Pro isional People’s Committee began to purge officials )ho had been associated )ith the ?apanese colonial administration and undertoo; the first citiEen registration campaign. The official start of the Songbun system appears to ha e been in .=$2 )hen the Party adopted the resolution I8n the Transformation of the Btruggle )ith Counterre olutionary -lements into

#1= #=0 #=.

The classes reflect the assumed political loyalty of an indi idual’s family to the DPRK’s political system and its leadership. 8ne former official noted that there are actually .0& songbun classes today and that he had pro ided this documentation to the go ernment of the R8K@ T9,0&.. Bection 5C.C. Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ afternoon *0#3&.300+. Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ morning *0#3$23$$+. .'


an All/people All/Party mo ementJ *the 7ay &0th Resolution+. The adoption of this resolution )as lin;ed to a purge of potential ri als by Kim 5l/sung. At that time@ the di ision of people coalesced into three broad categories of core@ )a ering and hostile. #24. 5n con(unction )ith the 7ay &0th Resolution@ the Cabinet issued Decree :o. .4= that dictated )here members of the hostile class could reside and essentially e>iled a large number of people to more remote parts of the country )ith more difficult li ing conditions. 8ther stages in the institutionaliEation of the Songbun system include the .=%4 resolution I8n 4urther Btrengthening the Aor; )ith Carious ,roups and Btrata of the PopulationJ@ )hich launched another campaign to refine the Songbun system. 5n .=%%@ a resident re/ registration dri e )hich lasted until .=20 led to the re/classification of the population into the three classes )ith $. sub/categories. #=# 8ther campaigns to re/e>amine political loyalty and family bac;ground follo)ed@ such as the .=1&/14 citiEenship identification card rene)al pro(ect. #2$. The highest songbun )as a)arded to family members of guerrillas )ho fought )ith Kim 5l/sung against ?apanese forces *although many of them )ere e entually sub(ect to purges o er the years+. ^ 8ne former high/le el official e>plained to the Commission that he ;ne) of his songbun status since he )as about .0 years old as there had been a certificate in his family home about his grandfather’s in ol ement in the Korean Aar. "e )as also told by his family not to play or associate )ith those of a lo)er status. "e gre) up belie ing that a high songbun meant that one )as closer to the Kim family.#=& #2%. The lo)est songbun )as gi en to@ among others@ formerly )ealthy industrialists@ alleged spies@ Catholics and 9uddhists. 5n effect@ a family’s history e en before the establishment of the DPRK pre/determined a citiEen’s destiny in the DPRK. #22. 5n the past@ songbun )as the ;ey factor determining the course of e ery citiEen from birth. "igher songbun determined )hether a person could gain access to the army *particularly the more elite units+@ uni ersity and the Aor;ers’ Party of KoreaSnecessary preconditions to any future career in public ser ice. Con ersely@ those )ith lo)er songbun


The $. categories are Core class3 People from the families of laborers@ hired people from the families of laborers@ hired peasants *farm ser ants+@ poor farmers@ and administrati e clerical )or;ers during the Oi Dynasty and ?apanese occupation@ Korean Aor;ers’ Party berea ed families of re olutionaries *;illed cadre members@ in anti/?apan struggles+@ berea ed families of patriots *;illed as noncombatants during the Korean Aar+@ re olutionary intellectuals *trained by :orth Korea after liberation from ?apan+@ families of those ;illed during the Korean Aars@ families of the fallen during the Korean Aar@ ser icemen’s families *families of acti e People’s Army officers and men+@ and families of honored )ounded soldiers *family members of ser ice members )ounded during the Korean Aar+N 9asic class3 Bmall merchants@ artisans@ small factory o)ners@ small ser ice traders@ medium ser ice traders@ unaffiliated persons hailing from Bouth Korea@ families of those )ho )ent to the Bouth *& distinct categories+@ people )ho formerly )ere medium/scale farmers@ nationalistic capitalists@ people repatriated from China@ intellectuals trained before national liberation@ people from the core class )ho are deemed laEy and corrupt@ ta ern hostesses@ practitioners of superstition@ family members of Confucianists@ people )ho )ere pre iously locally influential figures@ and economic offendersN Comple> *)a ering and hostile+ class3 Aealthy farmers@ merchants@ industrialists@ lando)ners or those )hose pri ate assets ha e been completely confiscated@ pro/?apan and pro/FB people@ reactionary bureaucrats@ defectors from the Bouth@ members of the Chondoist Chongu Party@ 9uddhists@ Catholics@ e>pelled party members@ e>pelled public officials@ those )ho helped Bouth Korea during the Korean Aar@ family members of anyone arrested or imprisoned@ spies@ anti/party and counter/re olutionary sectarians@ families of people )ho )ere e>ecuted@ anyone released from prison@ and political prisoners@ members of the Democratic Party@ capitalists )hose pri ate assets ha e been completed confiscated. K5:F@ ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.#+@ p. ###@ citing source as 7inistry of Fnification report@ IAn 8 er ie) of :orth KoreaJ@ #000@ p. 4#0. TB"0.=.



)ere often assigned to (obs in mining and farming@ and their descendants often )ere e>cluded from higher education. "ard )or;@ indi idual ability and personal political loyalty pro ided only limited opportunity to impro e onebs songbun. "o)e er@ conduct deemed to be politically disloyal could destroy the fa ourable songbun of indi iduals and their entire family. #21. The determination of songbun is recorded in a comprehensi e resident registration system )ith detailed files on all adult citiEens and their families. The systematic compilation of these files by security agencies and institutions of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea is not a transparent process@ and determinations cannot be contested. #=4 7oreo er@ official discrimination under the Songbun system is also an intergenerational phenomenon@ )here an indi idual’s classification is not only determined by his or her personal conduct@ but also by the songbun classifications deri ed from more than one generation of the person’s e>tended family. Therefore@ a system of perpetual discrimination on the ground of birth@ a;in to a caste/based system@ has emerged in the DPRK. #2=. The e>istence and rele ance of songbun status does not appear to ha e been formally encoded in la). "o)e er@ it tacitly re erberates in constitutional references to the )or;ing people becoming the masters of society and e>hortations that all citiEens and organs of the state should struggle staunchly against class enemies. #=$ The concept is also in o;ed in internal guidance and training documents. #=% 4ormer security and party officials inter ie)ed by the Commission indicated ho) consideration of songbun prominently featured in important decisions relating to a person. 4or e>ample@ a former official e>plained to the Commission that the 7inistry of Public Becurity color/coded files according to a person’s songbun. The files of core class families )ere placed in red folders@ )hile those of families )hose members included an inmate of a political prison camp * )anliso+ )ere placed in a blac; folder.#=2 #10. Songbun appears also to be an important factor )hen considering the punishment for a criminal offense. As one )itness e>plained@ )hen someone )ith higher songbun commits the same crime as someone )ith lo)er songbun@ the one )ith the higher songbun )ill get the lighter punishment. Ahen someone is sent to a detention centre by a security agency@ )hat )ill be assessed first is the person’s family tree and bac;ground. 5f the indi idual comes from the core class *i.e. has higher songbun+@ then@ regardless of the crime@ the indi idual )ill be treated relati ely )ell on the assumption that the indi idual had no intention of betraying the country. 5f the indi idual comes from a lo)er songbun@ then the person is assumed to be IbuiltJ to do bad things@ and )ill recei e a harsher punishment.#=1 ^ 7s K)on Ooung/hee told the story of her brother )ho )as arrested in China and forcibly repatriated to the DPRK during the mourning period for Kim 5l/sung in .==4. 5nstead of being treated as an IeconomicJ offender for going to China illegally@ he )as charged as a political prisoner. <'ust because our parents )ere from the South# if )e do commit a crime or commit an offence# )e al)ays get hea"ier punishments: 2 thin that )as one of the most unfair things and that is )hy one of my brothers cannot be found# one of my brothers )as sent to the prison:?7..
#=4 #=$ #=%

#=2 #=1

T?"0##@ T?"0#&. DPRK Constitution@ articles 1 and .%#. The .==& 7inistry of Bocial Bafety publication of a document entitled@ IResident Registration Pro(ect Reference 7anualJ issued a set of instructions for resident registration in estigators to use during the conduct of their songbun in estigations. Bee Robert Collins@ I7ar;ed for <ife3 Songbun :orth Korea’s Classification BystemJ@ Committee on "uman Rights in :orth Korea *"R:K+@ #0.#. TCC0.4. TAP0... .$


#1.. 5t is difficult to erify the e>act proportions of different songbun classes today and to ;no) ho) much these ha e changed o er time. 4igures from #00= suggest the core class to be about #1 per cent of the population@ )hile the basic class constitutes 4$ per cent@ and the comple> *)a ering and hostile+ class constitutes the remaining #2 per cent.&00 Aithin the core class@ there is a ruling elite. This group is sometimes referred to as the re olutionary class@ as it is comprised of the e>tended family of Kim 5l/sung and a small number of other families )ho usually ha e a forebear of the highest le el songbun. The ruling elite includes the families of Political 9ureau members and secretaries of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea@ members of the Central People’s Committee@ the Btate Administration Council@ the Central 7ilitary Commission and the :ational Defense Commission. &0. They are directly in ol ed in the preparation of ma(or policy decisions and participate in the inner circle of policy/ ma;ing. #1#. The broader elite are those indi iduals )ith core class songbun&0# )ho continue to dominate the central and local administrati e structures@ the broader corps of officers in the military and the security agencies@ and other managerial positions. 9oth the ruling and broader elite are able to use their official po)ers@ pri ileges to mo e freely around the country@ access to state resources and social connections to seiEe opportunities arising from the DPRK’s increasing mar;etiEation. #1&. 5ntergenerational responsibility and collecti e punishment are core elements of the songbun system. Despite auspicious family origins@ songbun can be lo)ered if a person or his or her relati e commits a crime in the DPRK. &0& Songbun status appears to be particularly affected by offenses deemed to be of a political nature. ^ 7r Kang Chol/h)an@ a former political prisoner # ga e testimony to the Commission’s at the Beoul Public "earing in these terms3 <Cy grandmother )as a member of the Communist Party for a long time# and she )as instrumental# actually played a "ery important role in setting up the North Korean Communist Party in 'apan@: Cy grandfather )as doing business# so he )as Euite rich# so he )as able to donate a lot of money to the North Korean go"ernment: So my grandmother )as Euite high up in the go"ernment: At that time# my grandmother )as the "ice chairperson to an organiFation )hich )as headed by the )ife of Kim 2l Sung: And my grandfather )as "ery high up in the business net)or that included department stores: ,hen 2 )as born# 2 belonged to a "ery top class and 2 )as born at the centre of Pyongyang# so )hen 2 )as young# 2 thin 2 )as "ery happy: And compared to other North Korean residents# 2 thin 2 )as a "ery happy child: And then in -.11# my grandfather )ent to )or and then he didn5t come bac for one month: So )e )ent to his )or place to find out )hy# and )e )ere told that he )ent on a business: And then [someone] from the 3o)ibu# that is the State Security &epartment of North Korea# came to us and said that our grandfather committed treason to the state as )ell as the people# that he deser"ed to die# but that instead of gi"ing him the death penalty# that he )as ta en some)here else: +ur properties )ere confiscated: +n the / th of August in -.11# our families )ere brought

Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ morning *0#30$300+. 8ther testimonies in section 5C.A. The three broad areas appear to ha e shifted o er time to )here the )a ering and hostile classes together ha e been condensed into a Icomple>J category and the middle category is characteriEed as the IbasicJ category. These figure from the Korea 5nstitute for :ationa Fnification@ An +"er"ie) of North Korea *#00=+@ p. &&0. I9ecause o erlapping membership is common in public office@ top/ran;ing office holders number less than .00J3 4ederal Research Di ision <ibrary of Congress@ Robert <. Aorden ed.@ North Korea$ A Country Study *#00=+@ p. #... T)enty/eight per cent of #&.& million total population amounts to about %.$ million. Bee section 5C.C.



&0# &0&



into the 9odo political prisoner camp: 2 )as . years old: 2t )as [the] G th of August -.11# that5s )hen )e )ere ta en to the political prison camp:? =8/ ^ Another )itness inter ie)ed by the Commission@ Kim "ye/soo;@ &0$ a $./year old )oman@ )as detained in Camp :o. .1 from .=2$ until #00.. 5n 8ctober .=20@ her entire family )as arrested. Bhe only initially escaped arrest because she had been li ing )ith her maternal grandmother from the age of .&@ but the authorities seiEed her fi e years later. 8nly after her release in #00. did 7s Kim find out that her family )as sent to the camp because her paternal grandfather had mo ed to the R8K during the Korean Aar@ lea ing 7s Kim’s father and grandmother behind. &0% 7s Kim found that she could not reintegrate into society and decided to go to China in #00$. #14. Administrati ely@ the Songbun system is based on carefully recorded information on e ery DPRK citiEen and his or her family. The state authorities established a comprehensi e resident registration file on e ery citiEen aged .2 and older. &02 These files contain biographical information including genealogy and indications of ideological steadfastness and political loyalty@ )hich are ascertained through e aluations of a person’s performance in different circumstances such as acts at )or; and through the )ee;ly Iconfession and criticismJ sessions.&01 5nformation collected could include s;ills and talents@ ambitions and health status@ as )ell as the enthusiasm )ith )hich an indi idual dusts off the portraits of Kim 5l/sung and Kim ?ong/il@ pays tribute at their shrines@ ;eeps up )ith re olutionary history studies@ or carries out duties at construction pro(ects.&0= ^ A )itness sa) his o)n brother’s resident registration file in #00%@ and described ho) it noted details about the family@ including dates )hen people had mo ed around the country and details of the family’s connections since .=4=. The file also noted the date )hen the )itness’s brother had (oined the military. The )itness had heard that such files e>isted@ but this )as the first time he had seen one for himself. The )itness’s family )as able to see the resident registration file )hen security officers came to their house as;ing about the )hereabouts of the )itness’s brother@ )ho had fled the DPRK.&.0 ^ Another )itness sa) songbun files because his father )as a high/le el official@ and other people had brought o er confidential papers that he )as able to read. The files seen by the )itness contained a photograph@ the grandfather’s name@ the person’s good and bad acti ities *for e>ample@ fighting against the ?apanese+@ in addition to three or four signatures of )itnesses to these acti ities. According to the )itness@ these documents )ould be chec;ed by officials in cases )here an indi idual see;s a promotion or is accused of ha ing committed a crime.&.. #1$. 5ndi iduals’ resident registration files follo) them throughout their life. 5f and )hen that indi iduals ser e in the military@ enters uni ersity or (oins the )or;force@ their file is sent to the rele ant o erseeing authority. A continuing assessment of an indi iduals’ loyalty to the state )ould be reflected in the file. At any point )hen an indi idual’s loyalty IscoreJ appears lo)@ that indi idual )ould be criticiEed harshly@ monitored e en more closely@ and@ in the )orst cases@ sent for training through labor. &.# <o) scores can affect applications to enter uni ersity or promotions at )or;. "o)e er@ indi iduals are seldom informed of the

&04 &0$

&0% &02 &01 &0= &.0 &.. &.#

Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ afternoon *0&30%3&0+. 7s Kim could not participate in the public hearings. The Commission conducted a ideo/conference/based inter ie) )ith her@ during )hich she agreed to ha e her name published in this report. Also T9,0#4. T?"004@ T?"0.$. Bee section 5C.A. TAP00%. TB"00=. T<C0&$. TAP002. ..


actual reasons behind an unsuccessful application or lac; of ad ancement at )or;@ e en though they can usually infer that the reason is poor songbun.&.& #1%. The local branches of the 7inistry of Public Becurity are tas;ed to prepare resident registration files based on information pro ided by the )or;place@ school@ local neighborhood )atches and mass organiEations. 8fficials o erseeing the mass associations@ to )hich e ery DPRK citiEen must belong@ are responsible for collecting rele ant information and including them in these files.&.4 5n addition@ the 7inistry of Public Becurity maintains a ast net)or; of secret informants. &.$ #12. Resident registration files record all a ailable information on the bac;ground of family members@ in some cases going bac; as far as the ?apanese colonial period. The original files are ;ept in hardcopy by the 7inistry of People’s Becurity. &.% 8ther security agencies and the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea recei e copies that are also accessible to rele ant senior local cadres li;e the manager of a person’s )or;place. 5n addition@ files of family members are cross/referenced. This ma;es it irtually impossible to alter a file )ithout ris;ing e entual detection and subsequent harsh punishment. ^ 4or e>ample@ a )itness’s uncle disappeared into a political prison camp because of unfa orable remar;s he made about Kim ?ong/il. The uncle’s disappearance stained the songbun of the entire family. The )itness graduated in .==4 and passed the entry le el e>am for political cadres. 8nly then did his father re eal to him the uncle’s fate and told him that he )ould be pre ented from a political career and could at best reach administrati e or technical positions. Through 7inistry of Public Becurity contacts and bribes@ the family )as able to see the )itness’s resident registration file@ )here t)o lines about the uncle had been added. They discussed )ith the 7inistry agent )hether the line could be remo ed against a bribe@ but decided against it. -ach file has cross/references to other files. 5f it )as e er found out that the )itness’s file )as tampered )ith@ the repercussions for the entire family could ha e been ery serious. - entually the )itness too; up a position as a technical e>pert. "e )as denied promotions and the chance to pursue further studies. "is older brother@ )ho ser ed )ith distinction in the military and )as recommended for the officer trac;@ )as denied entry to the military academy due to the family songbun. "is younger brother and the father e>perienced similar problems.&.2 #11. 5ndi iduals are not normally gi en official access to their o)n resident registration files.&.1 Thus@ they do not ha e the opportunity to contest or correct information contained in the files. The )itnesses inter ie)ed by the Commission )ho had seen their o)n resident registration files had all gained such access through informal connections and!or bribes. &.= ^ 4or e>ample@ a former BBD official )ho )as frustrated )ith his lac; of ad ancement at )or; sought to see his o)n resident registration file@ )hich a colleague sho)ed him. 5n it he found an element that made it clear to him that he )ould not be promoted.&#0 #1=. 7ost people ha e a general idea of the e>istence of the Songbun class system and )here they fall in the order. 8ften@ DPRK citiEens became a)are of their songbun )hen graduating from school@ or )hen they e>perience barriers to gaining entrance to the military@ uni ersity or preferred professions. 7any former DPRK citiEens inter ie)ed by the Commission )ere a)are of the types of considerations that )ould go into determining
&.& &.4 &.$ &.%

&.2 &.1

&.= &#0

TAP00#@ TAP001. TAP00%@ TAP0.$@ T<C0&$@ TB"00=. TB"0$.. There is some information indicating that the resident registration file has also been computeriEed since the early #000s@ although it is not clear ho) far access is granted in consideration of the ris; of lea;s. T?"002. Songbun is not mentioned on the 5D cards issued to people. 8rdinary people )ill not be informed about their songbun *TCC0.4+. T<C0.1. T?"04..



their songbun and the effects that their class may ha e had on their access to higher education or employment.&#. ^ 4or e>ample@ a )itness )as denied tertiary educational opportunities and )as forced to )or; in a mine upon finishing secondary school. Ahen he inquired of a security super isor to )hom he )as close about the apparent discrimination against him@ the super isor sho)ed him his file. "e )as classified as a I:o. 4&J@ the classification of familes of prisoners of )ar@ )hich made it clear to him )hy he faced such discrimination.&## #=0. 4actors in determining social class include family origins. Koreans )ho had resided in ?apan and emigrated to the DPRK bet)een .=$= and .=10 *called IreturneesJ+@ together )ith their descendants are estimated to number bet)een .00@000 and .$0@000. &#& These Koreans )ere dra)n to the DPRK by propaganda and promises of opportunity@ as )ell as )idespread discrimination against ethnic Koreans in ?apan. Fpon arri al@ they )ere not permitted to lea e the DPRK. They )ere@ ho)e er@ allo)ed to solicit money transfers from relati es in ?apan )hich pro ided much/needed foreign reser es for the DPRK. The go ernment operated hard currency stores for lu>ury goods li;e tele isions and refrigerators and other items not generally a ailable to a erage DPRK citiEens. These remittances pro ided former ?apanese residents )ith better clothes and food@ )hich fueled some degree of resentment amongst their less fortunate compatriots. #=.. 5n .=%0@ the "ungarian Ambassador to the DPRK@ Kcroly Prcth@ noted the situation of almost &.@000 Koreans from ?apan )ho had arri ed in the DPRK3 IApart from formalities@ the Korean )or;ers do not li;e the repatriates ery much. They ha e se eral reasons for that3 .+ A great number of people ha e been remo ed from their flats so as to pro ide adequate flats for the repatriatesN #+ 5n the factories@ they get stri;ingly high )agesN &+ They occupy a pri ileged position in food/supplyN 4+ Aor; discipline is less binding on them *at least they are not ta;en to tas; in the same )ay as others+N $+ 5n respect of clothing and )ay of life@ they are different from the local people.J&#4 #=#. Be eral )itnesses recounted discrimination suffered as children )here they )ere ostraciEed by teachers and other students for their family origins. ^ 7s Chiba Oumi;o@ a former ?apanese IreturneeJ@ testified in the To;yo Public "earing about her e>perience in the DPRK. Bhe noted that discrimination against IreturneesJ )as rampant. Bhe recalled teachers and students tearing her ?apanese clothes if she )ore them to school@ and being constantly told that she )as stupid to )ear ?apanese clothes.&#$ #=&. The IreturneesJ from ?apan could afford to eat rice@ the preferred staple of Koreans@ )hile most DPRK citiEens had to ma;e do )ith corn and barley. The former residents of ?apan remained isolated and interacted mostly )ith their o)n community rather than integrating into DPRK society.

&## &#& &#4


Aitness T?"0&2 only learned )hy he had lo) songbun after fleeing the DPRK and being told by his mother in the R8K that his grandmother had been a landlord. "is first attempt to flee )hen he )as captured and repatriated had been because he did not )ant to undergo .0 years of military ser ice as is the usual case for those people )ho do not ha e high songbun. T9,0#.. Bee section 5C.4. IReport@ -mbassy of "ungary in :orth Korea to the "ungarian 4oreign 7inistryJ@ 0. August .=%0@ "istory and Public Policy Program Digital Archi e@ 78<@ P5P/?/./( Korea@ $. doboE@ $!ca@ 004#&1!.!.=%0. Translated for :K5DP by 9alaEs BEalontai. A ailable from http3!!digitalarchi e.)ilsoncentre.org!document!..&40=. Confidential inter ie) and To;yo Public "earing@ &0 August #0.&@ morning. TAP00. from ?apan said that her family )as discriminated against because they )ere not originally from the illage )here they no) li ed. As a child@ others used to stay a)ay from her and not play )ith her@ although o er time this decreased. .2


#=4. Despite the relati e prosperity of the group@ they )ere seen to be politically suspect because they had come from outside the country@ and particularly because they )ere from ?apan@ considered the mortal enemy of the DPRK. ^ 4or e>ample@ a )itness@ )ho had been born in ?apan@ noted that if a person had an issue )ith his or her songbun status@ he or she )ould not be allo)ed to tra el o erseas. 5n order to isit other countries@ a person )as obliged to get a signature from the BBD office. "o)e er@ the BBD officer )ould not trust a person of lo) songbun@ since the officer )ould get into trouble if the person failed to return from his or her isit o erseas. &#% ^ A )itness )ho came from a family of IreturneesJ said that he and his family )ere considered to be spies and untrust)orthy. :o one in his family could aspire to high/ran;ing positions@ no matter ho) hard they )or;ed. "e noted that punishments for IreturneesJ committing crimes )ere also disproportionate to those of regular DPRK citiEens. Ahile they )ere forced to bribe officials for e erything@ ery high ran;ing officials )ould not accept bribes from them because they )ere IreturneesJ.&#2 #=$. 4ormer residents of ?apan )ere for the most part ineligible for mid/ or high/le el positions )ithin the Party or the military. &#1 According to e>perts and testimony recei ed by the Commission@ Koreans from ?apan )ere more at ris; of being sent to political prison camps.&#= ^ 7s Chiba e>plained at the To;yo Public "earing3 <2n -.18s# spea ing in 'apanese# singing in 'apanese# using 'apanese language )as also target of punishment# and Cr 9amada tal ed about Cagu;abi period# so in 518s and 5G8s many people did not commit any crime per se# but )ithout any reason many people disappeared: *his )as something that )as Euite ordinary that happened in North Korea:?==8 ^ Another IreturneeJ told the Commission that@ in .=2%@ his father )as sent to a political prison )ithout any )arning. The )itness continued see;ing ans)ers from the Bocial Bafety Agency and BBD about the fate of his father. After se eral )ee;s@ an officer from the BBD brought his father’s file to their house@ sho)ing him the charges. "is father had apparently defamed Kim 5l/sung@ )hen he had said@ I5n ?apan@ trains tra el at #00 ;m per hour@ here they only go 40 ;m per hour. 5t is said that the DPRK )ill gro) beyond ?apan@ but 5 doubt it.J The )itness said that he argued )ith the officer@ saying that the constitution guaranteed freedom of speech@ but the officer said freedom of speech did not e>tend to defamation of the regime. The )itness belie es his father )as sent to Political Prison Camp :o. ##. A childhood friend )ho )as also sent to Camp :o. ## reported that his father died in the )anliso in .=21. The family did not recei e any notification of his death.&&. #=%. Ahen remittances from ?apan tapered off in the .==0s@ the pri ileges of ?apanese IreturneesJ also ended. #=2. 8ther DPRK citiEens )ho had been born in the Bouth@ or )hose parents )ere born in the Bouth@ )ere also sub(ect to discrimination. &&# This )as also the case for people )hose family had originated in China@ e en if ethnically Korean.
&#% &#2 &#1

TAP00#. TB"0&1. Andrei <an;o @ I7inorities in :orth Korea@ part .3 ?apanese/KoreansJ@ NK Ne)s@ % August #0.&. T?"0#%. To;yo Public "earing@ &0 August #0.&@ morning *0.3$=3$2+. TB"0&%. TAP0.# e>plained that he and his family )ere sent to a political prison camp due to his late fatherTs lo) songbun@ associated )ith being politically unreliable. "o)e er@ a family member )ho had married into the )itnessTs family had also ended up in the same camp because he had been born in Bouth Korea despite ha ing (oined the :orth Korean military.

&#= &&0 &&. &&#



^ 4or e>ample@ 7s ?o ?inhye testified at the Aashington Public "earing that <my grandfather actually got married in China and there my dad )as born: And they did not come do)n to North Korea until my dad )as ele"en years old: So 2 do not thin my family )as part of a "ery high or good class in North Korea:? "er father had been a miner.&&& #=1. Among those )ho suffered the most e>treme discrimination )ere Bouth Korean prisoners of )ar *P8As+ retained in the DPRK after the armistice. &&4 ^ 7r Ooo Ooung/bo;@ a former P8A )ho fled the DPRK and returned to the R8K@ e>plained at the Beoul Public "earing3 <3ecause )e )ere P+,s# )e )ere discriminated against: *hey )ere loo ing do)n on us: Although )e married North Korean )omen# our children )ere controlled# our children )ere ept under sur"eillance: *hey did not really gi"e us good ;obsH there )ere ;ust no opportunities to ma e better li"es for our children:?==0 ^ Another former P8A from Bouth Korea )or;ed in a coal mine in :orth "amgyong Pro ince for 40 years. "e told the Commission that about a quarter of the miners )ere P8As and )ere under particularly strict sur eillance by the 7inistry of Public Becurity and the Btate Becurity Department. The )itness )as regularly interrogated and his interrogators seemed to ;no) many details about his life. "e married and had three sons and t)o daughters. "is sons )ere neither allo)ed to (oin the army nor go to uni ersity@ and one as;ed him I ,hy are )e e"en bornIJ "is daughters )ere not able to marry a man of good songbun@ because they )ere from a P8A family. - en his grandsons )ere denied the opportunity to (oin the army or to obtain a tertiary education. The )itness recalled ho) a P8A friend hung himself because his children complained so bitterly to him about their situation yet he could not do anything about it.&&% #==. Bocial mobility in the DPRK remains constrained despite the emergence of a pri ate sector resulting from the de facto mar;etiEation of the DPRK economy that commenced during the famine and despite the ad ent of some limited ne) information technology. "o)e er@ the role that songbun plays in determining a person’s opportunities is shifting. 8ne )ell/;no)n e>pert claims that the role of songbun 6 Ionce the single most important factor that determined the life of a :orth KoreanJ 6 is being displaced by )ealth3 I:orth Korean society has become defined by oneTs relationship to money@ not by oneTs relationship to the bureaucracy or oneTs inherited caste status.J &&2 9y most accounts@ songbun still matters today@ particularly at the ery top and ery bottom ends of the hierarchies. "o)e er@ songbun no) appears to be only one factor that figures into the

&&4 &&$ &&% &&2

Aashington Public "earing@ &0 8ctober #.0& *003#0300+. Also@ )itness 7r ? )as born in Oangbian@ China. "is father had been born in :orth Korea@ and mo ed to China during the .=&0s. As his father )as an intellectual@ the family became endangered during the Cultural Re olution@ and they mo ed bac; to the DPRK in .=%0. 7r ? described being e>cluded from mainstream life in the DPRK because )as he born abroad. "e e>perienced discrimination in arious )ays including being sent to li e far from any cities in :orth "amgyong pro ince )here Korean P8As and other immigrants )ere settled. At school@ he had been sub(ected to se ere bullying for his accented speech and for )earing clothes from China. Despite being ery good at gymnastics and getting selected by teachers for special training@ only the children of party officials )ould be selected for competitions. 7r ? )as first assigned to )or; in a gold mine. "e )or;ed hard@ and )as promoted to leader of in a small )or; unit. "is direct super isor *a party member+ also from the same illage encouraged him to (oin the party@ )riting a recommendation for him. 7r ? studied hard for the party tests@ and applied t)ice@ but )as refused both times. "e )as later told by the super isor that had recommended him that his application )as e>cluded because under Kim 5l/sung’s order@ foreign/born nationals could not (oin the party *TB"04=+. Also T9,0.2. T9,001. Beoul Public "earing@ #& August #0.&@ afternoon *003.13&$+. T?"0#=. Andrei <an;o @ I:orth KoreaTs ne) class systemJ > Asia *imes@ & December #0... Also@ -CC0.0. 0&


calculus of access to ser ices or opportunities in a changing society )here corruption has seeped into almost e ery facet of life.&&1 #% Discrimination against women

&00. The DPRK acceded to the Con ention on the -limination of All 4orms of Discrimination against Aomen *C-DAA+ on 4ebruary #2@ #00.. 5n its first report to the C-DAA Committee in #00$@ it reported3 5n the course of a number of social re olution and de elopment for more than half a century up to no)@ the content of and the guarantees for se> equality ha e ceaselessly been de eloped and enriched. -quality bet)een men and )omen has been realiEed in such a degree that the )ord Idiscrimination against )omenJ sounds unfamiliar to people no). Be> equality being not confined by simple equality@ the policies and legislation of the state reflect the concept of attaching more importance to )omen@ and their enforcement is no) a natural ethical obligation and a life tone of the )hole society going beyond the limit of legal obligation.&&= &0.. Korean society is deeply embedded )ith Confucian alues.&40 Traditional Confucian ideology ties a )omen’s Z irtue’ to ho) )ell she obeys her father in her youth@ her husband in marriage and her son upon her husband’s death. Pursuant to Confucian ideals@ a )oman’s marriage )as arranged for her@ and upon marriage she became part of her husband’s family and an outsider to her o)n.&4. &0#. Kim 5l/sung is reported to ha e commended )omen’s participation in the liberation mo ement@ noting that Ithe )omen )ere completely on an equal footing )ith menN they all recei ed re olutionary assignments suited to their abilities and aptitudes and carried them outJ.&4# "o)e er@ )omen’s participation in the independence mo ement did not affect their status in post/liberation society. &0&. The DPRK commenced on a progressi e se> equality platform. Kim 5l/sung sought to impro e equality bet)een the se>es through the implementation of the <a) on Be> -quality@ announced on &0 ?uly .=4%. This la) emphasiEed equal rights in all spheres@ free marriage and di orce@ and equal rights to inherit property and to share property in the case of di orce. 5t prohibited arranged marriages@ polygamy@ concubinage@ the buying and selling of )omen@ prostitution@ and the professional entertainer system. &4& &04. RecogniEing that legislation alone )ould not liberate )omen from patriarchy and bring about equality@ Kim 5l/sung sought to liberate the )omen of the DPRK by promoting their full integration into the labour force. According to Kim 5l/sung@ in a liberated Korea@ I)omen X can achie e complete emancipation only if they stri e )ith no less de otion

&&= &40 &4.



According to Transparency 5nternational’s #0.& Corruption Perceptions 5nde>@ the DPRK along )ith Afghanistan and Bomalia )ere the )orst performers@ scoring (ust 1 points each and tying for last place at .2$th. A country or territory’s score indicates the percei ed le el of public sector corruption on a scale of 0 / .00@ )here 0 means that a country is percei ed as highly corrupt and .00 means it is percei ed as ery clean. A countryTs ran; indicates its position relati e to the other countries and territories included in the inde>. C-DAA!C!PRK!.@ para. 2#. Bee section 555. Par; Kyung/ae@ IAomen and Bocial Change in Bouth and :orth Korea3 7ar>ist and <iberal Perspecti esJ@ Aomen and 5nternational De elopment@ Aor;ing Paper :o. #&.@ 7ichigan Btate Fni ersity@ ?une .==#@ p. #. Ou -ui/young@ Kim 2l Sung ,or s *Pyongyang@ 4oreign <anguage Publishing "ouse@ .=10+@ p. .1$ as cited in Par; Kyung/ae@ IAomen and Bocial Change in Bouth and :orth Korea3 7ar>ist and <iberal Perspecti esJ@ p. #. Par; Kyung/ae@ IAomen and Re olution in :orth KoreaJ@ Pacific Affairs@ ol. %$@ :o. 4 *Ainter .==#+@ p. $&&.



and a)areness than men to sol e the problems arising on the producti e fronts of the factories and countrysideJ.&44 5n .=%.@ at the :ational 7eeting of 7others@ he ad ised3 IAn important question in Aomen’s Fnion acti ities in the past )as to )ipe out illiteracy and eliminate the feudalistic ideas that oppressed the )omen. 9ut this )or; no longer seems to be of ma(or importance in our society. Today@ the Aomen’s Fnion should acti ely campaign for )omen’s participation in socialist construction and bend its efforts to pro ide conditions that )ill allo) them to )or; )ell.J&4$ &0$. 5n order to enable )omen to dedicate themsel es fully to the public economy@ Kim 5l/sung ad ocated in .=4% that the state should ta;e steps to rear children. &4% To this end@ the .=2# Bocialist Constitution codified the measures to be ta;en so that )omen could ta;e part in public life. These included paid maternity lea e@ free nurseries and ;indergartens@ and reduced )or;ing time for mothers )ith young families. &42 The responsibility of the state to bring up children and protect )or;ing mothers )as further enshrined in the .=2% <a) on :ursing and Fpbringing of Children and the .=21 <abour <a) )hich pro ided that )omen )ith three of more children )ould be paid for eight hours but required to )or; only si>. 5ndeed@ state childcare ser ices e>panded e>ponentially under Kim 5l/sung. 5n .=4=@ there )ere reportedly .# nurseries and ..% ;indergartens. 5n .=%.@ there )ere 2@%00 nurseries and 4$@000 ;indergartens. 9y .=2%@ almost .00 per cent of the &.$ million children could attend one of the %0@000 nurseries and ;indergartens.&41 &0%. The pronouncement of legal and social arrangements to achie e equal rights by DPRK leaders )as to some degree aimed at abolishing the traditional family structure. The emphasis on liberation of )omen through labour led to a decline in the economic po)er of the patriarch@ and the IsocialiEationJ of childrearing ser ed to brea; do)n the traditional family structure. The pro(ection of Kim 5l/sung as the father/figure further added to the reconfiguration of society@ in )hich Kim 5l/sung )as the patriarchal head and DPRK nationals his children. Although the commitment to abolish the feudal family )as portrayed as necessary to achie e gender equality@ in reality this neither ser ed )omen’s liberation nor the family unit. Aith )omen free from their Ishac;lesJ@ they could de ote themsel es fully to the state *as men )ere already e>pected to do+. "a ing children in the care of the state further ser ed to strengthen the leader’s position as they could be taught to thin; of the leader as their father@ and pledge their allegiance to him o er their o)n family. This pro ed to be a ;ey ingredient to maintaining control@ as ha ing children under the responsibility of the state from a young age pro ided for many years of indoctrination. &4= The )ea;ening of familial relationships@ coupled )ith the failed economy and se ere food shortages across the country at different points in time@ has deeply impacted children. 5n some cases@ this has led to their being institutionaliEed@ abandoned and ulnerable to poor health and abuses against them.&$0 &02. During the height of economic acti ity in the DPRK in the .=%0s and .=20s@ electrical appliances and Ifast foodJ such as canned food )ere introduced in an effort to minimiEe domestic )or; for )omen in the larger cities. The state had arguably contracted out )omen’s traditional roles in the home so that they could fully participate in state production@ so/called Iliberation through labourJ. Oet@ despite )omen’s full participation in
&44 &4$ &4% &42

5bid@ 1. 5bid@ =. 5bid@ =. Bocialist Constitution of the Democratic PeopleTs Republic of Korea *.=2#+@ article %#. Kim 5l/sung@ I8n 4urther De eloping the :ursing and Fpbringing of Children. Bpeech deli ered at the si>th session of the fifth Bupreme People’s AssemblyJ@ #= April .=2%. Bee section 5C.A. Bee section 5C.C. 0'


&4= &$0


public life@ their economic status did not equal that of men. Although there is no official information on pay scales@ other sources re eal that the structure of income distribution bet)een husband and )ife meant a husband’s income )as al)ays higher than his )ife’s. The structure also did not engender a culture of equality. &$. &01. Despite implementing la)s to impro e gender equality@ cultural attitudes remained traditional. The e>treme militariEation of society in the DPRK has encouraged such themes as the protection of Korean )omen’s irtue and the defence of Korean purity against hostile outside forces thereby contributing to ongoing gender discrimination. The only manifestation gender equality )as the e>pectation that )omen along )ith men )ould )or; in state/sponsored employment. Aomen’s li es at home and )or; remained subser ient to men and unequal. :ot)ithstanding the pro ision of childcare ser ices@ appliances and other de elopments aimed at decreasing the domestic )or;load@ )omen )ere still o er)helmingly responsible for domestic )or;. Kim 5l/sung’s aim of liberating )omen through labour effecti ely doubled their burden@ as they )ere no) e>pected to engage in both state employment and domestic )or;. &0=. The double burden faced by )omen led to the increasing departure of )omen from the )or;force as they married.&$# As the economy deteriorated in the .==0s@ )omen )ere dismissed from their )or; positions@ as )or;ing for the state )as considered politically more ad anced and thus Imen’s )or;J. 7en )ere also the focus of sur eillance@ and the state employment system )as a critical element to the sur eillance structure. &$& As the economic system collapsed@ and )omen remained outside of state employment@ )omen’s energies turned to)ards sur i al. The subsequent emergence of pri ate mar;ets largely operated by )omen sa ed many families from star ation. "o)e er@ being outside of state employment@ )omen lost their rights to a state pension and the use of childcare ser ices. &$4 &.0. :e ertheless@ )omen )or;ing in the mar;ets can earn double the monthly salary of a man in one day. 5n recent years@ men often ha e not been paid at all by their state employers.&$$ Ahile DPRK decision/ma;ers did not intend to raise the profile of )omen through the re ersal of their policy to engage )omen in the labour force@ effecti ely by pushing them out of state employment@ this contributed to the rise in their economic po)er. 5t is estimated that almost half of DPRK families rely on pri ate trading as their only source of income@ and )omen are the main bread)inners in 10 to =0 per cent of households.&$% This has changed dynamics in the family. &... Despite the economic ad ancement of )omen@ they are still discriminated against by the state. The state imposed many restrictions on the female/dominated mar;et@ including prohibiting anyone other than )omen o er forty years of age from trading. &$2 ,ender discrimination also ta;es the form of )omen being targeted to pay bribes or fines. 5n a recent study conducted )ith :orth Koreans )ho ha e left the DPRK@ =$ per cent of female traders reported ha ing paid bribes. 7ore than one/third of men reported that criminality and corruption is the best )ay to ma;e money. &$1 Regulations in force until #0.#


&$& &$4



&$2 &$1

K5:F@ ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.&+@ pp. &1#/&0&N Par; Kyung/ae@ IAomen and Bocial Change in Bouth and :orth Korea3 7ar>ist and <iberal Perspecti esJ@ p. ... Btephen "aggard and 7arcus :oland@ I,ender in Transition3 The Case of :orth KoreaJ@ ,orld &e"elopment@ ol. 4. *#0.#+@ p. $#. Bee section 5C.C. CitiEen’s Alliance for :orth Korean "uman Rights *:K"R+@ IBtatus of Aomen’s Rights in the Conte>t of Bocio/-conomic Changes in the DPRKJ@ 7ay #0.&@ p. &.. <ouisa <im@ I8ut 8f Desperation@ :orth Korean Aomen 9ecome 9read)innersJ@ National Public Radio@ #1 December #0.#. Peterson 5nstitute as quoted in <ouisa <im@ I8ut 8f Desperation@ :orth Korean Aomen 9ecome 9read)innersJ@ National Public Radio@ #1 December #0.#. TAP002. Btephen "aggard and 7arcus :oland@ I,ender in TransitionJ@ pp. $./%%.



prohibiting )omen from riding bicycles )ere reintroduced in ?anuary #0.&. &$= Public safety officials )ere reportedly imposing fines equi alent to the cost of 4 ;ilograms of corn on rural )omen )ho )ere riding bicycles under the prior ban@ but are no) said to be confiscating the bicycle instead.&%0 <osing a day’s )age due to a fine or the confiscation of a bicycle seriously hinders a )oman’s ability to earn an income and feed her family. There is recent e idence that )omen are beginning to ob(ect and resist such impositions. &.#. Regulations stipulating that )omen should )ear s;irts ha e also been in place and enforced by the 7oral Discipline Corps *groups of citiEens mobiliEed to crac; do)n on )hat are referred to as morality iolations+. Recent e idence suggests such restrictions )ere eased in Pyongyang but may still be in place in less urban areas. &%. 4urthermore@ the Oouth <eague and Aomen’s Fnion ha e tas;ed themsel es )ith Zeducating’ girls and )omen on proper attire. ^ A )itness told the Commission3 <,omen in North Korea are not allo)ed to )ear tight pants and ;eans: ,omen should preferably )ear s irts and blac shoes according to the socialist lifestyle: Carried )omen can )ear ;eans: 2n summer they cannot )ear sandals )ith ;e)els: 2 learnt the rules on restrictions for )omen at the 9outh %eague: 2f )omen do not respect the restrictions they can be sent for one month to the dalyundae [labourtraining corps]:?=>7 ^ Another )itness e>plained )hy these types of regulations ha e been created3 <Kim 'ong-il5s orders are usually turned into la): 2f there is something that he does not li e# the People5s Safety Cinistry de"ises a plan and once they ha"e a plan# Kim 'ong 2l signed it and it becomes la): 2n order to follo) the instructions# the SS& and the Cinistry try to do e"erything possible in order to carry out the la) decree@ they do e"erything: 2f Kim 'ong 2l thin s that girls )ear s irts that are too short or ha"e too long hair# the inspection group starts to )or on the issue Jto create a la)K: *here are so many decrees forbidding )omen from cycling and from )earing pants:?=>= &.&. 5n the #00$@ the Committee on the -limination of Discrimination against Aomen requested that the DPRK define discrimination against )omen in line )ith the Con ention@ and underta;e measures and policies to eliminate discrimination against )omen. &%4 5n response to those requests@ in December #0.0@ the DPRK enacted a Aomen’s Rights Act@ the first legislation specifically aimed at gender issues since the .=41 ,ender -quality <a). According to the nongo ernmental organiEation CitiEens Alliance on :orth Korean "uman Rights3 IKtLhe Aomen’s Act )as merely a fadade created during :orth Korea’s KFnited :ationsL human rights re ie) )hen it faced international pressureX the :orth Korean state has recently been trying to reinforce through ideological education the traditional role )omen in a patriarchal society.J &%$



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IAomen on bicycles banned againJ@ &aily NK@ .4 ?anuary #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).dailyn;.com!english!read.phpDcata5d_n;0.$00Mnum_.0#&.. 5bidN CitiEens’ Alliance for :orth Korean "uman Rights@ I4lo)ers@ ,uns and Aomen on 9i;es3 9riefing Report on the Bituation of Aomen’s Rights in the DPRKJ@ #00=@ p. .2. These restrictions are said to ha e been repealed in ?uly #0.&@ ho)e er e>pert e idence suggests the restrictions are still in force outside of Pyongyang. T<C04#. T<C0.&. C-DAA!C!PRK!C8!.. CitiEen’s Alliance for :orth Korean "uman Rights@ IBtatus of Aomen’s Rights in the Conte>t of Bocio/-conomic Changes in the DPRKJ@ p. .%. 0$


&.4. 5n the political sphere@ )omen remain discriminated against despite the early reforms. Aomen ma;e up (ust $ per cent of the Aor;er’s Party of Korea Central Committee 7embers and Candidate 7embers@ &%% and .0 per cent of central go ernment employees.&%2 &.$. 5n the home@ )hile )omen remain subser ient to men@ )omen’s economic progress is ha ing an impact. 7en@ )ho ha e also become creati e at ma;ing money through non/ state sanctioned enterprise@ are reticent to )or; in the mar;et as they are not permitted to by the state *ha ing to remain officially in the employ of a state position+ and because the mar;et is considered Za )omen’s area’.&%1 ^ A former trader told the Commission that some men sold bicycles in the mar;et but for the most part I)omen )ere more numerous because men had their careersJ:=>. ^ 8ne )itness )hose )ife traded in the mar;et@ e>plained that he did not engage in the mar;et because it )as IembarrassingJ. "e told the Commission that he also heard <rumours that men )ho engaged in the blac mar et get punished: (rom 7887-8=# more men ha"e )or ed in the mar ets# but there is still a stigma attached to it: Cen are eDpected to )or in the official ;obs:? =18 &.%. As a consequence of the disproportionate representation of )omen in the mar;ets@ most household income is generated by )omen@ )hich has led to a percei ed disempo)erment of men. Bome )omen are allegedly calling their husbands IpuppiesJ because they ha e to be fed@ yet they do not contribute to the economy of the household. The additional financial burden )omen are bearing is coupled )ith additional burdens at home due to the lac; of electricity and! or running )ater in some homes caused by brea;do)n of state ser ices.&2. The e>tra burdens )omen carry has begun to ha e social consequences. Oounger )omen are hoping to delay marriage to a oid ta;ing on a husband@ and domestic iolence is increasing as many men are unable to cope )ith the changing gender roles.&2# &.2. Aitness testimony re els that domestic iolence is rife )ithin DPRK society@ and ictims are not afforded protection from the state@ support ser ices or recourse to (ustice. &2& ^ 8ne )itness testified before the Commission3 <&omestic "iolence is Euite common: *here is no la) on this$ family issues stay )ithin the family: E"en if a )oman complains# the police )ill not interfere in family business:?=1/ ^ Bimilar sentiments )ere heard by the Commission from another )itness3 <[Biolence against )omen] is considered a family matter: +nly if the person is seriously in;ured then it becomes public: 2t is freEuent: *here is no place to complain: 2t can be used as a cause of di"orce: Nothing is done to the husband e"en if the )oman is se"erely beaten:?=10
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K5:F@ IBtudy on the Po)er -lite of the Kim ?ong Fn RegimeJ@ *#0.&+@ p. #4.. Aon/)oong <ee@ IAn 8bser er Report on the F: "uman Rights Committee’s Re ie) Bession on :orth Korea’s Becond Periodic Report on "uman RightsJ as cited in K5:F@ ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.&+@ p. &1.. TAP002@ T9,0&0 and TB"0$#. T9,0&0. TB"0$#. <im Boon/hee@ IThe 4ood Crisis and the Changing Roles and Attitudes of :orth Korean AomenJ@ K5:F@ #00$@ p. .4. <ouisa <im@ I8ut 8f Desperation@ :orth Korean Aomen 9ecome 9read)innersJ@ National Public Radio@ #1 December #0.#. TAP002@ TB"0#0@ TB"0$$@ T<C04#@ T9,0#1. T9,0&0. T9,0#1.



&.1. Aitnesses ha e testified that iolence against )omen is not limited to the home@ and that it is common to see )omen being beaten and se>ually assaulted in public. &2% 8fficials are not only increasingly engaging in corruption in order to support their lo) or non/ e>istent salaries@ they are also e>acting penalties and punishment in the form of se>ual abuse and iolence as there is no fear of punishment.&22 As more )omen assume the responsibility for feeding their families due to the dire economic and food situation@ more )omen are tra ersing through and lingering in public spaces@ selling and transporting their goods. The male dominated state@ agents )ho police the mar;etplace@ inspectors on trains and soldiers are increasingly committing acts of se>ual assault on )omen in public spaces. The Commission recei ed testimony that )hile rape of minors is se erely punished in the DPRK@ the rape of adults is not really considered a crime. &21 The Commission also recei ed reports of train guards fris;ing )omen as they tra el through the cars@ and abusing young girls onboard.&2= 8ne )itness told the Commission3 <,omen )ere fris ed as they entered the station [to chec they )ere not carrying items for sale]# 2 thin this is ho) the seDual "iolence started happening: Auards also ta e young girls on the train for seDual acts# including rape: E"eryone no)s this is happening# it is an open secret:?=G8 &.=. Buch beha ior has been obser ed as Ithe increasingly male/dominated state preying on the increasingly female/dominated mar;etJ. &1. Be>ual assaults of )omen )ithin the military ha e become frequent.&1# A former military officer e>plained3 <*here )ere a lot of cases of seDual abuse and rape committed often by senior officers: Normal soldiers )ould also engage in rape# eDacerbated by the fact that these young men )ere denied the right to ha"e any seDual relations )hile ser"ing in the army: *he rapes )ere typically co"ered up# although male comrades )ould tal about them and some e"en bragged: 2t )as common no)ledge that rapes )ere ta ing place:?=G= &#0. Reports also suggest that se>ual abuse ta;es place in the process of single )omen see;ing membership to the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea or better positions in the )or;place. &14 The Commission finds that se>ual and gender/based iolence against )omen is pre alent throughout all areas of society. Transactional se> and prostitution are also rife )ithin the DPRK as )omen oluntarily submit to men for food@ money@ tra el or to a oid a fine or other punishment. These acti ities@ dri en by the need for sur i al by ulnerable persons@ are the consequence of the structural problem of food shortage and gender discrimination.&1$ Buch structural problems are also ma(or contributing factors to the high le els of traffic;ing in )omen and girls.&1% 5n this regard@ the Commission notes the particularly difficult position of younger )omen@ )ith little opportunity for state employment or ad ancement in the public sector@ and prohibited from engaging in the pri ate mar;et due to the age restriction of only )omen 40 years and o er being allo)ed to trade.

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TB"0#0@ TB"001@ T<C04#. CitiEen’s Alliance for :orth Korean "uman Rights@ IBtatus of Aomen’s Rights in the Conte>t of Bocio/-conomic Changes in the DPRKJ@ p. #=. T<C04#. TB"001. TB"0#0. Btephen "aggard and 7arcus :oland@ I,ender in TransitionJ@ p. $.. K5:F@ ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.&+@ p. &=$. T?"044. <im Boon/hee@ IThe 4ood Crisis and the Changing Roles and Attitudes of :orth Korean AomenJ *#00$+@ p. ##. Bee section 5C.D. Bee section 5C.C. 0.



Discrimination against persons with disabilities

&#.. According to the Fnited :ations@ around .0 per cent of the )orld’s population li es )ith a disability. &12 The Aorld "ealth 8rganiEation notes that the DPRK has estimated that &.4 per cent of its population ha e a disability according to #002 data@ or about 2=0@000 people.&11 &##. 5n ?uly #0.&@ the DPRK signed the Con ention on the Rights of Persons )ith Disabilities@ although it has yet to ratify it. The Korean <a) for Persons )ith Disabilities )as passed in #00& promising free medical care and special education for persons )ith disabilities. According to the DPRK’s state report to the Fni ersal Periodic Re ie) in #00=@ the la) )as adopted I)ith a ie) to protecting the rights of persons )ith disabilities satisfactorily. They recei e education and medical treatment@ choose their occupation according to their talents and abilities@ and en(oy cultural life )ith equal rights )ith others...)hile children )ith other disabilities are included in the mainstream classes. Disabled soldiers’ factories and )elfare ser ice centres )ere set up for the purpose of creating (obs for the persons )ith disabilities@ tonic medicine and )al;ing aid de ices are pro ided free and paid acation and allo)ances are pro ided to them.J&1= &#&. According to )itnesses@ :orth Koreans do not openly discuss disability and impairment@ and there is )idespread pre(udice against people )ith disabilities. ^ 7r ?i Beong/ho@ )ho lost limbs in a train accident@ testified in the Beoul Public "earing before the Commission3 <2n North Korea# )e call people )ith disabilities# the crippled# or people )ith a lot shortcomings or they use a derogati"e term to refer to the specific part of their body that is disabled: (or eDample# if you don5t ha"e a hand# or missing a )rist li e me# then they )ould refer to it as a gra"el hand: *hey ha"e derogati"e terms for blind people# for people )ho ha"e hearing disabilities: And e"en instead of names# e"en to refer to my family# they refer to my family as the family of the gra"el hand: So that5s [the] ind of the pre;udice that )e encountered:?&=0 &#4. The go ernment in .==1 established the Korean 4ederation for the Protection of Disabled People@ closely modelled on the China Disabled Persons’ 4ederation. The 4ederation@ established through a cabinet resolution@ is intended to be a ci il society organiEation representing people )ith disabilities and addressing their needs. The 4ederation de eloped a partnership )ith an international non/go ernmental organiEation by signing a long term memorandum of understanding in #00.. Together they ha e implemented pro(ects in the areas of physical rehabilitation and education for children )ith sensory disabilities.



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Fnited :ations -nable@ official )ebsite of the Fnited :ations Con ention on the Rights of Persons )ith Disabilities@ Ifactsheet #0.&J. Aorld "ealth 8rganiEation@ IDisability in the Bouth-ast Asia RegionJ@ #0.&. According to Kim 7un/chol@ Deputy Chairman of the Chosun Disabled <eague Central Committee@ )ho led the :orth Korean sports delegation to the .4th Paralymics in <ondon in #0.#@ the total number of persons )ith disabilities in the DPRK is $.1 per cent of the population. K5:F@ ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.&+@ p. 440. A!"RC!A,.%!%!PRK!.@ para. 24. Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ morning *0.3&%300+. 7r ?i lost his left hand and part of his lo)er leg after falling from train and being run o er by it. After the incident he had trouble accessing coal for food and )ent to China to find food. Fpon his return@ he )as arrested and held for bringing shame to the DPRK for going to China as a disabled person. "e left the DPRK in #00%.



&#$. 5t is belie ed that@ in .=$=@ the go ernment built .. special boarding schools for hearing/impaired children and ision/impaired children. There do not appear to be any schools or systems for the educational integration or inclusion of children )ith intellectual or multiple impairments. &#%. Ahile ac;no)ledging the legal rights of persons )ith disabilities appears to be a positi e step in addressing the human rights concerns of this ulnerable population@ reliable information about this population is scant. Aitnesses ha e reported systematic discrimination against people )ith disabilities@ )hereby families of babies )ith disabilities ha e been banished from Pyongyang and forced to relocate in rural areas )here there are no ser ices for them@ in addition to generally harsher li ing conditions. &=. According to a former high/le el official inter ie)ed by the Commission@ the 7inistry of Public Becurity )as responsible for cases of children )ith disabilities. "e said that the public security officers isited families to discourage them from ;eeping their children )ith disabilities. 5f they )ere residents of Pyongyang and insisted on ;eeping their children@ the families )ould ha e to lea e the capital. 5f the family agreed to be separated from the child@ ho)e er@ the child )ould be ta;en by the go ernment to a designated location. The family )ould ha e to sign documentation to agree ne er to see; that child again and the name of the child )ould be deleted from the 4amily Registration 4ile as if the child )ith disabilities ne er e>isted. &=# To )hat e>tent this policy is still in practice is questionable as there ha e been recent reports that people )ith disabilities are permitted to reside in Pyongyang. &=& This may be an indication that this policy may ha e been abandoned or not pursued as strictly as in the past. This is may reflect preparations by the DPRK to accede to the Con ention on the Rights of Persons )ith Disabilities follo)ing its signature in ?uly #0.&. :e ertheless@ if the allegation regarding the deletion of a child )ith disabilities from the family registry )as true@ the Commission notes this )ould amount to a iolation of articles 2 and 1 of the CRC. ^ :e ertheless@ 7r Kim Boo/am of the Korea 5nstitute for :ational Fnification e>plained to the Commission that Ithere is still a high le"el of discrimination against people )ith disabilities: 2n regions )here they get a lot of foreign "isitors# they limit the residence of people )ith disabilities:J&=4 &#2. According to a recent :,8 report@ many DPRK nationals )ho fled the DPRK indicated that infants )ith disabilities )ere ;illed or abandoned. &=$ Another research institute based in the R8K reported that human rights iolations against persons )ith disabilities include the segregation and forced steriliEation of persons suffering from d)arfism.&=% &#1. There ha e been disturbing allegations of an island in Bouth "amgyong Pro ince )here gruesome medical testing of biological and chemical )eapons has been conducted on persons )ith disabilities. The Commission has recei ed no first/hand accounts of these allegations. A former high/le el official@ recounted t)o occasions )hen he )as )or;ing for the 7inistry of Public Becurity )hen people )ere arrested and sent to a facility@ "ospital 1&@ )here the doctors told him they )ould be used for medical e>periments.&=2 9ased on the
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TAP002@ TAP0... TCC0.4. -9,00#@ T9,0#%. Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ afternoon *0#3&4300+. CitiEens Alliance on :orth Korean "uman Rights@ IBtatus of AomenTs Rights in the Conte>t of Bocio/-conomic Changes in the DPRKJ. K5:F@ ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.&+@ pp. 44#/444. T?"004. A former Btate Becurity Department official reported rumors of these islands *T?"04.+. Also@ see CitiEens Alliance on :orth Korean "uman Rights@ IBtatus of AomenTs Rights in the Conte>t of Bocio/-conomic Changes in the DPRKJ. 02


information recei ed@ the Commission is not in a position to confirm these allegations. 5t notes them as sub(ects for further in estigation.&=1 &#=. 5n addition to progress on the legal front@ the rights of persons )ith disabilities ha e recei ed positi e attention on a go ernment policy le el. Diplomatic sources note that the Korean 4ederation for the Protection of the Disabled People has made the 5nternational Day of People )ith Disability a national e ent. 8ne :orth Korean athlete participated in the #0.# Paralympics.&== 5n its #00= FPR report@ the DPRK noted that the annual day of persons )ith disabilities Iser eKsL as an important occasion in facilitating their integration into society and encouraging the general public to respect the dignity and )orth of the persons )ith disabilities and render them support.J400 (% )mpact of discrimination on economic> social and cultural rights

&&0. Discrimination results in unequal access to basic human rights including food@ education@ health care and the right to )or;. The Commission finds that the Songbun system leads to structural discrimination )hereby generations become loc;ed into disad antage and social mobility is not possible. The Commission considers that discrimination on the basis of songbun@ gender and ability has created many ulnerable groups. The effects of discrimination on the en(oyment of economic@ social and cultural rights appear to ary across time and locations. According to diplomatic sources@ discrimination is )orst in the countryside.40. &&.. Pyongyang is a city for the core class@ )ith better infrastructure and ser ices than else)here in the country. Residency in Pyongyang is considered a pri ilege@ and one that has been re o;ed.40# ^ 8ne )itness )ho spo;e to the Commission )as born in Pyongyang@ but after her father )as e>ecuted in the mid/.=$0s under suspicions of ha ing been a collaborator )ith the Bouth during the Korean Aar@ she and the rest of the family )ere e>pelled to the :orth "amgyong Pro ince because of their lo) songbun.40& &&#. 7any of the Koreans )ho came to the DPRK from ?apan )ere not allo)ed to reside in Pyongyang or other cities. ^ 7s Chiba e>plained to the Commission3 <[A]mong the .=#888 people L people )ere classified into different ran s and classes# and depending on the classes people )ere sent to mountains: Cany 'apanese people )ere sent to mountains# they )ere not able to li"e in cities:? 404 &&&. The effects of food shortages are felt more ;eenly by more ulnerable populations@ )hich )as particularly the case during the famine of the .==0s. The public distribution system@ )hich allocated all legal rations of cereals@ determined people’s entitlements to food on the basis of their age or professional status. Another dimension of the famine )as the geographic ariance in a ailability of food. Pyongyang and the surrounding areas )here most of the elite resided fared better than more remote areas@ particularly the industrial northeastern region of the country.40$

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400 40. 40# 40& 404 40$

8n alleged medical e>periments@ see also section 5C.-.%. Bubmission to the Commission3 BF90%0. Also@I:orth KoreaTs first Paralympian inspires the disabledJ@ Associated Press@ #1 August #0.#. A!"RC!A,.%!%!PRK!.. BF90%0. T?"04.. T,C00.. To;yo Public "earing@ &0 August #0.&@ morning *0#30434.+. 4or more detail on the impact of discrimination on access to food@ see section 5C.D.



&&4. Although the Bocialist <abor <a) guarantees the right to choose one’s profession@ in practice the state plays a predominant role in determining a citiEen’s employment. ^ 4or e>ample@ a prisoner of )ar from the R8K@ )as re/educated and then married a DPRK )oman )ith lo) songbun: "e had t)o sons. 8ne died but his other son )as not allo)ed to (oin the military or to go to uni ersity. "e reported to the Commission that children of miners become miners and go to mining ocational school.40% &&$. 4or uni ersity graduates@ the 9ureau of Btaff of the regional committee of the Korean Aor;ers’ Party determines )ho gets placed in a managerial or technical post. 5n some cases@ the Party’s Central 9ureau of Btaff must be consulted and the Becretariat must sign off. 4actors that are considered include songbun@ gender@ physical ability@ academic qualifications and other lifestyle matters.402 &&%. 4or high school graduates and discharged soldiers@ the <abor Department of the regional People’s Committee determines )or; assignments. 4or manual labor (obs such as mining@ road and railroad construction@ group allocations are made. 5n #00&@ the Committee on -conomic@ Bocial and Cultural Rights e>pressed concern Ithat the right to )or; may not be fully assured in the KDPRK’sL present system of compulsory state/allocated employment@ )hich is contrary to the right of the indi idual to freely choose his!her career or his!her )or;place.J401 &&2. Discrimination impacts not only the designation of profession but also professional de elopment and ad ancement. Songbun has also been a limiting factor for DPRK nationals )ho see; to progress in their careers.40= ^ Public "earing3 4or e>ample@ 7r ?ang hae/sung@ a former DPRK (ournalist@ testified at the Beoul <2 am a person of good songbun# good class in North Korea: Cy grandfather )as also in"ol"ed in anti-'apanese acti"ities: And t)o of my father5s siblings died during the Korean ,ar so 2 )as one of those really pri"ileged# high class# high songbun: 3ut 25m from China# but if 2 )as not born in China# if 2 )as born in North Korea# then 2 could ha"e been able to )or in the core institutions# but because 2 )as born in China# 2 )as not able to )or [for the] 3oAn3u or 3o)ibu [CPS or SS&]: *hat is )hy 2 had to )or in the press:?4.0 &&1. 7ilitary ser ice is compulsory for all males in the DPRK@ but those )ith lo) songbun or a disability are not able to ser e. 5n the past@ citiEens )ished to ser e in the military for career purposes. "o)e er@ since the .==0s@ the military has been less attracti e due to the ris; of malnutrition@ and many people actually attempt to escape conscription at great ris;. :e ertheless@ military ser ice is a ;ey )ay for securing a position as an official. 7ost citiEens enter the military for .0 to .& years@ although children of high/ran;ing officials appear to only need to ser e for three years before they are eligible for Party membership or enrolment into uni ersity. According to first/hand information recei ed by the Commission@ professional ad ancement for officials requires four credentials3 military ser ice@ membership of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea@ uni ersity qualification and high songbun. Aithout all four qualifications@ an indi idual )ould ha e limited chances of becoming a high/ran;ing official )hether in the party@ military or go ernment. These

402 401 40=


TB"0$. e>plained that people )ith lo) songbun cannot go to teachers college because they )ould be influencing children@ but they can go to technical colleges )hich include medical school. T9,0.$. -!C..#!.!Add.=$. According to TAP00.@ most people )ho came from ?apan )ere highly/educated and able to get (obs but )ould still not get high le el positions. Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ afternoon *0034%3&.+. 2&


qualifications are particularly important for (obs in the security bureau@ foreign ser ice and economic bureau.4.. &&=. 5n #0.#@ the Bupreme People’s Assembly e>tended compulsory education to .# years from .. years@ promised more classrooms and said that teachers )ould be gi en priority in the distribution of food and fuel rations@ according to the DPRK’s official Korean Central :e)s Agency. 4.# Despite the DPRK’s commitment to uni ersal pro ision of education@4.& access is hindered for some by systemic discrimination. 9ecause of the collapse of the DPRK economy@ students are generally required to pro ide resources to fund teachers and school operations.4.4 ^ 7r Charles ?en;ins@ )ho li ed in the DPRK for o er &= years@ told of goods that his t)o daughters )ere as;ed to bring to school3 <[*]he girls )ere al)ays coming to me saying that school officials had reEuested a certain amount of supplies from e"ery student5s family: Sometimes they )ould say their teachers told them they needed to bring in 7 ilograms of brass each by Conday: +r a ilogram of lead: +r a hundred meters of copper )ire: *hey as ed for coal# gasoline# e"en rabbit s ins:? These specific requests )ere in addition to the %0 ;ilograms of corn that he had to send e ery month to the school. <*hat5s 7:7 pounds per daughter e"ery day# e"en though a student5s ration is only a pound per day# so you can see that someone# some)here# )as s imming more than half of )hat )e sent:? "e also noted that his daughters )ere attending the 4oreign <anguage College@ I supposedly a high-class place )here the country5s elite )ere being educatedJ.4.$ &40. The Commission belie es that if these practices pre ailed in elite schools@ those attending less pri ileged institutions may be sub(ected to similar requests to pro ide subsides that their families may not be able to afford. &4.. 5n addition@ it appears that pri ileges in school 6 such as )hether a student can be designated head of class 6 are also determined by songbun.4.% 4urthermore@ compulsory education does not apply to children sent to political prison camps@ )here an elementary le el of instruction is administered under a different curriculum.4.2 &4#. Ahere discrimination in education becomes most apparent is in the selection process for uni ersities or the opportunity to e en ta;e the entrance e>amination. :umerous testimonies of )itnesses inter ie)ed by the Commission reported that those persons )ith lo) songbun )ere not e en allo)ed to ta;e the entrance e>am or )ere not allo)ed to attend institutions appropriate to their le el of academic performance and test scores. 4.1 ^ A )itness told the Commission that@ due to her hostile songbun@ she )as pre ented from returning to Pyongyang )here she )as born. Bhe )as also re(ected by the uni ersity )here she had applied to study dance and instead )as sent to )or; in agricultural pro(ects.4.=

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TAP0..@ T<C002. Choe Bang/hun@ I:orth Korea’s <eaders Promise 5mpro ements to -ducational BystemJ@ Ne) 9or *imes@ #$ Beptember #0.#. CRC!C!PRK!4@ paras. .24/.2%N A!"RC!A,.%!%!PRK!.@ para. $=. T9,0&0. Charles Robert ?en;ins )ith ?im 4rederic;@ *he Reluctant Communist# Cy &esertion# Court-Cartial# and (orty-year 2mprisonment in North Korea *9er;eley@ Fni ersity of California Press@ #001+@ pp. .#=@ .&4/.&$N TB"0$4. T9,0#4. K5:F@ ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.#+@ p. &%4N Kang Chol/ h)an in his boo;@ *he AEuariums of Pyongyang@ *:e) Oor;@ 9asic 9oo;s@ #00.+@ pp. %&/21@ details the change in schooling )hen he )as sent to a political prison camp at the age of nine. T?"0#%@ TAP001. T,C00..



&4&. ,i en the outsiEed role in determining one’s future@ songbun also affects people’s opportunities for marriage.4#0 8ne prominent e>ample is 7s ?ang Kum/song@ )hose mother is 7s Kim Kyong/hui *the sister of Kim ?ong/il+ and )hose father is the no)/deceased 7r ?ang Bong/thae;. 7s ?ang died in Paris in #00%@ aged #%@ as a result of suicide. -ducated in -urope@ she reportedly )ished to marry a particular DPRK man but her parents opposed the union due to the difference in songbun. &44. The most ulnerable groupsSpersons of lo) songbun@ )omen@ children and persons )ith disabilitiesSare particularly disad antaged in their access to health ser ices and medicine. The state purports to pro ide free access to medical ser ices for all citiEens )hile pro iding special protection for special groups such as Ire olutionary fighters@ families of re olutionary martyr soldiers@ families of patriotic martyr soldiers@ families of :orth Korean People’s Army soldiers@ and a)arded soldiersJ. 4#. 5n reality@ ho)e er@ )hile patients may access hospitals for free@ medical equipment and medication are una ailable to the masses and must be bought on the pri ate mar;et by those )ho can afford them.4## ^ A former nurse at a county hospital in :orth "amgyong Pro ince@ the northern/ most region of the country to )hich many of lo)er songbun ha e been banished@ told the Commission3 <,or ing conditions )ere difficult: *here )as al)ays a shortage of medicine: 2t )as distributed from high le"els at the national le"el do)n to the county# and misappropriated by officials )ho sold it on the blac mar et [for money]: ConseEuently# doctors did not ha"e medicines to use and could only )rite prescriptions: A more alarming side-effect of the misappropriation of medicines )as the sale of dangerous M noc -offs5 that flooded the mar ets: Entrepreneurs miDed liEuid antibiotics )ith fuel and miDed pills )ith flour to ma e more money: As a result# many people presented to hospital )ith infections and problems from using noc -off antibiotics: 2t )as )ell no)n in the medical profession that bottles# lids and labels from the Suncheon factory for antibiotics )ere regularly stolen for the containment and sale of noc -off antibiotics: Although patients can technically go to the hospital at any time of day# the staff are rarely there after lunch as they had to engage in other business to ma e money to feed their families# or shop and do household chores?: The )itness further e>plained that the dire situation in regional hospitals is ;no)n to party officials3 <Party staff carry out nominal inspections of the hospitals each year: *hey are fully a)are of the deficiencies of the hospital and the health situation of the community# but are bribed by the head of the hospital not to report the conditions: Staff are also eDpected to gi"e money so a party could be put on for the "isiting officials: 3ribery and corruption are the norm in the &PRK: *he officials are also the ones siphoning off the supplies# so they are more than a)are of the situation: Party officials al)ays gi"en priority in the hospital# treated in separate roomsH they ha"e no interest in ho) the rest of the population is suffering:? 4#& &4$. Aomen are particularly disad antaged by the lac; of access to health care. Tests for female diseases or screening for breast cancer do not e>ist. A sur ey recently conducted )ith )omen in the R8K originally from the DPRK found that almost half of the )omen sur eyed did not see a doctor throughout their pregnancy and almost half deli ered their babies at home regardless of )hether they )ere from a ma(or city or illage. Aomen also reported that the death of the mother or baby during or after childbirth )as not


4#. 4## 4#&

TB"0$. e>plained that because of her songbun@ no one )ould approach her to get married. A military doctor from Pyongyang came to see her on an arranged blind date and after se eral dates they )ere supposed to get engaged@ but the engagement )as called off )hen he found out about her songbun. 5t )as a ery embarrassing time@ )ith the )itness thin;ing that she )as ne er going to be married. 5n the DPRK@ songbun comes first@ the )itness said. DPRK Constitution@ articles $% and 2#. TB"0$.@ TB"004. TB"0$.. 2'


uncommon.4#4 7aternal mortality rates almost doubled in the decade from .==& to #00&@ largely due to inadequacies in emergency obstetric care. 4#$ The maternal mortality rate in #0.0 )as estimated to be 1.!.00@000 li e births.4#% $% Principal findings of the commission

&4%. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has presented itself to the )orld as a state )here equality@ non/discrimination and equal rights in all fields ha e been fully implemented.4#2 5n reality@ the Commission finds that the DPRK is a rigidly stratified society )ith entrenched patterns of discrimination@ although these are being modified to some e>tent by the transformati e socio/economic changes introduced by mar;et forces and technological de elopments in the past decade. The Commission finds that state/ sponsored discrimination in the DPRK is per asi e but shifting. Discrimination is rooted in the Songbun system@ )hich classifies people on the basis of social class and birth and also includes consideration of political opinion and religion. 4#1 Songbun intersects )ith gender based discrimination@ )hich is equally per asi e. Discrimination is also practised on the basis of disability although there are signs that the state may ha e begun to address this particular issue. &42. The state sponsors and implements a system of official discrimination based on social class@ deri ing from percei ed political loyalty and family bac;ground as manifest in the Songbun system. The concept of songbun )as originally concei ed as a means to re/ engineer the fabric of society@ so as to replace the pre/.=4$ traditional elites )ith ne) Ire olutionaryJ elites loyal to the leadership and the ne) state. 5n this regard@ the DPRK remodeled pre/e>isting hierarchies in Korean society that )ere deeply rooted for centuries.4#= &41. The Songbun system used to be the most important determining factor in an indi idual’s chances of li elihood@ access to education and other ser ices including housing and the opportunity to li e in fa orable locations@ especially the capital Pyongyang. This traditional discrimination under the Songbun system has been recently complicated by increasing mar;etiEation in the DPRK and the influence of money on people’s ability to better access their economic@ social and cultural rights. 7oney and heightened le els of corruption increasingly allo) ne)ly emerging business elites and others able to obtain resources to circum ent state/sponsored discrimination. 7oreo er@ ne) information technologies@ including mobile phones@ help to facilitate the operation of the mar;et system and the e>change of ;no)ledge and information. "o)e er@ )hether an indi idual has the necessary access to ma;e money in the most lucrati e sectors of commerce is to some degree determined by songbun. At the same time@ significant segments of the population that ha e neither the resources nor fa orable songbun find themsel es increasingly marginaliEed and sub(ect to further patterns of discrimination@ as basic public ser ices ha e collapsed or no) require payment.


4#$ 4#%


4#1 4#=

CitiEen’s Alliance for :orth Korean "uman Rights@ IBtatus of Aomen’s Rights in the Conte>t of Bocio/-conomic Changes in the DPRKJ@ p. &2. F:5C-4@ I#00& Country reportJ@ pp. 42/$0. A"8@ F:5C-4@ F:4PA and The Aorld 9an; -stimates@ ITrends in 7aternal 7ortality3 .==0 to #0.0J@ #0.#. The Btate report for the DPRK’s first Fni ersal Periodic Re ie) in #00= stated the follo)ing3 I5n the DPRK@ equality is fully ensured based on unity and cooperation bet)een persons. :o citiEen is discriminated on the basis of his!her race@ se>@ language@ religion@ education@ occupation and position and property@ and all citiEens e>ercise equal rights in all fields of the state and public acti itiesJ *A!"RC!A,.%!%!PRK!.@ para. &#+. Discrimination on the basis of religion is addressed in section 5C.A. Bee section 555.



&4=. Discrimination based on songbun continues to articulate itself today through the star; differences in li ing conditions bet)een larger cities@ in particular the capital Pyongyang@ )here the elites of the highest songbun are concentrated@ and the remote pro inces@ to )hich people of lo) songbun )ere historically assigned. Discrimination remains a ma(or means for the leadership to maintain control against percei ed threats@ both internal and e>ternal. &$0. -arly reforms aimed at ensuring formal legal equality ha e not resulted in gender equality. Discrimination against )omen remains per asi e in all aspects of society. Arguably@ it is increasing as the male/dominated state preys on both the economically ad ancing )omen and marginaliEed )omen. 7any )omen@ dri en by sur i al during the famine in the .==0s began operating pri ate mar;ets. "o)e er@ the state imposed many restrictions on the female/dominated mar;et@ including prohibiting anyone other than )omen o er forty years of age from trading. ,ender discrimination also ta;es the form of )omen being targeted to pay bribes or fines. There is recent e idence that )omen are beginning to ob(ect and resist such impositions. &$.. The economic ad ances of )omen ha e not been matched )ith social and political ad ancements. -ntrenched traditional patriarchal attitudes and iolence against )omen in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea persist. The state has imposed blatantly discriminatory restrictions on )omen in an attempt to maintain the gender stereotype of the pure and innocent Korean )oman. Be>ual and gender/based iolence against )omen is pre alent throughout all areas of society. Cictims are not afforded protection from the state@ support ser ices or recourse to (ustice. 5n the political sphere@ )omen ma;e up (ust $ per cent of the top political cadre@ and .0 per cent only of central go ernment employees. &$#. Discrimination against )omen also intersects )ith a number of other human rights iolations@ placing )omen in positions of ulnerability. Ciolations of the right to food and freedom of mo ement ha e resulted in )omen and girls becoming ulnerable to traffic;ing and increased engagement in transactional se> and prostitution. 4&0 The complete denial of the freedoms of e>pression and association outside state/appro ed organiEations has been a large contributing factor to the generally unequal status of )omen is/e/ is men. Among other things@ these limitations ha e pre ented )omen from collecti ely ad ocating for their rights@ as )omen ha e done else)here in the )orld. &$&. Despite Kim 5l/sung embrace of 7ar>ist/<eninist theory and the DPRK participation in the Bocialist 5nternational@ the DPRK di erged from those ideals in its propagation of the notion of a pure Korean race that had to be ;ept clean and untainted by e>ternal influences. This construct flo)s from the general resistance to foreign influences and in)ard focus emphasiEed by 'uche ideology. 4&. This deliberate )ithdra)al from the rest of the )orld bolstered the rationale for control by Kim 5l/sung. The DPRK’s in)ard focus )as one aspect of 'uche ideology. 5ts other main element )as the e er e>panding cult of personality of Kim 5l/sung. 4&# Ahile (ustifying isolationist policies and ele ating Kim 5l/ sung *and subsequently his heirs+ to the supreme father/figure )ho could protect the nation from the hostile outside )orld@ 'uche ideology has had dire repercussions for persons seen as sullying the image of an untainted DPRK. Aomen and persons )ith disabilities e>perience particular discrimination@ although the state has reportedly ta;en positi e steps lately to impro e its approach to)ards the latter group. &$4. Ahile discrimination e>ists to some e>tent in all societies@ the Commission finds that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has practised a form of official discrimination that has had a ery great impact on indi iduals’ en(oyment of human rights.
4&0 4&. 4&#

Bee section 5C.C. 4or more on 'uche@ see section 555. 4or more on Kim 5l/sung’s cult of personality@ see section 5C.A. 2$


,i en the e>ceptional le els of state control@ this official discrimination influences most aspects of people’s li es. Discrimination remains a ma(or means for the leadership to maintain control against percei ed threats@ both internal and e>ternal.

C% Ciolations of the freedom of mo4ement and residence> including the right to lea4e one’s own country and the prohibition of refoulement
&$$. 5n considering the right to freedom of mo ement@ the Commission loo;ed particularly at article .# of the 5nternational Co enant on Ci il and Political Rights *5CCPR+ )hich pro ides@ among others@ for the right to liberty of mo ement and freedom to choose one’s residenceN freedom to lea e any country including one’s o)nN and the right not to be arbitrarily depri ed of the right to enter one’s o)n country. As DPRK nationals are assigned their employment by the state )hich therefore dictates )here they reside@ the Commission also considered article % of the 5nternational Co enant on -conomic@ Bocial and Cultural Rights *5C-BCR+ )hich pro ides for the right to )or;. This includes the right of e eryone to the opportunity to gain his or her li ing by )or; )hich he or she freely chooses or accepts. &$%. The Commission further loo;ed at the ,eneral Comments of the "uman Rights Committee to article .# of 5CCPR especially in respect of permissible legal restrictions on these rights necessary to protect national security@ public order or morals or the rights and freedoms of others and consistent )ith the other rights recogniEed by 5CCPR. The Commission also too; into account article .0 of the Con ention on the Rights of the Child )hich pro ides for the right of the child )ith his or her parents to lea e any country@ including their o)n@ and to enter their o)n country. &% 9reedom of mo4ement and residence in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea &$2. The Commission finds that the authorities in the DPRK se erely restrict its citiEens’ *as )ell as foreigners’+ right to freedom of mo ement and residence )ithin the country. This policy is designed to limit information flo)s and to uphold discrepancies in li ing conditions that fa our elites in Pyongyang and discriminate against people of lo) songbun )ho are concentrated@ as a consequence@ in more remote pro inces. <a= @tate-assigned place of residence and employment

&$1. According to the DPRK’s submission to the "uman Rights Committee@ )hile citiEens and foreigners are free to choose and mo e their residence@ they are required Ito go through due legal procedures )hen they )ant to mo e residenceJ.4&& These procedures are laid out in the <a) on Registration of CitiEens for DPRK nationals and Chapter 4 *Btay@ Residence and Tour of 4oreigners+ of the 5mmigration <a) for foreigners. &$=. Article 20 of the DPRK Constitution pro ides for the right of the people to choose their employment according to their desire and capability. 5n practice@ citiEens are assigned their place of residence largely based on )here they are assigned to )or; by the state. The Aor;ers’ Party of Korea has full and e>clusi e control o er all (ob assignments for the people. People are assigned their (obs in groups to )or; in factories@ mines and construction facilities as the Party deems necessary. 4&4 &%0. 9y la)@ people are also not allo)ed to mo e from their assigned residence to another residence )ithout go ernment permission. Article .4= of the Criminal Code pro ides that anyone )ho hands o er@ recei es or lends a d)elling place o)ned by the state
4&& 4&4

CCPR!C!PRK!#000!#@ para. 22. K5:F@ ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.&+@ pp. &$$/&$%.



for money or goods shall be punished by short/term labour for less than t)o years. 4&$ Bince all immo able property is state/o)ned@ this pro ision effecti ely criminaliEes any unauthoriEed mo e. According to testimony recei ed by the Commission@ corrupt officials are easily bribed to loo; the other )ay )hen people illegally sell their residency rights to another person. ^ 8ne )itness informed the Commission that no one is free to choose )here they li e as the Party allocates )here they may li e. "is parents’ generation )ere allocated houses and he personally ne er sa) anyone mo ing homes. "o)e er@ as the mar;et economy spread as a result of the food crisis@ it became possible to IbuyJ state/o)ned houses. "is parents/in/la) )ere able to buy a second floor apartment for him and his )ife but the housing official needed to be bribed in order to ha e the transfer of residence registered.4&% &%.. 5n the determination of one’s place of )or; and residence by the state@ one’s songbun social classification plays a ;ey role. 4&2 As the Commission heard at the Beoul Public "earing@ people )ho are not politically reliable are forcefully mo ed to places that are difficult to li e in@ such as mining and farming areas. 4&1 Children of those assigned to menial (obs in marginaliEed areas are usually assigned to the same )or; and place to li e. &%#. During the purges in the early decades of the DPRK’s history@ large numbers of people@ )ho )ere considered to be of lo) songbun but escaped the political prison camps@ )ere forcibly relocated to more remote areas and reassigned to arduous labour in farming or mining. As a result@ pro inces such as :orth and Bouth "amgyong today ha e a much higher concentration of people of lo) songbun than other areas@ especially Pyongyang )here mainly only people of good songbun are allo)ed to li e. According to one submission recei ed by the Commission@ follo)ing the reclassification of DPRK citiEens into $. sub/categories under the & classes of songbun@ 20@000 people from .$@000 families )ho )ere classified as belonging to the hostile class )ere banished to remote mountainous areas. ICany of the areas they )ere banished to became prison camps:J4&= &%&. The Commission heard from )itnesses )ho spo;e about being relocated from Pyongyang and other cities to more remote parts of the country and usually made to )or; in mines due to lo) songbun@ resulting from their grandparents or parents ha ing come from Bouth Korea@ ha ing mo ed to the Bouth during the Korean Aar@ or ha ing been landlords or Christians. 4amilies could also be relocated due to a family member ha ing been charged as a political dissident and sentenced to a political prison camp * )anliso+.440 ^ 7r ?i Beong/ho@ )ho pro ided testimony at the Beoul Public "earing@ spo;e about ha ing been raised in a to)n near a coal mine )hich )as surrounded by mountains@ and ho) the ma(ority of the residents had been e>iled from other regions. "e described ho) the population )as particularly affected by mass star ation in the late .==0s@ since they )ere entrapped )ithout food deli eries in the marginaliEed area3 I2 )as born in a mining area: A lot of people star"ed to death at the time: (or li"elihood# there )asn5t much )e could do to stay ali"e: ,e )ere surrounded by mountains: So )e had to dig roots and [eat] the s ins of trees and grass:J44.


4&% 4&2 4&1


440 44.

#00= Criminal Code of the DPRK as translated by CitiEens’ Alliance for :orth Korean "uman Rights. TB"0$#. Bee section 5C.9 for more on Songbun system. :ational "uman Rights Commission of Korea *:"RCK+@ Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ afternoon. Bubmission to the Commission3 BF90$$@ Kim "i/tae and Peter ?ung@ *he Persecuted Catacomb Christians of North Korea *Beoul@ ?ustice for :orth Korea@ #0.&+@ p. 4.. TB"0#0@ TB"0&0. Bee section 5C.- on political prison camps. Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ morning *0.3.13&0+. 2.


^ The daughter of a male abductee from Bouth Korea@ spo;e of ho) her family )as first e>iled to a location in the mountains in the late .=20s. They )ere made to relocate again to an e en more remote location about a year or t)o later follo)ing her father’s death from suicide. 44# &%4. The Commission also recei ed accounts of party officials and their families )ho@ )ithout being duly con icted by a court of la)@ )ere assigned to hard labour in a remote area for failings in their duty or for lesser political )rongs committed by the official or a family member. 8ne )itness described ho) an elderly close relati e had died during his stint of Ire olutioniEingJ forced labour in a mine after gi ing unsolicited ad ice to Kim ?ong/il.44& These practices are on/going@ e idenced by an amnesty that Kim ?ong/un reportedly decreed in April #0.# for more than %00 officials )ho )ere undergoing such punishment.444 &%$. Btate/assigned employment as described abo e has a particularly harsh impact on men. Although men and )omen are both assigned places of employment upon completing their studies or military ser ice@ )omen )ho typically marry in their t)enties in the DPRK are able to lea e their state/assigned employment )ithin a short time of getting married and )hen they ha e children. 7en@ on the other hand@ are not released from the )or;place designated by the state until the age of %0.44$ 7en therefore could not drop out of their state/ assigned place of )or; as easily as )omen. This included )hen many state/o)ned enterprises ceased to operate at full capacity@ if at all@ 44% during the famine in the mid/.==0s. As )omen and men )ere not being paid or recei ing food rations@ )omen and men )ere forced to become creati e in see;ing incomes and household supplies. 7arried )omen )ere able to participate in the emerging underground mar;ets )ith greater ease@ )hile men had to find )ays of circum enting the rigidity of the state/assigned employment to be able to engage in commercial acti ity on the side. Buch engagement in commercial acti ity by men is@ ho)e er@ limited to those )ith both money to be able to pay a substantial bribe and good connections to the appropriate person in the organiEation )ho can IignoreJ the entrepreneur’s absence. &%%. The Commission finds that the DPRK’s policy of assigning its citiEens’ residence and employment and denying them the option to change them at their o)n free )ill iolates the right to freedom to choose one’s residence under article .# of the 5CCPR and the right of e eryone to the opportunity to gain his or her li ing by )or; )hich he or she freely chooses or accepts under article % of the 5C-BCR@ in particular to the e>tent )here such assignment is based on songbun social class. *i+ 3anishment from Pyongyang

&%2. As noted earlier@ special circumstances surround the status of Pyongyang. 8nly people )ith good songbun are allo)ed to li e in Pyongyang. 5ts residents are specifically issued )ith resident cards distinct from the ones issued to non/Pyongyang residents. 442 5f a family member commits an act deemed a political )rong or a serious non/political crime@ the entire family is usually banished to a remote pro ince and reassigned to other )or;. The consequences of this practice@ )hich seems to ha e no basis under DPRK la)@ are often drastic. Adult family members are often reassigned to the most arduous and dangerous
44# 44& 444

44$ 44%


TB"0&#. T?"0.$. Bee ,ood 4riends@ I:orth Korea Today :o. 4$%J@ #& 7arch #0.#. A ailable from http3!!))).goodfriendsusa.blogspot.ch!#0.#!0$!north/;orea/today/no/4$%/may/#&/#0.#.html. K5:F@ ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.&+@ p. &$.. K5:F@ ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.&+@ p. &$& states that the a erage rate of factory operation is only #0/&0 per cent due to the deteriorating economy and dilapidated infrastructure. K5:F@ ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.&+@ p. #&$ footnote .12.



types of )or;@ such as mining@ logging or farming. The family also lose their pri ileged access to food@ medical care and other public ser ices that Pyongyang citiEens en(oy. 441 They usually ha e no family support net)or;s to ma;e up for the ensuing shortfalls. &%1. A former official@ described to the Commission a crac;do)n in ?une #00= on gambling@ )hich )as apparently rampant in the par;s of Pyongyang. "is superiors told him about this order and the creation of a central inspection group composed of the Becurity Btate Department *BBD+@ 7inistry of People’s Becurity *7PB+@ Korean People’s Army *KPA+ and the prosecution office. As a result of the operation@ 200 indi iduals )ere reported to ha e been arrested and sent a)ay to ordinary prison camps * yoh)aso+ )ith 400 households e>pelled from Pyongyang. 44= &%=. 5n the past@ the authorities pursued a strict practice of prohibiting families )ho had a child or adult member )ith a mental or serious physical disability from residing in Pyongyang. The policy )as apparently moti ated by a desire to maintain the image of a clean capital city )hose population corresponded to the ideal of a pure Korean race. ^ 7r <ee ?ae/geun related ho) Kim 5l/sung referred to Pyongyang as the capital of re olution and that there )ould not be anyone )ith disabilities@ nor anyone )ho )as against the regime@ li ing there. According to 7r <ee@ if someone )as born )ith a disability@ or became a person )ith a disability@ that person and their family )ould be sent a)ay from Pyongyang to the countryside. 4$0 ^ 7r Bon ?ung/hun e>plained that only people )ith good songbun could reside in Pyongyang. "e ga e an e>ample )here if a man from Pyongyang formed a relationship )ith a )oman from outside the capital@ he )ould not be able to bring her bac; to Pyongyang if she did not ha e a good songbun. 5nstead@ he )ould ha e to li e in the )oman’s local region if he )anted to marry her. 4amilies )ith a member )ho had a disability )ould also ha e to lea e Pyongyang@ but since they had not committed a crime and had good songbun@ they )ould be merely relocated to the periphery of the city. 7r Bon belie ed the reason for persons )ith a disability and their families ha ing to mo e )as because Pyongyang must be presented as a Isacred placeJ to foreign isitors. As such@ )ea; and sic; people could not be there@ lest this might tarnish the image of Pyongyang. 7r Bon had a friend )hose father )as a Central Committee member. "o)e er@ because his child )as Inot of normal heightJ@ 7r Bon’s friend and his family had to mo e a)ay from Pyongyang. 4$. ^ 8ne )itness that the Commission met )as responsible for implementing the orders to transfer people e>pelled from Pyongyang. Bhe recei ed the orders and instructions from the go ernment@ and issued certificates for the mo e from Pyongyang City to other districts of Pyongyang. Bhe said that if a citiEen’s father or mother is not loyal enough@ then that indi idual is not eligible to li e in the capital. That person must be sent to the local region@ and so that person must ha e a mo ing card certified. Bhe also said that persons )ith disabilities and their families are simply not allo)ed to li e in Pyongyang. 4$# *ii+ Situation of street children

&20. The mass star ation and deaths resulting from the food crisis and the brea;do)n of early childcare@ education and other public ser ices produced an entire generation of children )ho )ere orphaned@ abandoned or for other reasons no longer under the care of their parents. These children often ended up clandestinely migrating to Pyongyang and other cities. Cideo footage secretly filmed by collaborators of Rim(in/gang Asia Press

441 44= 4$0

4$. 4$#

Bee section 5C.D. T,C004. Bee section 5C.- on ordinary prison camps. Beoul Public "earing@ #& August #0.&@ morning. 4or more on banishment of families )ith children )ith disabilities@ see section 5C.9. TAP0... TAP002. 22


5nternational4$& and pro ided to the Commission sho) these children roaming the streets. 7any of those portrayed appear to be no older than four or fi e years of age. &2.. 5n light of the star ation and daily struggle for sur i al )hich they endure@ these street children are euphemistically referred to as Kot;ebi 6 flo)er/s)allo)s. 9ecause of the restrictions on residence@ their presence is not tolerated and they constantly ha e to e ade capture by the security agencies. Those captured are brought bac; to their home counties )here they are forcibly institutionaliEed in poorly supplied holding centres or (ust left to sur i e by themsel es. A former official )ho )or;ed in a rele ant go ernment department estimated that there could be hundreds of thousands of street children in Pyongyang alone.4$4 ^ 7r Kim "yu;@ )ho became a street child at age se en after the death of his mother@ testified about his life before the Commission3 I,e )ere sleeping at night at the Chong;in train station: ,e )ere pic ing up food around the train station# and# )hen )e )ere begging# people )ere more than )illing to gi"e us food: So# )hen there are no people around the train station# in the Chong;in city# there are houses for the officials: And if you go around the official5s housing or apartments# they ha"e food that they ha"e thro)n a)ay so those ind[s] of food )e could eat:J4$$ 5n .==2@ at the height of mass star ation@ a special police unit )as assigned to apprehend such children. Those )ho did not ha e parents )ere forced to go to closed shelters that )ere not able to pro ide them )ith food3 I *he shelters had no food to gi"e: So many children star"ed to death# e"en at these shelters: And e"en the police said if you go to the shelters# the children die# but if they )ere allo)ed to be street children# they )ould sur"i"e: J4$% &2#. out. Police actions to round up and forcibly transfer street children are still being carried

^ A former official recalled that BBD and 7PB )ere assigned by Kim ?ong/un in August #0.0 to get rid of street children and unregistered citiEens in Pyongyang. The goal )as to ma;e the capital city neat and tidy for the Central Committee Congress to be held in Beptember #0.0. To carry out the operation@ additional BBD and 7PB officials )ere called in from the pro inces to carry out the operation. An e>tremely large number of street children )ere apprehended and sent to Irehabilitation homesJ for street children in their pro inces of origin. Adults )ere sent to labour training camps@ or@ in some cases@ ordinary prison camps * yoh)aso+.4$2 ^ 8ne )itness )as arrested and beaten by 7PB agents )hen trying to catch a train to Pyongyang. Along )ith other children@ she )as sent to a children’s shelter. Ahen they first arri ed@ they )ere told to stand on a chair@ and )ere beaten )ith a thic; leather belt. The children had to li e in dar; basement rooms and use a plastic buc;et as a toilet. They )ere fed a small amount of salty soup )ith a little bit of radish and flour@ t)o or three times a day. Bhe remembers al)ays being hungry. "er parents found her after four months and collected her. 8ther children had been there for a year. 4$1 ^ Another )itness@ )ho )or;ed in the health sector in :orth "amgyong Pro ince@ described ho) numerous mothers abandoned or e en ;illed their babies at birth as they could not feed their children. Bhe recalls that around .==2@ the number of orphaned and abandoned children )as so high


4$4 4$$ 4$% 4$2 4$1

AB5APR-BB started in To;yo in .=12 as an independent net)or; of (ournalists in Asia. 5n #002 AB5APR-BB began publishing a magaEine entitled IRim(in/gang3 :e)s from 5nside :orth KoreaJ in Korean and ?apanese. *After the 4th issue of the Korean edition )as released in April #00=@ the Beoul staff began publishing on its o)n and is no longer connected )ith AB5APR-BB.+ TAP0#4. Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ morning *003#%3.%+. Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ morning *003&.34#+. T?"004. TB"0#0.



that Kim ?ong/il issued an order to the families of soldiers and security agents to adopt such children. Those that did )ere considered heroes.4$= <b= 8iberty of mo4ement within one’s country

&2&. 5n its submission to the "uman Rights Committee in December .===@ the DPRK e>plained that its citiEens are free to tra el any)here in the country sub(ect to the IRegulation of Tra elJ. Article % of this regulation requires citiEens )ho )ant to tra el to obtain a tra eller’s certificate. 5t )as e>plained further in the DPRK submission that article 4 states that the Iarea along the 7ilitary Demarcation <ine@ military base@ district of munitions industries and the districts associated )ith state security are tra el restricti e.J4%0 5n response to a related query raised by a "uman Rights Committee member@ the DPRK elaborated that only people on official business or those isiting relati es )ere allo)ed to tra el to areas described as IrestrictedJ under article 4. Ahile it )as ac;no)ledged that permits )ere required for tra el )ithin the rest of the country@ it )as claimed that such permits could be obtained )ithout restriction. The permit system )as said to be necessary Ito guarantee national security and th)art the acti ities of spies and saboteursJ. 4%. ^ 8ne )itness informed the Commission that the ordinary citiEen is not normally allo)ed to go to Pyongyang. "e had understood that this )as a security measure against R8K infiltrators )anting to enter Pyongyang to harm the Bupreme <eader. The reason )hy it is difficult to get appro al to go to the areas bordering China is due to concerns of people crossing the border )ithout authoriEation. "e also e>plained that permission to tra el to Pyongyang or the border areas )ould only be granted in e>ceptional cases@ such as attending a )edding or a funeral of a relati e.4%# &24. According to the Korea 5nstitute for :ational Fnification *K5:F+@ citiEens can use their citiEen card as a form of tra el document )ithin their respecti e pro inces instead of a tra el permit. 5n applying for a permit to tra el to another pro ince@ citiEens )ould normally ha e to )ait about t)o to three days for a permit to be appro ed for tra el to non/ restricted areas and up to t)o )ee;s for restricted areas. The permit also pro ides for the length of tra el and generally .0 days are gi en for a round/trip. Although these permits are to be issued free of charge@ the process tends to be delayed if a bribe is not paid.4%& &2$. There are guard posts at e ery pro ince and county )here a tra elling citiEen )ould ha e to produce a tra el permit. There are also security agents on trains chec;ing for such permits. 5f caught )ithout a permit@ the tra eller could be punished@ including by being detained in a holding centre * ;ip yulso+ or sent to a labour training camp for .0 days. 4%4 The DPRK’s People’s Becurity Control Act allo)s the People’s Becurity Agency to e>ercise control o er iolations regarding tra eling rules@ and those found to ha e disobeyed this Act are sub(ect to )arnings@ fines and penalties such as unpaid labour.4%$ &2%. The :eighbourhood Aatch *2nminban+4%% is further required to report the arri al of a tra eller in a illage or to)n. The tra eller must also register )ith the local security agent upon arri al at the appro ed point of destination. As part of the citiEen monitoring system brea;s do)n due to economic hardship@ bed chec; inspections are said to no longer be

4$= 4%0 4%. 4%# 4%& 4%4

TB"0$.. CCPR!C!PRK!#000!#@ para. 2%. CCPR!C!BR..=44@ para. &$. TAP00$. K5:F@ ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.&+@ pp. ##@ #&4/#&=. TAP00#@ TAP00$@ T9,0#4N :KD9@ IPrisoners in :orth Korea TodayJ@ #0.#@ pp. #=/&0. K5:F@ ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.&+@ p. #&4. Bee section 5C.A on the :eighbourhood Aatch. &3&

4%$ 4%%


strictly enforced@ and anyone caught can get a)ay )ith a bribe. 5n practice@ people increasingly by/pass the permit system by paying bribes at chec; points.4%2 ^ 8ne )itness@ )ho resided in a non/border area@ Chong(in@ had used her friend’s citiEen card to tra el to the border area@ "oeryong@ since her friend resided in a border area and the picture on the computer/issued card )as blurry enough to loo; li;e her.4%1 ^ Another )itness e>plained to the Commission that because of his )or;@ he could mo e around the country. "o)e er@ in order to tra el officially@ he needed appro al from four different entities. Ahen he needed to tra el for personal reasons@ he )ould simply bribe the officers )ith cigarettes.4%= &22. Bimilar to the restrictions on employment@ the restrictions on the right to mo ement appear to be more limiting for men than )omen. The primary reason for this is the requirement for men to Ichec;/inJ )ith employers@ e en if their state/assigned organiEation is not functioning. 7any )omen )ho are not gainfully employed by the state can go undetected for longer periods of time as compared to men. This is presumed to be one of the underlying reasons for the disproportionate number of )omen able to lea e the country. &21. According to the "uman Rights Committee ,eneral Comments@ restrictions on the liberty of mo ement are only permissible under e>ceptional circumstances. Criteria for restrictions must be laid do)n in la) and the la) may not confer unfettered discretion on those charged )ith their e>ecution. The restriction must be necessary to protect national security@ public order *ordre public+@ public health@ morals or the rights and freedoms of others. Restricti e measures must not impair the essence of the right and they must conform to the principle of proportionalityN they must be appropriate to achie e their protecti e functionN they must be the least intrusi e instrument amongst those )hich might achie e the desired resultN and they must be proportionate to the interest to be protected. 5n particular@ the relation bet)een right and restriction@ bet)een norm and e>ception@ must not be re ersed.420 &2=. The requirement of a tra el permit to specific areas@ )here restrictions are necessary to protect national security *notably areas in the immediate icinity of the 7ilitary Demarcation <ine+ may be considered a proportional measure. "o)e er@ the Commission finds that the requirement of ha ing to generally apply for a permit to tra el to Pyongyang or any)here else outside the citiEen’s home pro ince is a disproportional measure that iolates article .# *.+ of the 5CCPR.42. #% Right to lea4e one’s own country

&10. The Commission finds that DPRK citiEens are sub(ect to restrictions on foreign tra el that in practice amount to a irtual tra el ban on ordinary citiEens@ )hich is enforced through e>treme iolence and harsh punishment. This is li;ely intended to ensure as little e>posure to ;no)ledge )hich contradicts information that is propagated through state/ controlled media and other means of indoctrination and information control.


4%1 4%= 420 42.

:"RCK@ Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ afternoonN K5:F@ ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.&+@ pp. ##@ #&4/#&1. TAP001. TB"0$#. CCPR!C!#.!Re ..!Add.=@ paras. ..@ .&/.4@ and .%/.2. Bee also CCPR!C8!2#!PRK@ para. .= )here the "uman Rights Committee concludes that the requirement of a tra eller’s permit for domestic tra el )ithin the country raises serious questions is/e/ is 5CCPR@ article .# *.+.




Total tra4el ban

&1.. According to the DPRK’s immigration la)@ o erseas tra el is possible )ith the issuance of a passport or a border area tra el permit. 42# 9y la)@ citiEens are allo)ed to isit relati es in China but the personal information of such relati es including contact details are to be documented in the tra ellers’ records. An in itation from the Chinese relati es must also be obtained in applying for a passport. A ri er/crossing pass may be issued to a DPRK resident in the border region )ho )ants to isit China for a short trip. 4or those engaged in cross/border trade@ a #4/ or 41/hour pass can theoretically be issued immediately upon application@ although this may not happen in reality. 42& &1#. 5n practice@ tra elling abroad is a pri ilege reser ed for those )ith good class or ideology.424 Aitnesses pro ided information to the Commission that people )ho are permitted to lea e the country for official business are thoroughly e>amined and that they must ha e a spotless bac;ground. The responsible officer may e en get into trouble for appro ing an application for tra elling abroad if the person tra elling later IdefectsJ. According to )itness testimonies@ if an applicant )as born abroad@ the responsible officer considering the application )ould not trust that applicant to not defect *ha ing been e>posed to the outside )orld and!or capitalist )ays+ and )ould therefore re(ect the application.42$ A failure to return from authoriEed tra el abroad may also result in serious consequences for family members of the IdefectorJ remaining in the DPRK.42% &1&. The Commission finds that ordinary DPRK citiEens usually ha e no other choice than to illegally cross the border )ith China in order to realiEe their human right to lea e their o)n country under article .# *#+ of the 5CCPR. This is considered a serious offence. Article #&& of the Criminal Code considers any illegal crossing of the border an offence sub(ect to less than t)o years of short/term labour@ or@ in gra e cases@ up to fi e years of reform through labour.422 5n practice@ those )ho illegally cross the border are regularly considered to ha e committed Itreason against the 4atherland by defectionJ under article %# of the Criminal Code. This crime is punishable by a minimum of fi e years of Ireform through labourJ. 5llegal border crossers are alternati ely charged under another of the aguely defined and political Ianti/state or anti/people crimesJ.421 The 7PB reportedly issued a decree in #0.0 ma;ing the crime of defection a Icrime of treachery against the nationJ42= This ie) is ta;en in particular )here persons ha e been in contact )ith Christian churches or R8K and!or FB nationals )hile in China or ma;e attempts to tra el on to the R8K or another third state. &14. The approach to)ards considering those )ho illegally tra el to China and beyond as political criminals is fuelled by official state propaganda and pronouncements of the Bupreme <eader and other senior officials. Those )ho fled the DPRK *i.e. IdefectorsJ+ and )ho spea; out about their e>perience are regularly referred to as Ihuman scumJ. 410 They are
42# 42& 424 42$ 42% 422

421 42=


DPRK 5mmigration <a) .==% as amended in .=== and #0.#@ articles =/.#. K5:F@ ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.&+@ pp. #4%/#42. :"RCK@ Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ afternoon. TAP00#@ TB"0$#. T?"0##. Bee Criminal Code@ article #&&. :ote also article #&4 )hich pro ides for punishment to those )or;ing in the border administration )ho help illegal border crossers. Bee section 555.- for further on this. The Committee for "uman Rights in :orth Korea *"R:K+@ Aritten submission to the hearing before the Congressiona/->ecuti e Commission on China@ 8ne "undred T)elfth Congress@ Becond Bession@ IChina’s Repatriation of :orth Korean RefugeesJ@ $ 7arch #0.#@ p. $0. A ailable from http3!!))).hrn;.org!uploads!pdfs!Congressional per cent#0"earings!ChinaWRepatriationW7archW$W#0.#.pdf. The Korean Central :e)s Agency used this term inter alia to describe those persons )ho fled the DPRK )ho appeared before the Commission to testify in public hearings. Bee I:. Korea &3'


Ibranded as elements sub(ect to legal punishment in the clean society in the DPRK for their crimes of murder@ robbery@ pilferage@ embeEElement of state properties and corruptions KsicLJ. They are said to ha e been manipulated by the R8K and the FBA in the latter’s efforts to escalate confrontation )ith the DPRK and to topple the social system in the DPRK.41. T)o former BBD agents )ho ser ed at the Chinese border@ indicated that IdefectorsJ )ere al)ays considered traitors and less than human. 41# Another former security agent )as told by his superiors that the Bupreme <eader had ordered the ImercilessJ suppression of IdefectorsJ and other anti/go ernment dissidents. "e has since heard from former colleagues in the security ser ices@ )ith )hom he maintains contact@ that Kim ?ong/ un issued a similar order upon personal isits to the headquarters of the BBD and the 7PB.41& <b= Patterns of flight from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and underlying reasons &1$. The Commission has obser ed that until the end of the .=10s@ ery fe) people appear to ha e fled the DPRK illegally and those )ho did often did so for political reasons. 5n the .==0s@ as a result of the escalating hunger and star ation in the country@ illegal crossing of the border into China to flee from economic despair and the underlying human rights iolations has become a mass phenomenon not)ithstanding its criminaliEation. <arge numbers of desperate citiEens illegally crossed the border in order to find food and )or;@ to trade goods@ or to obtain assistance from relati es li ing in the Chinese pro inces bordering the DPRK. They too; ad antage of the general brea;do)n of state control during the period of the famine. ^ 7r Kim K)ang/il described ho) the only )ay people sur i ed mass star ation in the .==0s )as by illegally going in and out of China@ and smuggling things in and out of China@ in order to feed themsel es. - en though he@ li;e others@ ;ne) that it )as illegal to do so and )as at ris; of being punished se erely@ 7r Kim stated that he had no option but to cross the border as the go ernment )as not feeding him and his family.414 ^ 8ne )itness had decided to cross the border in .==1 because he )as star ing and planned to see; help from his relati es there. "e had e ery intention of coming bac; as he had )anted to complete his studies at the uni ersity. The situation became dire )ith the death of Kim 5l/sung. 5n his uni ersity@ the situation )as so poor that students stole from each other. "e tra elled in secret to)ards the border area and ;ne) he )as luc;y not to ha e been caught. "e heard that if he )as caught@ he could be sent to a detention facility )here those ;ept there are Inot treated as humansJ. Buch a description of the treatment in the detention facilities for repatriated persons is consistent )ith other testimony recei ed by the Commission.41$ &1%. Although hundreds of thousands of people )ere star ing to death in the .==0s in the DPRK@ the authorities ne er lifted the tra el ban or allo)ed citiEens from the border regions to go to China@ )here many had ethnic Korean relati es or could ha e found )or; to sur i e. 8nly in .=== or #000@ as the situation )as already impro ing@ Kim ?ong/il apparently issued instructions that those )ho sho)ed that they only )ent to China for food
slams F.:. rights committee@ calls defectors Zhuman scum’J@ Alobal Post@ #2 August #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).globalpost.com!dispatch!ne)s!;yodo/ne)s/international!.&01#2!n/;orea/slams/un/ rights/committee/calls/defectors/huma. I7inistry of People’s Becurity Co)s to Punish Defectors Keen on -scalating ConfrontationJ@ KCNA@ .= ?une #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).;cna.co.(p!item!#0.&!#0.&0%!ne)s.=!#0.&0%.=/0.ee.html. T?"0.$@ T?"04.. TCC0.4. Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ morning. TAP00$. Bee also section 5C.D.


41# 41& 414 41$



and )or; should be treated )ith a degree of leniency. 41% "o)e er@ e en during the relati e short period of IleniencyJ@ the practice of consistently punishing anyone forcibly repatriated from China )as ne er fully abandoned. &12. 7oreo er@ later in #000@ after the mass star ation ebbed off to some degree@ orders )ere again gi en to Imercilessly suppressJ all IdefectionJ and the state forcefully reasserted its control o er the border.412 &11. :e ertheless@ the patterns of illegal border crossing that emerged during the famine continued in the #000s@ despite on/going efforts to repress escapees from the DPRK and deter any unauthoriEed crossing using se ere iolence and harsh punishment. Bince Kim ?ong/un emerged as the heir apparent in #00= and assumed many functions from the ailing Kim ?ong/il@ there has been a push to seal the border. 411 This has lessened outflo)s into China@ e idenced also by fe)er DPRK nationals reaching the R8K. ^ 7r Kim Ooung/h)an@ )ho )or;s in a humanitarian net)or; that has operations in the China/DPRK border region@ informed the Commission that the number of people fleeing the DPRK pea;ed in #00= )ith a progressi e decrease thereafter. "e noted an increased crac;do)n since Kim ?ong/ un came to po)er.41= &1=. 4igures pro ided by the R8K 7inistry of Fnification on the number of DPRK citiEens )ho ha e entered R8K also sho) a gro)ing trend from #00. up until #00=. The numbers decreased thereafter )ith a mar;ed reduction bet)een #0.. and #0.#.4=0 &=0. The moti ations of those )ho left in recent years ha e become more aried. 9ased on a sur ey conducted in #0.#@ the Korean 9ar Association found that the pattern for IdefectionsJ has changed in that recent IdefectionsJ ha e been for political reasons rather than economic ones. 4urthermore@ IdefectionsJ by families outnumber indi idual IdefectionsJ@ and these IdefectionsJ appear to be more permanent than before.4=. &=.. 5n some cases@ people are fleeing to China to escape direct persecution for political or religious reasons. ^ 7r A regularly tra elled to China to find food to sur i e and also engaged in some trading acti ities. During these isits he came into contact )ith Christian churches. Ahen the 7PB interrogated him under torture about the reason for his isits@ he too; the decision to flee to China on a permanent basis.4=# ^ 8ne )itness )ho )as a practising Christian from :orth "amgyong Pro ince fled the DPRK in #0... A fello) Christian ga e a)ay her name under torture before being e>ecuted. Ahen agents of the KPA 7ilitary Becurity Command came to arrest her@ she escaped across the Tumen Ri er.4=&
41% 412

T?"004@ T?"04.. T?"004. 411 -?"00& indicated that@ apart from being dri en by larger political reasons@ Kim ?ong/ un may ha e also attached particular attention to border control since he )as assigned to ser e as a border guard as a young man. 41= Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ afternoon. 4=0 The follo)ing table sho)ing the number of DPRK citiEens )ho ha e entered R8K bet)een #00. and Beptember #0.&3 N788-7887788=788/7880788>7881788G788.78-878--78-778-=:.*otal7ale$%$$..42#%#44#&$.#$2.%01%2.$1=2=240$#$021#=4emale4 2=%&#1.0.#2#=$=.$.0.=22#.=2##$1.1.&.=0=.0=22=..21#0Total.044..4&.#1#.1=%.&1##0###$41#10$#=#=#40##20%.$0#.04 .#$%4=4emale ratio4% per cent$$ per cent%& per cent%2 per cent%= per cent2$ per cent21 per cent21 per cent22 per cent2$ per cent20 per cent2# per cent2% per cent%= per cent Bource3 R8K@ 7inistry of Fnification@ *he Number of North Korean &efectors. A ailable from http3!!))).uni;orea.go.;r!inde>.doDmenuCd_D87W000000.0.00200.00#.
4=. 4=#


K9A@ 78-7 ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea@ pp. $4@ $.0/$.&. Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ afternoon *)ith additional details pro ided by the )itness in a confidential inter ie)+. T?"0.2. &3$


&=#. A large number of DPRK citiEens also fled the economic hardship and lac; of food that endured e en in the #000s@ especially in the marginaliEed areas near the Chinese border@ as a result of discriminatory iolations of the right to food. 4=4 7any of those )ho fled for such reasons )ere suffering socio/economic depri ation as a result of being classified in a lo) songbun social class@ because the political loyalty of their forebears )as put into question.4=$ 5n some of these cases@ they planned to go to China for a limited period to earn money@ but )ere forcibly repatriated. As a result of repatriation and the punishment that follo)ed@ they )ere branded as political traitors and lost any remaining access to (ob opportunities@ housing and other essential goods. &=&. As they recei ed more information about life outside the DPRK@ persons )ho fled the DPRK increasingly sought to reach the R8K. Those )ho )ere successful in reaching the R8K then sought to bring other family members and relati es to the R8K. Clandestine escape net)or;s@ some composed of humanitarian acti ists and others of professional people smugglers@4=% emerged. DPRK citiEens often mo ed from China ia 7ongolia to the R8K. Bince #002@ the 7ongolia route has effecti ely been closed because of tighter Chinese border controls there. Thereafter@ DPRK citiEens bound for the R8K usually proceed through Ciet :am@ <aos or Cambodia to reach Thailand and from there the R8K.4=2 &=4. According to R8K official statistics@ #%@0#1 persons )ho fled the DPRK ha e become R8K citiEens as of :o ember #0.&. 8f these@ o er 10 per cent came from the border regions@ i.e. "amgyong and Ryanggang pro inces@ and o er 20 per cent )ere aged bet)een #0 and 4=. A steady increase has been seen in the number of )omen and family units among those )ho fled the DPRK@ )ith )omen accounting for around 20 per cent of those resettled in the R8K. 5t is therefore also estimated that more than 20 per cent of those fleeing the DPRK are )omen@ although a large number remain in China. BiEable numbers of DPRK citiEens ha e been granted refugee or other permanent resident status in the Fnited Btates of America@ the Fnited Kingdom@ ?apan and other countries. &=$. Bince those )ho flee the DPRK generally reside clandestinely in China@ it is ery difficult to estimate ho) many DPRK citiEens currently li e there. Ahile estimates ary greatly@ there also seems to be fluctuation o er time and a decline that coincided )ith the reassertion of control o er the border@ coupled )ith large numbers of forced repatriations from China in the later #000s. &=%. 5n #00$@ the humanitarian organiEation ,ood 4riends estimated that the number of DPRK citiEens in the Chinese pro inces along the DPRK border )as $0@000. 5n #00%@ the 5nternational Crisis ,roup estimated the number to be .00@000 based on inter ie)s )ith local Chinese and Korean/Chinese interlocutors and other :,8 reports. A #0.0 sur ey@ by Professor Courtland Robinson of ?ohns "op;ins Fni ersity estimated the total number of DPRK citiEens in the three north/eastern pro inces of China to be %@1#4@ )ith an additional 2@1#= children born to mothers from the DPRK. 5n #0.&@ K5:F estimated the total number of DPRK nationals li ing in the three Chinese border pro inces )ith an ethnic Korean population to be about 2@$00 *at least 4@$00 and less than .0@$00+ adults and #0@000 *at least .$@000 and less than #$@000+ children in #0.#.4=1
4=4 4=$ 4=%

4=2 4=1

Bee section 5C.D. Bee section 5C.9. :ote that people smugglers are not necessarily in ol ed in the traffic;ing of persons. The latter requires the element of Ie>ploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of se>ual e>ploitation@ forced labour or ser ices@ sla ery or practices similar to sla ery@ ser itude or the remo al of organsJ at minimum. Bee the Palermo Protocol on this. -?"00&. K5:F@ ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.&+@ pp. 44@ 4$=/4%.. Bee also 5nternational Crisis ,roup@ IPerilous ?ourney3 The Plight of :orth Koreans in China and 9eyondJ@ #% 8ctober #00=. A ailable from http3!!))).crisisgroup.org!en!regions!asia!north/east/ asia!north/;orea!.##/perilous/(ourneys/the/plight/of/north/;oreans/in/china/and/beyond.asp>. The




,order control measures

&=2. Bince #00=@ there has been an apparent rene)ed push to seal the border@ dri en by both the DPRK and China. The latter )as particularly concerned about inflo)s of undocumented migrants as )ell as drug traffic;ing originating from the DPRK. 4ences and other barriers ha e been set up by both the DPRK and China along some stretches of the border@ )here crossings ha e most frequently occurred. 5n addition to obtaining )itness testimony from recent isitors to the border@ the Commission also re ie)ed rele ant pictures sho)ing such installations. &=1. The BBD@ 7PB and KPA are all deployed in the border region and closely coordinate their actions to pre ent escapes from the DPRK. After Kim ?ong/un assumed po)er@ the BBD )as also assigned to assume the lead on border control@ ta;ing o er from the KPA 9order Becurity Command. This mo e is said to be dri en by dissatisfaction o er corruption in the army. According to one )itness@ )ho has )or;ed )ith DPRK nationals in China@ the authorities frequently s)itch guards since #0.0@ ma;ing it harder for guards to be bribed for assistance in crossing the border.4== &==. K5:F reported that from #00=@ the BBD implemented ne) measures against IdefectorsJ@ including tighter sur eillance o er families )ith members )ho are missing or ha e IdefectedJ. - en la) enforcement )or;ers )ere in estigated for any relati es )ho ha e IdefectedJ@ and@ if so@ they )ould be remo ed from their positions. 5n #0.0@ a census sur ey )as reportedly carried out conducting an in/depth inspection of Idefector familiesJ.$00 I9anishment illagesJ )ere supposedly designated in remote areas )here the Idefector familiesJ )ould be sent to@ although this plan appears to ha e abandoned. $0. 400. 4ollo)ing the death of Kim ?ong/il in December #0..@ the DPRK increased restrictions on the mo ements of its citiEens during the mourning period@ )ith bed/chec; inspections being carried out more intensely and e ery family along the border region required to stand guard in turn. <and mines )ere reportedly installed along the border in addition to barbed )ire fences@ and cameras )ere set up along ma(or defection routes as )ell as spi;ed panels )ith four/inch nails along the ban;s of the Tumen Ri er. $0# 40.. 5n :o ember #0.&@ DPRK authorities )ere reported to be increasing their sur eillance of families of suspected IdefectorsJ@ including through the reporting mechanism of the :eighbourhood Aatch. 5t )as further reported that I4amilies )ith members )ho ha e defected or )hose )hereabouts are unconfirmed must register )ith their local People’s Becurity 9ureau X 5t loo;s li;e rising numbers of missing persons and defectors ha e led the authorities to try and bloc; anyone else from defecting by stepping up sur eillance and controls.J$0& 40#. 4ormer DPRK security officials indicated that officials may shoot to ;ill anyone trying to cross the border@ a policy )hich dates bac; at least to the early .==0s and remains in place.$04 A former BBD agent in ol ed in border control indicated that border guards )ho shoot at DPRK citiEens trying to flee the country )ould not be punished. $0$ Another former
appro>imate figure of .00@000 )as also ad anced by the humanitarian organiEation <ife 4unds for :orth Korean Refugees for #002. A ailable from http3!!))).north;oreanrefugees.com!faq.html. T?"0.0. K5:F@ ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.&+@ pp. 4%./4%# footnote .#. A ailable from http3!!goodfriendsusa.blogspot.ch!#0..!0=!north/;orea/daily/no/4.2/ august/#4/#0...html. K5:F@ ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.&+@ pp. 4$@ 4%./4%&. IPeople’s Fnits Aor;ing to <imit DefectionJ@ &aily NK@ % :o ember #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).dailyn;.com!english!read.phpDcata5d_n;0.$00Mnum_...$0. T?"0.$@ T?"04.@ T9,0&.. T?"0.$. &3.

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official testified about the ;illing of a person )ho illegally crossed the border in ?anuary #0...$0% This )as also confirmed by the testimony of 7r Kim Ooung/h)an@ $02 a humanitarian acti ist in ol ed in operations to help those )ho flee the DPRK@ as )ell as another )itness@ )ho engages in similar operations. $01 Bhooting directi es appear to ha e been modified based on superior orders in #0.0 or #0..@ after DPRK agents shot and ;illed a number of persons on the Chinese side of the border. Ahile DPRK agents are no) ordered to ta;e care not to harm people on the Chinese side@ the basic authoriEation to shoot and ;ill those )ho try to flee remains in place. $0= 40&. This shoot to ;ill policy cannot be (ustified as a legitimate border control measure since it iolates international human rights la). The DPRK upholds a de facto total tra el ban on ordinary citiEens that iolates international la) and gi es indi iduals no other option than to cross the border )ithout authoriEation in order to e>ercise their human right to lea e their o)n country. 4urthermore@ the intentional ta;ing of life for the purposes of pre enting the unauthoriEed crossing of a border is also grossly disproportionate and irreconcilable )ith article % of the 5CCPR@ )hich only allo)s the use of lethal force by state agents in self/defence or defence of others to protect life against immediate threats. $.0 404. The Commission also found a practice of BBD agents abducting persons )ho flee the DPRK from the territory of the People’s Republic of China. 4ormer officials )ho flee and others )ho might gi e a)ay sensiti e information are targeted@ along )ith humanitarian acti ists and others )ho help DPRK nationals flee.$.. <d= Torture> inhuman treatment and imprisonment of persons who tried to flee the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea 40$. 5n an attempt to deter citiEens from fleeing the country@ the DPRK authorities sub(ect those )ho )ere forcibly repatriated from China or )ere caught in the process of trying to reach China to torture@ inhumane treatment and imprisonment. 40%. 5n the .==0s@ )hen the authorities )ere confronted )ith the first cases of citiEens fleeing mass star ation@ the authorities often sought to set a deterrent e>ample to the population. ^ 7s K)on Ooung/hee spo;e to the Commission about her brother )ho )as arrested in China in .==4 for attempting to IdefectJ from the DPRK. "e had gone to China in search of food. As an e>ample to others against committing similar Ianti/stateJ offences@ he )as tied to the bac; of a truc; )hich too; him to their home to)n@ 7usan. I3y the time he reached Cusan# his face )as co"ered )ith blood# his clothes )ere all torn: And )hen he fell# they stopped the truc and rushed him to stand up again: At the time my brother )as discharged [from the army] for malnutrition# and he )as diabetic: Cy mother tried to treat his diabetes in the hospital so he )as diabetic at the time he )ent to China: @ E"en )hen my brother collapsed# the truc )ould go on and the 9o)ibu people# )hen my brother collapsed# )ould beat my brother up to ma e him stand up: Cusan is a big city but they dro"e him around Cusan city three times so that e"erybody could see him:J$.#
$0% $02 $01 $0= $.0

$.. $.#

T9,0#2. Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ afternoon. T?"0.0. T9,0&.@ a former official. 5nternational human rights la) only allo)s the use of intentional force if strictly necessary to protect life. Bee Report of the Bpecial Rapporteur on e>tra(udicial@ summary or arbitrary e>ecutions@ IBtudy on Targeted KillingsJ *A!"RC!.4!#4!Add.%@ para. &#+. 4or more information on these abductions@ see section 5C.4. Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ morning *0#3.4300+.



^ 5n .==&@ a family fled to China and )as forcibly repatriated to their hometo)n in 8nsong County@ :orth "amgyong Pro ince. The )hole family@ including a boy of fi e years of age@ )ere paraded in handcuffs around to)n. The mother and father )ere then dragged around li;e o>en )ith rings that had been rammed into their noses. The entire to)n@ including one )itness )ho spo;e to the Commission *)ho )as .& years old at the time+@ )as forced to attend the brutal spectacle. The spectators s)ore at the ictims and thre) roc;s at them. The )itness did not ;no) )hat became of the family. $.& ^ 5n .==%@ another )itness sa) ho) the authorities in 7usan used a car to drag a man using a hoo; pierced in his nose. They announced by loudspea;er that they had caught a traitor and Ihad to pay the Chinese four times the illage’s budget to get him bac;J. <ittle children follo)ed the car and thre) stones at the man. This terrifying e>perience triggered the )itness to flee the DPRK. $.4 402. As more and more people fled from the DPRK during the mass star ation of the .==0s@ the DPRK authorities seemed to ha e systematiEed their punishment of repatriated persons. The process follo)s ery regular patterns and different security agencies closely coordinate their actions. 9ased on inter ie)s )ith repatriated persons and former officials@ the Commission finds that the actions described belo) generally reflect the treatment of DPRK nationals upon repatriation from China. 401. DPRK citiEens )ho lea e the DPRK illegally and are arrested by the Chinese authorities are handed o er to the BBD at the border. There are at least fi e ;no)n border to)ns through )hich repatriated persons are ta;en to and IprocessedJ3 "oeryong@ "yesan@ 7usan@ 8nsong and Binui(u.$.$ 5nitially@ repatriated persons are ta;en to an BBD interrogation detention centre near the border@ )here they suffer repeated illegal and se>ually in asi e body ca ity searches *see belo)+. BBD agents then question them on ho) and )hy they fled@ including )ho assisted them in their departure from the DPRK and )hat they did in China. This interrogation usually in ol es torture of the ;ind described in section 5C.D.#. 40=. Depending on the nature of the allegations against them and their bac;ground@ the fate of repatriated persons is determined by the BBD. Persons found to ha e made contact )ith R8K nationals and!or Christian missionaries are sent for further interrogation at the pro incial BBD headquarters. 4rom there@ they are sent either directly to a political prison camp * )anliso+ )ithout any trial or imprisoned in an ordinary prison camp * yoh)aso+ after an unfair trial.$.% 5n cases considered to be particularly gra e@ such as ha ing contact )ith R8K intelligence officials@ the ictim faces e>ecution. 4.0. Con ersely@ those found to ha e solely gone to China loo;ing for food and!or )or; are handed o er to the 7PB@ )here the interrogation process is usually recommenced. 5f the 7PB confirms that the person is only an IordinaryJ border crosser@ it commits him or her to detention in a holding centre * ;ip yulso+. There@ the person remains detained@ sometimes for months@ until 7PB agents from the person’s home county collect him or her and place the ictim@ usually )ithout a trial@ for se eral months to a year in a labour training camp *rodongdanryundae+. ^ A former BBD agent@ )ho )or;ed in border security@ indicated that the BBD considered anyone )ho illegally fled to China to be a traitor@ no matter their reason@ and )ould Inot treat them as humanJ. "o)e er@ the )orst types of IdefectorsJ )ere those )ho )ere planning to go to the R8K or had contact )ith R8K intelligence agencies. People )ho agreed to spy for R8K intelligence agencies )ere al)ays e>ecuted. 5n the case of Christians@ the BBD tried to ascertain ho) long a person

$.& $.4 $.$


T?"0&1. T?"0.1. Da id "a);@ *he 4idden Aulag$ *he %i"es and Boices of M*hose ,ho Are Sent to the Countains5@ Aashington D.C. The Committee for "uman Rights in :orth Korea@ #0.#+ p. ..1. Bee section 5C.-. &32


had been a Christian. They loo;ed at the circumstances@ e.g. )hether the person tried to bring 9ibles into the DPRK. 5n such cases@ the persons )ere typically sent to prison camps )ithout a trial. $.2 ^ 8ne former security official indicated that he recei ed orders from his superiors to classify IdefectorsJ into three groups. The first group )ere those )ho crossed the border only for food )ith the intention of coming bac; to the DPRK 6 they )ere to be sent to labour camps for three to si> months. The second group )ere those )ho left the DPRK )ith the intention of reaching the R8K 6 they )ere to be sent to an ordinary prison camp * yoh)aso+. The third group )ere those )ho lea e the DPRK )ith the intention of going to the R8K using channels pro ided by Christian groups or the R8K intelligence net)or; 6 they )ere to be sent to a political prison camp * )anliso+. Public e>ecutions of IdefectorsJ )ere carried out )here politically e>pedient.$.1 ^ Another former BBD agent indicated that people forcibly repatriated from China )ere treated entirely differently from those )ho returned to the DPRK oluntarily. They )ere to be interrogated as to )hether they had been in contact )ith churches or )ith R8K nationals@ and@ if so@ they )ere to be sent to the BBD pro incial headquarters and from there to a )anliso. The rest )ere to be sent to 7PB facilities and from there to an ordinary prison * yoh)aso+.$.= *i+ *orture and inhuman treatment during interrogation

4... The Commission finds that during the interrogation carried out by the BBD and 7PB@ se ere beatings and other forms of torture are systematically used@ until the interrogators are con inced that the ictim has stated the truth and confessed to the totality of his or her )rongdoing. Aith rare e>ceptions@ e ery single one of more than .00 persons repatriated from China )ho )ere inter ie)ed by the Commission )ere beaten or sub(ected to )orse forms of torture during interrogations. 5nhumane detention conditions that characteriEe the interrogation detention centres of the BBD and 7PB e>ert additional pressure on detainees to confess quic;ly to secure their sur i al.$#0 4.#. During the interrogation phase@ suspects recei e a quantity of rations that is designed to cause hunger and star ation. 5n some interrogation detention centres@ inmates are also sub(ected to forced labour in farming and construction. This iolates international standards )hich prohibit imposing forced labour on persons not duly con icted. $#. 5nmates )ho are not being interrogated or )ho are not )or;ing ha e to sit or ;neel the entire day in a fi>ed posture in often se erely o ercro)ded cells. They are not allo)ed to spea;@ mo e@ or loo; around )ithout permission. 4ailure to obey these rules )ill be punished by beatings@ food ration cuts or forced physical e>ercise. Punishment is often imposed collecti ely on all cellmates. ^ 7r Kim Bong/(u said at the <ondon Public "earing3 IAs soon as 5 set my foot bac; in :orth Korea@ the treatment of me )as Kas though 5 )asL belo) human... 5n the course of interrogating me@ they hit me@ because they as;ed me )hether 5 )as in contact )ith Bouth Koreans@ or if 5 had gotten in ol ed )ith any religious acts@ but because my ans)er )as no@ they tried to frame me of some sort of crime and they treated me as Kthough 5 )asL belo) human.J$## ^ 7r ?i Beong/ho )ent to China the first time in #000 see;ing food to feed his family. "e )as arrested by the police four ;ilometres from the border after re/entering the DPRK. "e )as questioned and as;ed )hether he had listened to Bouth Korean radio broadcasts and if he had met )ith
$.2 $.1 $.= $#0

$#. $##

T?"0.$. T?"004. T?"04.. Bee also section 5C.- for more details and illustrati e e>amples on torture@ deliberate star ation and inhumane conditions of detention imposed on persons held at interrogation detention centres. Bee further section 5C.- on international standards. <ondon Public "earing@ #& 8ctober #0.&@ session . *003.=34$+.



R8K nationals@ )hether Christians or media people@ in China. "is interrogators@ )ho beat and tormented him@ said that as someone )ith a disability begging for food in China@ he )ould bring shame to the DPRK if the foreign press sa) him. "e )as e entually released under the condition that he ne er )ent bac; to China. 4.&. The third time 7r ?i )ent to China )as in #00%@ )ith the intention of going to the R8K. 7r ?i had )anted to reach the R8K first to determine )hether it )ould be a good idea for his father to (oin him there. 8nce he resettled in the R8K@ he tried to contact his father. "o)e er@ he disco ered that his father )as arrested during an attempt to cross the border. "e further found out that his father )as interrogated and tortured by the BBD. "e )as then returned to his home in a cart@ practically dead.$#& ^ 7r A spo;e of his sister )hom he learnt from his contacts in the DPRK to ha e been repatriated and then tortured under interrogation before being sent to Oodo; Camp. "e belie ed she )as treated harshly and sentenced se erely because she )as a practising Christian and she had the intention to proceed to the R8K.$#4 ^ The treatment 7s ?ee "eon A e>perienced during her third repatriation )as the )orst. Bhe )as beaten for simply resisting to ta;e off her clothes during a strip search. Bhe )as questioned )hether she had attended a church or met any R8K nationals. Bhe ;ne) that she had to ans)er in the negati e@ as other)ise she could be sent to a )anliso or e en e>ecuted. Bhe )as beaten up for not confessing to these IcrimesJ. Bhe )as then sent to a ;ip yulso before being sent e entually to a yoh)aso.$#$ ^ 8ne )itness )as interrogated for t)o )ee;s at an BBD interrogation centre. Bhe )as beaten )ith a club )hene er she )as slo) to respond or if her interrogators did not li;e her ans)er. They also ;ic;ed her right belo) the ;nee to induce a ma>imum of pain. Bhe belie ed that others )ere suffering the same fate as she could hear them screaming. $#% ^ Another )itness )as ;ept si> )ee;s for interrogation by the BBD in a holding facility. The BBD officials )ho interrogated her beat her to find out if she had been in contact )ith R8K nationals or Christians. At this facility@ the )itness also sa) guards stomping@ beating and pulling the hair of a girl of about .1 years old )ho )as apparently ;no)n to the guards as she had been arrested se eral times before. After si> )ee;s@ the )itness )as sent to the BBD pro incial detention centre )here she )as beaten again to get her to confess that she had been in contact )ith R8K nationals or churches and to re eal those )ho had arranged for her to cross the border. Ahene er the )itness and other detainees )ere not interrogated or made to )or; at the detention centre@ they had to ;neel )ith their hands behind their bac; and ;eep their heads do)n. The same posture had to be maintained e en )hen questioned by a guard. 8nce@ the )itness mista;enly loo;ed up and )as ;ic;ed )ith a hea y boot in the chest by a guard. An old )oman )ho had no shoes and as;ed for shoes in order to )or; )as told by the BBD agents that she did not deser e shoes because the detainees )ere animals and should die soon. The old )oman )as beaten up by the guards and ended up bleeding.$#2 ^ Ahile being held )ith others repatriated from China at an interrogation detention centre@ a )itness sa) a young )oman )ho folded her hands in a praying fashion )hen the BBD interrogated her. The BBD suspected therefore that she )as a Christian. They too; her to another room and beat her until she confessed. All inmates of her cell )ere not allo)ed to sleep until the )oman confessed. The )itness does not ;no) )hat happened to her after that. Bhe also o erheard the BBD saying to one family that they )ould be ta;en to a political prison camp because they had made contact )ith Christians in China.$#1
$#& $#4 $#$ $#% $#2 $#1

Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ morning. Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ afternoon. Beoul Public "earing@ #0 August #0.&@ afternoon. T9,0.&. T?"0#1. T?"0&#. &&&


4.4. Be eral other )itnesses ga e similar accounts as to their e>periences )hen interrogated upon repatriation to the DPRK.$#= 8ne )itness )ho )as sic; )ith fe er during his detention )as accused of fa;ing his illness and )as beaten e en more se erely. $&0 *ii+ SeDual "iolence and other humiliating acts against )omen# in particular in"asi"e searches 4.$. Fpon arri al at detention centres@ repatriated persons are sub(ected to e>ercises )hilst nude and in asi e body searches. This treatment is intended to confiscate and steal hidden money from the ictims@ rather than to obtain e idence to be used in court. As such@ the searches are in breach of article .4& of the Code of Criminal Procedure@ )hich allo)s searches only for purposes of seiEing e idence. -specially )ith regard to female ictims@ the searches are carried out in a deliberately degrading and unsanitary manner 4.%. Cictims are forced to undress in front of other prisoners as )ell as other guards@ often of the opposite se>@ and then forced to perform numerous continuous IsquatsJ )hile nude@ an act also ;no)n as IpumpingJ. This is intended to dislodge any items that may be concealed )ithin aginal or anal ca ities. The Commission heard se eral accounts of repatriated persons ha ing to strip na;ed and perform na;ed squats in groups )hile guards searched their clothes for money and other aluables. ^ 8ne )itness described there being a ery large ditch outside the detention facility@ )hich )as used for the purpose of the strip searches3 <*he prisoners )ere told to get in the hole and remo"e their clothes: ,e had to thro) the clothes to the guards )ho )ould eep them if they li ed them: ,e )ere forced to ;ump and do pumping: *hen someone put their hands in e"eryone5s "agina and anus to chec for money or other "aluables: ,e )ere all together at this time# males and females: After the body search# )e )ere forced to neel in a cell on our hands and nees:?0=^ 7s P )as repatriated after ha ing been detained by Chinese authorities for .$ days. Fpon repatriation@ she )as strip/searched and made to squat and stand .00 times by the BBD. Bhe )as questioned and beaten until she fainted.$&# ^ Fpon transfer to the DPRK@ one )itness and other )omen )ere strip/searched by DPRK officials. The )omen had to hold their hands behind their head )hile they )ere being searched by female guards. After that they had to do .00 squats )hile still na;ed.$&& 4.2. Repatriated )omen are also sub(ected to unsanitary aginal searches. 8rdinary guards@ often using the same glo es on multiple )omen@ or no glo es at all@ )ill insert their hands into the inmates’ aginas in search of money. 5n some cases@ such searches are e en performed by men. During the entire time in detention@ guards ;eep detainees under close sur eillance to see )hether they ha e hidden money in any body ca ities. ,uards also loo; for items possibly hidden by the detainees in their faeces. Detainees )ere e en beaten for not defecating in order for such an inspection to be carried out. ^ 7r Kim Ooung/h)an@ )ho )or;s )ith former nationals of the DPRK@ including by pro iding assistance to them in China@ has heard many testimonies about the inhuman treatment faced by repatriated persons@ particularly )omen. Aomen are forced to strip na;ed and made to squat se eral times *IpumpingJ+ to ensure that anything hidden )ithin their bodies can be disco ered. 4or the same purpose@
$#= $&0 $&. $&#


TAP0.0@ TB"0.1@ TB"0#=@ TB"04=. TB"0&.. TB"0#=. Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ afternoon *)ith additional details pro ided by the )itness in a confidential inter ie)+. T?"0#1.



manual body ca ity chec;s are carried out@ including aginal and anal e>aminations. 5n some instances@ male personnel may carry out such searches and on female detainees.$&4 ^ 7s ?ee "eon A )as rounded up for repatriation )ith se eral other DPRK )omen@ including one pregnant )oman. During the transfer to the border@ the pregnant )oman )ent into labour on the bus they )ere tra elling in and ga e birth to a baby )ho died during birth. Those repatriated@ including the mother@ )ere made to undergo searches including manual body ca ity chec;s by male personnel and made to squat and stand up se eral times. 7s ?ee told the Commission that the searches Imade us feel degraded as )omen: ,e )ere stripped na ed )hen )e )ere arrested# they searched our bodies# e"en our "aginas: *hey made us sEuat and stand# repeatedly.J$&$ ^ 7r Kim Bong/(u obser ed from his cell at the 7usan 7PB 5nterrogation Centre ho) .0 )omen )ho had been repatriated from China )ere lined up in a ro) before a female officer inserted her hand into their aginas one after the other. 7r Kim also recounted ho) the guards ordered him@ in his capacity as designated cell leader@ to monitor the faeces of inmates to )atch out for hidden money. The guards too; any money found.$&% ^ 8ne )itness recalled ho) she and other )omen )ere searched by officials )ho intended to ta;e their money at the BBD 5nterrogation Detention Centre in Binui(u. Bhe described that an elderly female officer of high ran; personally conducted the searches@ using the same glo e for each ictim@ causing the )itness to de elop an infectious disease. The high/ran;ing officer also erbally humiliated a ery young )oman )hile inserting her hand into the )oman’s agina. $&2 ^ Another )itness also described a single glo e being repeatedly used )hen a guard at the BBD 5nterrogation Centre in 8nsong conducted aginal searches on her and other )omen repatriated from China. The )omen )ere also sub(ected to nude squats.$&1 ^ Another )itness related to the Commission of being physically abused the moment she re/entered the DPRK. Bhe and others )ere ta;en to a detention facility )here )omen )ere placed in a room separate to the men and had all their clothes and belongings remo ed and ta;en a)ay. They )ere made to lie do)n on their bac;s )ith their legs spread and an in asi e thorough body search )as conducted by the guards )ho )ere loo;ing for cash@ letters and phone numbers. A female guard )earing rubber glo es conducted a search of their body ca ities. The )itness sa) that other guards )ere loo;ing and laughing at them through the open )indo)s of the facility )hile this search )as conducted. The )itness heard that a man )ho )as caught concealing a credit card )as ta;en to a separate room and se erely beaten up. After one month@ the )itness )as transferred to another detention facility )here she )as sub(ected to another round of thorough body searches. 5n her group@ there )ere an elderly )oman and a )oman at a ery ad anced stage of her pregnancy. 9oth )ere not spared from physical and erbal abuse. They )ere made to squat and stand up .00 times. Ahen the old )oman )as too )ea; to carry this out@ female guards ;ic;ed her until she fell@ bringing do)n )ith her the pregnant detainee )ho )as standing ne>t to her. The pregnant detainee )as in pain from the fall but the guards simply started cursing her and shouted that she )as carrying a Chinese baby in her )omb. The guards e entually too; her to the medical facility of the detention centre. Ahen the pregnant detainee returned three days later@ she )as no longer carrying a child and she informed the rest of the detainees that she had a miscarriage. $&= 4.1. The Commission appreciates that body ca ity searches can in some circumstances be necessary for purposes of gathering e idence or ensuring security in detention and other facilities. "o)e er@ strict standards of legality@ necessity@ proportionality and humane process ha e to be obeyed. 5n addition to being duly authoriEed by la)@ they must be
$&4 $&$ $&%

$&2 $&1 $&=

Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ afternoon. Beoul Public "earing@ #0 August #0.&@ afternoon *0#3&$300+. <ondon Public "earing@ #& 8ctober #0.&@ session . *)ith additional details pro ided by the )itness in a confidential inter ie)+. T9,0.&. T9,0.1. T,C00.. &&'


carried out )ith a legitimate purpose and only )here necessary and proportional@ in a humane and sanitary manner@ and by qualified persons )ith appropriate training. $40 4.=. The Commission finds that the type of searches carried out in the DPRK fall short of these standards. Repatriated persons are systematically sub(ected to in asi e body searches@ )hich are conducted by ordinary guards in the presence of other prisoners and ser e the primary purpose of stealing any money that repatriated persons may ha e brought bac; )ith them. Buch searches are illegal under the DPRK Code of Criminal Procedure@ )hich only allo)s searches for purposes of gathering e idence@ and also constitute crimes under the Code of Criminal Procedure.$4. Those )ho resist are beaten into submission. 4#0. The insertion of hands by female@ and sometimes male@ guards into the ictim’s agina entails a bodily in asion. 5nternational criminal la) considers any un(ustified coerci e in asion of the genital opening of the ictim )ith a part of the perpetrator’s body as rape.$4# Considering the o erall degrading circumstances surrounding the searches@ the lac; of legitimate purpose and the failure to respect international standards on ca ity searches@ the Commission finds that in many instances the searches amount to rape@ as defined under international criminal la). 4#.. 5n addition to strip searches@ the forced continual squats )hilst na;ed and aginal ca ity searches@ repatriated )omen ha e also been sub(ected to other forms of se>ual iolence. ^ Ahile being repatriated on a truc; from China@ a )itness sa) a DPRK agent groping the breasts of another )oman. Ahen the agent sa) the )itness loo;ing at him@ he slapped her. $4& ^ Another )itness told the Commission that in the detention centre for repatriated persons@ )omen )ere regularly se>ually abused. 5n addition to being forced to do na;ed squats continually and aginal searches@ )omen )ere forced to get na;ed by guards and beaten.$44 4##. Repatriated )omen are further sub(ected to inhuman and degrading treatment by guards at detention facilities. 7any reported being spo;en to in a derogatory manner and others sub(ected to deliberately humiliating treatment. The Commission also recei ed testimony of sanitary nap;ins being ta;en from repatriated )omen )hen bleeding at the time.$4$ ^ in China.$4% 7s ?ee recalled the guards as;ing repatriated )omen about their se>ual e>periences

^ Another )itness told the Commission about being berated for Ibetraying her countryJ by lea ing@ and as;ed particularly humiliating questions such as I do you li e the taste of Chinese menIJ during interrogations.$42

$4. $4#

$4& $44 $4$ $4% $42

Bee Aorld 7edical Association@ IBtatement on 9ody Bearches of Prisoners@ adopted by the 4$th Aorld 7edical Assembly held in 9udapest@ "ungaryJ@ 8ctober .==&@ also a ailable from http3!!))).)ma.net!en!&0publications!.0policies!b$. Bee also CAT!C!"K,!C8!4@ para. .0. Bee Code of Criminal Procedure@ article .4& and Criminal Code@ article #$#. Bee -lements of Crime@ Assembly of Btates Parties to the Rome Btatute of the 5nternational Criminal Court@ .st Bession@ Beptember &6.0@ #00#@ article 2*.+*g+/.@ para. .. Bee also Prosecutor @ 4urundEi(a@. 5T/=$/.2!./T@ Trial ?udgment@ para. .1$N Prosecutor . Beasay et al@ Case :o. BCB</04/.$/T@ para. .4$N Prosecutor . Besay et al Prosecutor . 9rima et al@ Case :o. CB</ #004/.%/T@ Trial ?udgment@ para. %=&. Prosecutor A;eyesu@ para. %11. Bee also id.@ )here the 5nternational Criminal Tribunal for R)anda finds that thrusting a piece of )ood into a dying )oman’s agina constitutes rape. T?"0&#. TB"0.$. T?"0&#@ TB"0$0. Beoul Public "earing@ #0 August #0.&@ afternoon *0#3&1300+. TB"0#=.



^ Another )itness heard guards beating a repatriated )oman@ as;ing her I did you en;oy sleeping )ith a Chinese manIJ$41 ^ At the <ondon Public "earing@ the Commission heard from 7s Par; about the humiliating treatment she suffered in detention after repatriation. 7s Par; )as strip searched@ sub(ected to an in asi e aginal search and nude squats. Bhe e>plained to the Commission that the guards search for money also in ol ed tearing clothes and sanitary nap;ins. As her sanitary nap;ins )ere destroyed@ 7s Par; used a small piece of to)el during her menstrual period@ but )as punished by the guards in a humiliating manner for )ashing the to)el@ <[E]"ery morning )e )ere gi"en a small container full of )ater to )ash our face and this particular day 2 used it to the )ater to )ash the soiled to)el but 2 )as found out and 2 )as punished for misusing the )ater: 2 had to )ear the bloody to)el o"er my head# )hich )as my punishment for the )hole day:?0/. *iii+ Conditions at the holding centre J;ip yulsoK

4#&. 8nce those repatriated ha e been interrogated and determined to be regular border crossers@ they are often sent to a holding facility *;ip yulso+ to )ait to be pic;ed up by the 7PB. They may be held here for days and e en months. Bometimes these centres also ser e as the place )here the repatriated persons carry out their sentence. Conditions at the holding centres are inhuman@ and a policy of imposing deliberate star ation on prisoners continues to be in place. ^ 8ne )itness told the Commission about ha ing recei ed t)o spoonfuls of maiEe and a bo)l of radish pic;le soup per day )hen she )as held at the ;ip yulso. Bhe )as ;ept in a cell )ith about .0 others )hich measured # metres by # metres. A hole in the ground )as used as the toilet and the detainees had to as; for permission from the guards first before using the hole. 5f caught using it )ithout permission@ the detainee )ould be dragged out of the cell and be beaten by the guards. The beating )ould increase if the detainee cried or pleaded for mercy. The )itness )as ;ept at a second holding facility for fi e months before she )as transferred to )here she )as to ser e her sentence. $$0 ^ After her interrogation had concluded@ one )itness )as sent to the Chong(in holding centre. Bhe )as detained there for a year because the 7PB officers from her home region did not come to collect her. Aithout ha ing been con icted of any crime@ she )as sub(ected to forced labour and daily ideology training. Bhe almost died from a fe er as a result of the conditions in the lice infested cells. $$. ^ Another )itness spo;e to the Commission about ha ing spent fi e months in the Chong(in ;ip yulso. <ife there )as e>tremely hard. The inmates only recei ed fi e spoons of boiled corn three times a day@ )ith no egetables or salt. They also recei ed some hot )ater. The )itness traded his Chinese/quality clothes )ith other prisoners )ho recei ed e>tra food sent by relati es. Adults )ere forced to )or; hard for .0 hours a day in bric; laying@ timber cutting and farming. 5f they did not fulfil their daily )or; quota they had to )or; for longer. The )itness )as spared because the authorities thought he )as still a child. "e personally )itnessed .& men dying during his time in this ;ip yulso. Their bodies )ere )rapped up and left for days for the other inmates to see so as to instil fear in them. The guards told them@ IThis is )hat happens )hen you abandon your country.J Ahen the corpses started to rot@ the other prisoners )ere made to go to the mountains )here they dug a hole and dumped the bodies )ithout any coffin@ ceremony or gra esite mar;ing. The guards also assigned hardened criminals to ensure discipline among the detainees. Those )ho )ere repatriated )ere treated more harshly than ordinary criminals by these IdisciplinariansJ. 8ne night they beat
$41 $4=

$$0 $$.

T?"0&#. <ondon Public "earing@ #& 8ctober #0.&@ session # *0.30&300+ and the confidential inter ie) )ith the )itness. T,C00.. T9,0.1. &&$


to death a repatriated man )ho had been suspected of being in touch )ith R8K nationals in China. The )itness could hear the beating going on all night )ithout any inter ention from the guards. The )itness assumed the guards did not e>pect that the man )ould be beaten to death. The man )ho )as beaten to death had a 2 or 1 year old son )ho )as ;ept in the same (u enile cell as the )itness. After being detained for one more month@ the child )as sent to an orphanage. $$# (e) Forced abortion and infanticide against repatriated mothers and their children

4#4. The Commission finds that there is a )idespread pre alence of forced abortion and infanticide against repatriated mothers and their children@ in contra ention of domestic and international la)s. 4orced abortion occurs )hen a )oman )ho )ants to carry her pregnancy to full term is required to terminate it against her )ill. 5nfanticide is generally defined as a mother or other person ;illing an infant soon after birth. This only appears to ha e occurred )hen attempts to abort the pregnancy of a )oman repatriated from China failed@ or could be conducted because the )oman )as at an ad anced stage in her pregnancy and the baby )as born ali e.$$& 4#$. The ast ma(ority of forced abortions and infanticides upon pregnant )omen repatriated from China and their children are conducted )hen the )omen are detained at holding centres *;ip yulso+ and interrogation and detention centres * uryu;ang# BBD facilities+. 5n e>treme cases@ forced abortions and infanticides upon repatriated )omen and their ne)/born children may occur inside regular prisons * yoh)aso+ or in political prison camps * )anliso+ )hen a )oman’s pregnancy has gone undetected in the gathering@ interrogation or detention centres for repatriated persons. The pregnant )oman may ha e a oided a forced abortion earlier through bribery or other means@ or because she )as at an ad anced stage in her pregnancy at the time of repatriation and )as promptly transferred to a prison before she ga e birth.$$4 4#%. Aitness testimony points to DPRK authorities’ disdain for ethnically mi>ed children 6 specifically children concei ed to Chinese men 6 as the dri er of forced abortions upon pregnant )omen and infanticide of their babies. $$$ Becondary sources and )itness testimonies point to an underlying belief in a Ipure Korean raceJ in the DPRK to )hich mi>ed race children *of ethnic Koreans+ are considered a contamination of its IpurenessJ. $$% ^ 4orced abortions are carried out on the premise that all repatriated pregnant )omen could be carrying babies concei ed by Chinese men. The )omen are not as;ed about the ethnicity of the father of the child. ^ A )oman )ho had been repatriated se eral times and )itnessed t)o pregnant )omen sub(ected to forced abortions told the Commission@ <if you get pregnant in China# the assumption is that you ha"e been impregnated by a Chinese man# therefore )omen returning to the &PRK pregnant are sub;ected to forced abortions:? $$2 5f the forced abortions are carried out on the assumption that all pregnant )omen are carrying babies concei ed by Chinese men@ the authorities are rec;less in their assumption as )omen are not as;ed )hat ethnicity the father of the child is.

$$# $$& $$4 $$$ $$%


T?"0&2. T9,0.1@ TB"04=. TB"0#=. TAP00&@ TB"0#=@ TB"0$.@ T9,0#4. Da id "a);@ *he 4idden Aulag$ *he %i"es and Boices of M*hose ,ho Are Sent to the Countains5@ p. %%. TAP00&.



^ A former BBD official e>plained to the Commission that the concept of Ipure Korean bloodJ remains in the DPRK psyche. Therefore ha ing a child )ho is not I -88 per centJ Korean ma;es a )oman Iless than humanJ.$$1 ^ 8ne )itness ga e testimony to the Commission about the abuse a pregnant )oman recei ed before being forced to abort her pregnancy. At the 7usan County detention facility@ alongside other erbal and physical abuse@ guards cursed a pregnant )oman clearly in pain from the abuse@ shouting that she )as Icarrying a Chinese baby in her )ombJ.$$= ^ 8ne )itness sa) guards ta;e a)ay the ne)/born baby of a repatriated mother at the 8nsong County BBD detention facility. 7oments after the baby )as born to the mother in the cell 6 )ithout medical assistance 6 guards put the baby in a buc;et and too; it a)ay saying I the baby is not humanJ and I[it] does not deser"e to li"e because it is impureJ.$%0 ^ Another )itness described to the Commission seeing officials at an BBD detention facility in "oeryong force chemicals into the agina of a pregnant )oman to encourage an abortion. Ahilst doing so@ the officials said they must e>terminate Imi>ed/race peopleJ. $%. ^ 7r Kim Ooung/h)an@ )ho )or;s )ith former DPRK nationals@ including pro iding assistance to them in China@ testified before the Commission at the Beoul Public "earing3 I(orced abortion and forced murder of ne)-borns are carried out: North Korean defectors )ho got pregnant in China# if they are repatriated bac # they are blamed for carrying the child of a Chinese national and they are put to recei"e forced abortion or# if they gi"e birth# that child is illed:J$%# 4#2. The disdain for children )ho are not of pure Korean blood and ethnicity is belie ed to e>ist in DPRK society in general@ not (ust among authorities and security agencies. According to the testimony of a former BBD official@ forced abortions are therefore also conducted for supposedly bene olent reasons@ sa ing a )oman from later discrimination for ha ing an IimpureJ child.$%& 4#1. 4orced abortions are also intended as an additional punishment for )omen )ho ha e left the DPRK and became pregnant in China. ^ 8ne )itness told the Commission that )omen are sub(ected to forced abortions as a form of punishment for treason *i.e. ha ing gone to China+.$%4 ^ A former Commissioner of the Aomen’s ,roup@ )ho herself )itnessed *in her capacity as Commissioner+ a forced abortion upon a repatriated )oman@ testified that there is a policy on forced abortions targeting )omen repatriated to the DPRK. Bhe stated that )omen )ho become pregnant in China@ irrespecti e of the father’s ethnicity@ are sub(ected to forced abortion )ithout e>ception. "o)e er@ this )as not done in hospitals. 5nstead@ security agents beat pregnant )omen and sub(ected them to arduous and strenuous )or;. The )itness personally sa) a pregnant )oman being beaten by an BBD agent in a ;ip yulso in a northern pro ince sometime in #002. Becurity agents )ere calling the pregnant detainee names@ and saying that the offspring of Chinese men cannot be born in the DPRK. The agents erbally and physically abused her@ and she miscarried immediately. The foetus )as discarded. $%$

$$1 $$= $%0 $%. $%# $%& $%4 $%$

T9,0&.. T,C00.. T?"0#1. T<C00=. Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ afternoon *003#13#0+. T9,0&.. TAP00&. TAP002. &&.


^ Another former official testified@ that )hile there )ere no specific instructions to forcibly abort the pregnancies of repatriated )omen *in the years .==%/#000+@ the in estigators )ho did so )ere not punished but complimented.$%% 4#=. Aitness testimony also re eals that )omen ta;en to holding centres * ;ip yulso+ and interrogation and detention centres * uryu;ang# BBD facilities+ can be forcefully sub(ected to blood testing.$%2 According to an e>pert )ho )or;s )ith people )ho ha e fled from the DPRK@ blood tests are no) routinely conducted on all repatriated )omen. The suggested purpose of this is to screen for "5C and pregnancy. $%1 4&0. The follo)ing methods are used to inflict forced abortions upon ictims3


5nflicting trauma to the uterus through physical force to induce e>pulsion of the foetusN such as beating@ ;ic;ing@ and other)ise traumatiEing the pel ic and abdominal areas of a pregnant )oman.$%= The infliction of such trauma can also cause internal bleeding and damage to organs. 4orcing pregnant )omen to engage in hea y physical )or; and other acti ity@ accompanied by poor nutrition@ to induce pre/term labour or premature separation of the placenta from the uterus.$20 Fse of chemicals and abortifacient herbs@ generally inserted into the aginal ca ity by hand to terminate the pregnancy or to induce e>pulsion of the foetus.$2. The use of herbs or chemicals in this manner can ha e serious side effects as they can be absorbed easily into the bloodstream *causing organ failure or e en death+. 4orceful physical remo al of foetus by reaching or po;ing into the agina )ith a tong/li;e apparatus or sharp ob(ect to either remo e the foetus from the )oman’s body or cause its e>pulsion. $2# This type of forced abortion can cause scarring@ adhesions@ internal damage and infertility. $2& The administration of drugs *orally or ia in(ection+ to ;ill the baby in utero $24 and! or artificially induce e>pulsion of the foetus@ or depending on the stage in the pregnancy@ to induce premature labour. $2$ The prematurely born child usually cannot sur i e by itself )ithout medical assistance and dies shortly thereafter. 5n some cases@ guards ha e ;illed babies prematurely induced. $2% These cases are considered forced abortions as the action of the guards to artificially induce the baby terminates the pregnancy *against the )ill of the mother+@ and the baby subsequently dies )ithout further inter ention by any person *e en though it may ha e been ali e momentarily+.





$%% $%2 $%1 $%=

$20 $2. $2# $2& $24 $2$ $2%

T9,0&.. TAP0.0@ T9,0.1@ TB"0.$@ TB"0$0. Bubmission to the Commission3 Confidential source. TAP00&@ T,C00.@ TB"0&=@ TB"04=@ T?"0&#@ 7s P@ Beoul Public "earing @ #. August #0.&@ afternoon. TAP002@ TB"0.$@ TB"0$0. T<C00=. TAP0.0@ TB"0.1@ TB"0&0. TAP0.0. T<C001. TAP0.0@ T9,0.1. TAP0.0.




Burgical remo al of the foetus $22 *Isympathy abortionsJ carried out in China ‒ see belo)+ conducted by medically trained personnel *generally in a hospital or other medical facility+.

^ 7s ?ee "eon A@ ha ing )itnessed forced abortions and infanticide upon other repatriated )omen in an earlier period of detention after repatriation@ )as herself sub(ected to a forced abortion in detention after her third repatriation. At the Beoul Public "earing@ she testified before the Commission3 I2 )as found to be pregnant# three months pregnant at that time: 2 )as so surprised that 2 )as pregnant: And 2 remember in -... )hen the baby )as born in the prison# 2 thought 2 )as going to go through the same thing [ha"ing to )atch the baby sub;ected to infanticide]# but they said that they )ere going to ma e me get an abortion# and )hat they meant by abortion )as instead of gi"ing me a shot# they ma e me lie on a table# and get a surgery right a)ay: *here )as a lot of bleeding @ 2 could not stand straight:J $21 7s ?ee )as sub(ected to the forceful physical remo al of the foetus in her )omb by someone reaching into her uterus )hilst she )as restrained on a table. The bleeding )as so profuse it ga e rise to concerns of internal damage. After)ards@ she )as immediately sent to a yoh)aso. Bhe suffered so much bleeding that the responsible officer decided to release her from the yoh)aso. ^ Another )itness told the Commission that she )as )ell a)are that she )ould be sub(ected to forced abortion as she )as pregnant. "o)e er@ she thought she )ould be made to undergo a similar procedure e>perienced by her cellmate )ho had been nine months pregnant. The cellmate )as apparently gi en an in(ection to induce labour@ and )hen the baby )as deli ered@ it )as suffocated to death by ha ing its face turned do)n. "o)e er@ the )itness )as sub(ected to a forced abortion )ithout anaesthetic@ by a )oman using her hands and rusty equipment. The )itness described screaming in pain during the operation and being told to stop screaming. After)ards@ she sa) blood e ery)here and the aborted foetus in a buc;et. Bhe became infertile after this. 8n the same day as the forced abortion@ she )as made to )or; e en though she )as suffering from bac; pains and cramps. Bhe remained in the ;ip yulso for three months before she )as transferred bac; to her home to)n for her sentence to be further determined.$2= 4&.. A )itness before the Commission sa) se en pregnant )omen at Chong(in ;ip ulso sub(ected to forced abortions. The )omen )ere made to lie do)n and gi en an in(ection to induce a miscarriage. $10 4&#. Ahen a repatriated mother is able to carry her baby to full term@ she is not pro ided )ith any medical assistance before@ during or after childbirth. "o)e er@ other )omen in the same cell are able to assist the mother in labour through to the birth of her child. 5n most cases@ guards at the detention facilities in )hich repatriated persons are held force either the mother$1. or a third person$1# to ;ill the baby by dro)ning it in )ater $1& or suffocating it by holding a cloth or other item against its face or putting the baby face do)n so that it cannot breathe.$14 ^ 7s ?ee "eon A also recalled )atching a mother forced to suffocate her child moments after gi ing birth3 <@there )as this pregnant )oman )ho )as about . months pregnant: She )or ed all day: *he babies )ho )ere born )ere usually dead# but in this case the baby )as born ali"e: *he baby )as crying as it )as bornH )e )ere so curious# this )as the first time )e sa) a baby being
$22 $21 $2= $10 $1. $1# $1& $14

T9,0.2. Beoul Public "earing@ #0 August #0.&@ afternoon *0&30=34$+. TAP0.0. T9,0.1. 7s ?ee "eon A@ Beoul Public "earing@ #0 August #0.&@ afternoon. T9,0.1@ T<C0.1. T<C0.1. T9,0.1@ TB"0$.. &&2


born: So )e )ere )atching this baby and )e )ere so happy: 3ut suddenly )e heard the footsteps: *he security agent came in and this agent of the 3o)ibu said that@ usually )hen a baby is born )e )ould )ash it in a bo)l of )ater# but this agent told us to put the baby in the )ater upside do)n: So the mother )as begging: M2 )as told that 2 )ould not be able to ha"e the baby# but 2 actually got luc y and got pregnant so let me eep the baby# please forgi"e me5# but this agent ept beating this )oman# the mother )ho ;ust ga"e birth: And the baby# since it )as ;ust born# it )as ;ust crying: And the mother# )ith her sha ing hands she pic ed up the baby and she put the baby face do)n in the )ater: *he baby stopped crying and )e sa) this )ater bubble coming out of the mouth of the baby: And there )as an old lady )ho helped )ith the labour# she pic ed up the baby from the bo)l of )ater and left the room Euietly: So those ind of things repeatedly happened: *hat )as in the detention centre in the city of Chong;in of 4amgyong Pro"ince:?$1$ ^ 9ased on the testimonies his organiEation collected from )omen@ 7r Kim Ooung/ h)an also pro ided testimony at the Beoul Public "earing about the horror of mothers ha ing to )atch their children being ;illed3 IX if the child is born# then the child is put to death immediately: Sometimes# the mouth and the nose are co"ered )ith a )et cloth leading to the suffocation of the baby: ,e ha"e se"eral testimonies: Sometimes# the baby is put face do)n# so that the baby cannot breathe# and this is one )ay of illing the baby# and )ithin a fe) minutes or )ithin a fe) hours# the baby )ould cry in pain because it cannot breathe: Regardless# the mother of the baby is made to )itness this neDt to [her] baby:J$1% 4&&. The Commission finds that pregnant )omen are detained in contra ention of domestic la)@ )hich prohibits the detention of )omen three months before or se en months after gi ing birth.$12 7oreo er@ in the course of forced abortions and infanticide@ )omen are in fact not afforded any ;ind of protection under the la).$11 4&4. 4orced abortions iolate the )omen’s right to physical integrity and security of the person as )ell as their se>ual and reproducti e rights. $1= Directed against )omen’s reproducti e capacity@ forced abortions and infanticide also entail discrimination and persecution on the basis of gender. The forced abortions and infanticide carried out by DPRK officials@ )hich are based on gender and racial discrimination@ regularly sub(ect )omen to a le el of intentional and se ere mental and physical suffering that satisfies the threshold of torture as defined under article 2 of the 5CCPR. $=0 The documented cases of

$1$ $1% $12 $11 $1=


Beoul Public "earing@ #0 August #0.&@ afternoon *0#34#300+. Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ afternoon *003&03$0+. The People’s Bafety -nforcement <a) *.==#+@ article $0 clause &. Bee section 5C.- for further on this. Bee Bpecial Rapporteur on Ciolence against Aomen@ its Causes and Consequences@ -!C:.4!.===!%1!Add.4@ paras. 4$@ 4=. Bee also 9ei(ing Platform for Action@ adopted at the 4ourth Aorld Conference for Aomen *.==$+@ para. ..$N Committee on the -limination of Discrimination against Aomen@ ,eneral Recommendation .=@ A!42!&1@ para. ##N C-DAA!C!C":!C8!%@ para. &#. Article . of the Con ention against Torture@ )hich also informs the definition of torture under 5CCPR@ article 2@ defines torture as any act by )hich se ere pain or suffering@ )hether physical or mental@ is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession@ punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of ha ing committed@ or intimidating or coercing him or a third person@ or for any reason based on discrimination of any ;ind@ )hen such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or )ith the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. 8n the recognition of forced abortion as an act of torture see the reports of successi e Bpecial Rapporteurs on Torture and other Cruel@ 5nhuman and Degrading Treatment@ A!"RC!##!$& *#0.&+@ para. 41N A!"RC!2!&@ para. %=. Bee also "uman Rights Committee@ ,eneral Comment :o. #1@ CCPR!C!#.!Re ..!Add..0@ para. ...



infanticide constitute particularly egregious cases of e>tra(udicial ;illings in iolation of article % of the 5CCPR. <f= 9orced repatriation and refoulement of citi7ens of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea by China 4&$. Despite the torture@ arbitrary imprisonment and other gross human rights iolations a)aiting forcibly repatriated persons in the DPRK@ China pursues a rigorous policy of forced repatriation of DPRK citiEens )ho are in China )ithout proper documentation. 4&%. :umerous )itnesses testified that they )ere arrested by Chinese officials )hen it )as disco ered that they )ere DPRK nationals and could not present alid papers. 5n a number of cases@ there seemed to be targeted operations to find and apprehend DPRK nationals. "umanitarian acti ists )ho )or;ed in the pro inces bordering China also indicated that China encouraged its population to denounce DPRK nationals and punished those )ho harboured them. 5n 7arch #0.&@ the Chinese police )as reported to ha e issued a crac;do)n order in Oanbian on illegal border crossing. This included monetary re)ards for information pro ided to find illegal border crossers@ as had apparently been done on pre ious occasions. The faster the information is pro ided and the greater the number of illegal border crossers that the information relates to@ the higher the supposed re)ard. $=. Reportedly@ the Chinese security agency further hired DPRK citiEens to inform on other DPRK nationals planning to flee to the R8K.$=# 4&2. China also seems to ha e been ta;ing acti e measures to ensure that DPRK nationals cannot get access to foreign embassies and consulates to see; protection or asylum.$=& 5n the case of pre enting access to the R8K -mbassy or Consulates@ this meant DPRK nationals are not able to a ail themsel es of the opportunity to see; protection from the R8K and be considered for R8K citiEenship in accordance )ith the R8K Constitution and la)s.$=4

$=# $=&


<ife 4unds for :orth Korean Refugees@ IChina Promises 9ounty on All :K Refugees Turned 5nJ@ &. April #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).north;oreanrefugees.com!#0.&/0&/ bounty.htm. K5:F@ ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.&+@ p. 4%. 5n #00#@ the Chinese 7inistry of 4oreign Affairs apparently issued a letter to foreign embassies follo)ing e ents )hich Ioccurred in succession K)hereL third country nationals intruded into foreign embassies and consulates in China X directly endangerKingL the security of the embassies and consulates concerned and disturbKingL their routine )or; Kas )ell asL pro o;ed Chinese la) and affected the public security and stability of China.J As such@ in response to requests made to it by Imany foreign embassies and consulates in ChinaJ and Iin conformity )ith the interests of both sidesJ@ a series of measures )ere ta;en by the Chinese authorities to protect the security of foreign diplomatic and consular representing institutions. The letter also states that@ IAccording to the principle of international la) that embassies and consulates has no right of asylum@ the Chinese side also )ishes embassies concerned to render cooperation and inform the Consular Department of Chinese 7inistry of 4oreign Affairs in case the illegal intruders )ere found@ and hand o er the intruders to the Chinese public security organs.J "uman Rights Aatch *"RA+@ IThe 5n isible ->odus3 :orth Koreans in the PRCJ@ :o ember #00#@ pp. #=/&0. A ailable from http3!!))).hr).org!reports!#00#!north;orea!nor;or..0#.pdf. Bee more on the successi e attempts made by DPRK nationals to access foreign embassies and consulates in China leading to the issuance of the letter at pp. #1/#= of the same "RA report. Additional cases of DPRK nationals )ho )ere seiEed by Chinese officials as they tried to find protection in diplomatic and consular premises are reported in :orth Korea 4reedom Coalition@ IZThe <ist’ of :orth Korean Refugees and "umanitarian Aor;ers seiEed by Chinese authoritiesJ@ #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).n;freedom.org!FploadedDocuments!T"-<5BT#0.&W-nglish.pdf. Fnder a combination of the pro isions in the R8K Constitution@ the R8K :ationality Act and the Protection of :orth Korean Residents and Bupport of their Bettlement Act@ DPRK nationals are in fact entitled to R8K citiEenship )ith some e>ceptions *namely@ those )ho ha e &#&


4&1. Those apprehended are usually detained in police stations or detention facilities in military installations. Repatriated persons generally report that their treatment in Chinese detention )as better than the systematic and gross human rights iolations e>perienced in the DPRK. "o)e er@ instances of serious human rights iolations in ol ing se>ual and physical iolence by Chinese guards ha e been reported. ^ 5n #00%@ one )itness )as incarcerated in a detention facility in Tumen@ China for se en months. During this time her interrogators beat her and other DPRK citiEens )ith their hands@ chairs and clubs in order to obtain the name of the bro;er )ho too; them to China. Fpon her forced repatriation to the DPRK@ she )as sub(ected to e en )orse torture and se>ual iolence leading her to ta;e the ie) that IChinese prisons are hea en compared to DPRK prisonsJ.$=$ ^ Another )itness@ )ho )as arrested )ithin a )ee; of reaching China@ )as initially sent to an army prison in China. Bhe and other captured )omen from the DPRK )ere stripped of their clothes and searched. 4emale guards conducted the search@ but t)o male guards )ere also present. Bome of the )omen@ )ho refused to strip na;ed@ )ere erbally abused and beaten )ith clubs until they complied.$=% ^ A )itness )as arrested in Bhanghai after he unsuccessfully attempted to see; protection from the R8K Consulate. 5n detention@ )hen he tried to deny being from the DPRK@ t)o Chinese guards turned him upside do)n against a )all and ;ic;ed him in the head. This made him admit to his nationality.$=2 ^ Another )itness )as lured to China on the prete>t of )or;ing on a farm to earn money but )as traffic;ed and sold to a Chinese man )ho held her capti e for three years. Bhe got arrested after escaping from her Chinese IhusbandJ. At that time@ she )as se en months pregnant. Bhe told the Commission that se>ual iolence )as rife in the Chinese detention facility3 <All the guards )ould hit your breasts as you )al ed by: 2f someone )ho is more attracti"e is caught# then they )ould be treated as a seDual play thing: Some girls get pregnant in the prison:? The )itness herself )as raped by a guard in a detention facility in Tonghua County. Bhe also sa) guards ta;ing a)ay other )omen )ho )ere then raped and brought bac; to the cell. ,uards also placed their hands in )omen’s aginas to see; money they could steal.$=1 4&=. Those apprehended might be in detention in China for any length of time from a fe) days to se eral months@ depending on ho) long their interrogation ta;es. 8nly )hen a sufficient number of DPRK citiEens has been gathered are they ta;en by force across the border and handed o er to the DPRK authorities. 440. Aitness testimony also indicates that Chinese officials tas;ed to implement the repatriation policy are normally a)are of the human rights iolations that repatriated persons face in the DPRK. 5n some cases@ officials e en seemed to sho) sympathy to)ards captured DPRK citiEens@ but had to comply )ith the repatriation policy nonetheless. 8fficials appeared to be a)are of the conduct of forced abortions on pregnant )omen repatriated from China.

$=$ $=% $=2 $=1

committed serious non/political crimes+. Bee -lim Chan and Andreas Bchloenhardt@ I:orth Korean Refugees and 5nternational Refugee <a)J@ 2nternational 'ournal of Refugee %a)@ ol. .=@ :o. # *#002+@ p. .=. The Bettlement Act@ article & further pro ides that the Act shall only Iapply to residents escaping from :orth Korea )ho ha e e>pressed their intention to be protected by the Republic of KoreaJ )hile article 2 of the same Act sets out the procedure for in o;ing such protection )hich includes applying Ifor protection to the head of an o erseas diplomatic or consular missionJ. *Bee "RA@ IThe 5n isible ->odus3 :orth Koreans in the PRCJ@ pp. &0/&. on R8K policy+. T9,0.&. T?"0#1. T?"0&2. TB"0#=.



^ 8ne Chinese officer of Korean ethnicity told one )itness that he )as often so distressed o er the numerous people )ho are repatriated that he ended up berating those )ho )ere facing repatriation for allo)ing themsel es to be caught.$== ^ A )itness had obser ed a guard at a detention centre in China suggesting to a pregnant )oman to ha e an abortion in China instead of being sub(ected to forced abortion once repatriated to the DPRK: The )itness )ho sa) the pregnant )oman later no longer carrying a child concluded that it )as probably Ibetter for her to ha"e it in China# as the sanitary conditions are much better:?%00 44.. 5n #00$@ the Bpecial Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and fi e other Bpecial Rapporteurs of the "uman Rights Council con eyed concerns about forced repatriations from China since IDemocratic People’s Republic of Korea citiEens face detention under cruel@ inhuman and degrading conditions@ ill/treatment and torture as )ell as@ in e>treme cases@ summary e>ecution in the Democratic People’s Republic of KoreaJ.%0. 5n response@ the Chinese ,o ernment assured the Bpecial Rapporteurs that they guarantee the la)ful rights and interests of foreign citiEens )ithin its territory. 44#. Contrary to these assurances@ China has maintained its policy of forcibly repatriating DPRK nationals. 5n 7ay #0.&@ nine DPRK citiEens@ aged .$/#& years@ )ere forcibly repatriated by the <ao People’s Democratic Republic ia China. 9oth the "igh Commissioner for "uman Rights and the "igh Commissioner for Refugees con eyed their concern to the ,o ernments of China and <aos@ reminding them of the prohibition on nonrefoulement under international human rights and refugee la).%0# 44&. The obligation not to e>pel@ return * refouler+ or e>tradite a person to another state )here there are substantial grounds for belie ing that he or she )ould be in danger of being sub(ected to torture emerges from article & of the Con ention against Torture@ ratified by China on 4 8ctober .=11. Contrary to article && of the Con ention Relating to the Btatus of Refugees@ to )hich China is also a Btate party@ repatriation typically also places DPRK citiEens in a position )here their life or freedom )ould be threatened on account of their religion and!or membership of a particular social group or holding of a political opinion. The obligation not to e>pel persons to other states )here there are substantial grounds for belie ing that the person )ould be in danger of being sub(ect to gross human rights iolations also emerges from the requirements of customary international la). 444. The 8ffice of the Fnited :ations "igh Commissioner for Refugees *F:"CR+ has a small presence in 9ei(ing ser ing the -ast Asia and the Pacific sub/region. 5t conducts refugee status determination under its mandate for indi idual asylum see;ers as a temporary measure until the ,o ernment of China creates its o)n state structures. The Commission finds that China disregards its agreement )ith F:"CR to allo) F:"CR personnel unimpeded access to asylum see;ers including those from the DPRK. 44$. Ahen the Btanding Committee of China’s :ational People’s Congress adopted the ne) Administration %a) on Entry and EDit in ?uly #0.#@ it added to domestic la) for the first time pro isions regarding the treatment of refugees * article 4%+. The ne) rules )ere to enter into force in ?uly #0.&@ and )ere e>pected to result in the adoption of a comprehensi e national refugee frame)or;@ including pro isions relating to refugee
$== %00 %0. %0#

-?"00&. T9,0.2. Bee A!"RC!4!&4!Add..@ para. .#=. 8"C"R@ IPress briefing notes on :orth Korean defectors and Papua :e) ,uineaJ@ &. 7ay #0.&@ a ailable from http3!!))).ohchr.org!-:!:e)s- ents!Pages!Display:e)s.asp>D :e)s5D_.&&=0MN F:"CR IF:"CR chief calls on states to respect non/refoulement after :orth Koreans deported from <aosJ@ &0 7ay #0.&@ a ailable from ))).unhcr.org!$.a2$.0b=.html. &#'


children.%0& The Commission is not a)are of any progress in the effecti e implementation of this la) in accordance )ith China’s international obligations under the Refugee Con ention@ in particular in relation to DPRK nationals. 44%. 4rom the body of testimony and other information gathered by the Commission@ it finds that many of the DPRK citiEens )ho cross the border into China do so o)ing to a )ell/founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of religion or political opinion. 4or others@ persecution ta;es the shape of se ere socio/economic depri ation because they are members of a lo) songbun social class. 5n addition@ persons forcibly repatriated to the DPRK are regularly sub(ected to torture and arbitrary detention and@ in some instances@ also to rape@ enforced disappearance@ summary e>ecution and other gross human rights iolations. They are also li;ely to be considered as ha ing committed Itreason against the 4atherland by defectionJ under article %# of the Criminal Code or under another of the aguely defined and political Ianti/stateJ or Ianti/peopleJ crimes. 442. The Commission therefore finds that many DPRK nationals@ deemed by China as mere economic illegal migrants@ are arguably either refugees fleeing persecution or become refugees sur place@%04 and are thereby entitled to international protection. 441. There are also reasonable grounds indicating that Chinese officials pro ide the DPRK authorities )ith information about persons from the DPRK )hom they apprehend@ including information about the circumstances and place of their apprehension and contacts they had in China. ^ 7r Kim Bong/(u@ )ho spo;e at the <ondon hearing@ said3 <,hen 2 )as repatriated to the &PRK to China# the &PRK agency had already obtained the report pro"ided by the Chinese police# because my escape )as planned to)ards South Korea# if 2 said anything against the report pro"ided by China# 2 )ould be hitH 2 )ould be beaten again:?%0$ 44=. A former official@ )ho )or;ed on border security@ stated that )hen the Chinese authorities repatriate DPRK nationals@ they also pro ide the DPRK authorities )ith documentation regarding the li ing circumstances of the repatriated persons in China. The documentation indicated )hether the DPRK nationals had simply li ed )ith their IspousesJ or ha e had contact )ith Christians or R8K nationals including )ith R8K intelligence agents. Buch information )as used by the DPRK authorities in determining the fate of those repatriated persons. Those belie ed to be )or;ing )ith R8K intelligence )ere e>ecuted in the DPRK@ )hilst those in ol ed )ith Christian missionaries )ould be sent to DPRK prison camps )ithout trial.%0% The same )itness also indicated that Chinese officials used differently coloured stamps on the documentation handed o er to the DPRK authorities based on )hether the repatriated persons planned to reach the R8K or not. %02 Another )itness also indicated that the Chinese authorities pro ided their DPRK counterparts )ith a document concerning her case upon handing her o er.%01 4$0. A humanitarian acti ist@ )ho )or;ed e>tensi ely on a clandestine basis in both China and the DPRK and spo;e to the Commission@ indicated that Chinese authorities


%0$ %0% %02


F:"CR submission to China’s FPR@ 7arch #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).ohchr.org!-:!"R9odies!FPR!Pages!FPRC:F:ContributionsB.2.asp>. 4or further information on refugees sur place@ see F:"CR@ I"andboo; on Procedures and Criteria for Determining Refugee Btatus under the .=$. Con ention and the .=%2 Protocol relating to the Btatus of RefugeesJ@ ?anuary .==#@ paras. =4/=%. <ondon Public "earing@ #& 8ctober #0.&@ session . *003$$30.+. T?"0.$. Bee section 5C.A.4. This description is consistent )ith testimony reportedly put for)ard by other former DPRK CitiEens. Bee BuEanne Bcholte@ Testimony to "earing before the Congressional/->ecuti e Commission on China@ IChina’s Repatriation of :orth Korean RefugeesJ@ $ 7arch #0.#@ p. %. T9,0.1.



pro ided information to their DPRK counterparts and might recei e deli eries of lumber in e>change for this information.%0= 4$.. The reported e>changes of information seem consistent )ith a protocol concluded bet)een the DPRK’s 7inistry of Btate Becurity and China’s 7inistry of Public Becurity in .=1% and re ised in .==1. 5ts stated purpose is to maintain national security and social order in the border areas bet)een the DPRK and China. Article $ of the protocol sets out the agreement for mutual cooperation Ion the issue of handling criminalsJ. 5t pro ides@ among other things@ for each side to be informed of any danger regarding people )ho disrupt national security and iolate social order escaping into the other’s side of the border. 9oth sides are to pro ide the other any information or materials recei ed regarding the safety and social order of the other’s side border.%.0 4$#. 5n a letter dated .% December #0.& from the Chair of the Commission addressing the Chinese Ambassador in ,ene a@ the Commission raised the abo e concerns )ith China. The Commission particularly e>pressed its concern regarding China’s continued policy of repatriating DPRK nationals )ithout affording them the opportunity to ha e their refugee status determined. This is carried out despite many of them ha ing crossed the border into China o)ing to a )ell/founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of religion@ and!or membership of a particular social group or political opinion. The Commission also highlighted ho) persons forcibly repatriated to the DPRK are found to be regularly sub(ected to torture and arbitrary detention and@ in some instances@ also to rape@ enforced disappearance@ summary e>ecution and other gross human rights iolations. The Commission further informed the PRC of numerous allegations of forced abortions and infanticide regarding children belie ed to ha e been fathered by Chinese nationals. %.. 4$&. The Commission further sought clarification regarding any measures ta;en by China to ensure that repatriated persons )ould not be sub(ected to such iolations upon their return to the DPRK. 5n reference to the border control/related agreements concluded bet)een China’s 7inistry of Public Becurity and the DPRK’s 7inistry of Btate Becurity@ the Commission con eyed its concern about allegations of information e>change )hich further aggra ates the ris; that repatriated DRPK nationals )ould be sub(ect to torture@ enforced disappearance and summary e>ecution@ in particular )here information con eyed relates to alleged contacts that DPRK citiEens may ha e had )ith Christian churches or R8K nationals or any attempts they may ha e made to tra el on)ards to the R8K. 4$4. 5n its letter of reply dated &0 December #0.&@ China reiterated its position that IDPRK citiEens )ho ha e entered China illegally do it for economic reasonsJ@ and that they are not refugees. Accordingly@ their Iillegal entry not only iolates Chinese la)s@ but also undermines China’s border controlJ. As such@ China claimed that it Ihas the legitimate rights to address those cases Kincluding other illegal and criminal acts committed by someL according to la)J. 5t also claimed that@ since DPRK citiEens )ho ha e been seiEed by the Chinese public security and border guard authorities ha e repeatedly entered China illegally@ the allegation that repatriated DPRK citiEens from China face torture in the DPRK is therefore not true.%.#


-?"00&. Bee also Roberta Cohen@ Aashington Public "earing@ &. 8ctober #0.&@ afternoon. 7inistry of 4oreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China@ Ohonghua Renmin Aongheguo bian ;ie shi )u tiao yue ;i: Ohong Chao ;uan *Compilation of Treaties on 9order Affairs of the People’s Republic of China3 Bino/:orth Korea Colume+@ pp. &11/&1= *9ei(ing@ Aorld Affairs Press@ #004+ *Fnofficial -nglish translation+. Bee Anne> 55 of the Commission report *A!"RC!#$!%&+. Bee Anne> 55 of the Commission report *A!"RC!#$!%&+. &#$


%.. %.#



*raffic ing in )omen and girls

4$$. Traffic;ing in persons@ as defined by the Fnited :ations Protocol to Pre ent@ Buppress and Punish Traffic;ing in Persons@%.& remains one of the gra est human rights abuses against DPRK )omen and girls. 4$%. 9ecause of tight border control@ persons )ho )ish to cross the border typically ha e to rely on organiEed help to ma;e it across undetected. There is a spectrum of persons engaged in such acti ities. 8n the one hand of the spectrum are humanitarian acti ists )ho are dri en by a moti ation to help those )ishing to flee the DPRK. There are also commercial people smugglers@ generally referred to as Ibro;ersJ@ )ho help those )ho oluntarily )ish to cross the border in e>change for payments that reach se eral thousand FB dollars according to more recent accounts. 8n the dar; end of the spectrum@ there are also traffic;ers@ generally disguised as bro;ers@ )ho target mainly )omen and girls and apply force or deception to bring their ictims into situations of e>ploitation. 4$2. The Commission estimates that a large percentage of )omen and girls )ho cross the border from the DPRK to China unaccompanied become ictims of traffic;ing in persons@ mainly for purposes of e>ploitation in forced marriage and forced concubinage. A number of )omen and girls are also forced to )or; in prostitution under conditions of control by others. 4$1. Article % of C-DAA obliges 7ember Btates to Ita;e all appropriate measures@ including legislation@ to suppress all forms of traffic in )omen and e>ploitation of prostitution of )omenJ. Article &4 of the CRC further requires states to protect children from se>ual e>ploitation. The Commission finds that both the DPRK and China are failing to pro ide these protections to ulnerable )omen and girls from the DPRK in China. The Commission recei ed information that both China and the DPRK apply stiff criminal sentences to apprehend traffic;ers@ including in the DPRK’s case the death penalty. "o)e er@ China’s refoulement practice and the DPRK’s torture and punishment of repatriated persons effecti ely render ictims )ithout protection. 7ost ictims are afraid to approach the authorities for help and )ould rather endure their current situation than the gross human rights iolations they may face in the DPRK. 4$=. 5n #00$@ the Bpecial Rapporteur on iolence against )omen@ its causes and consequences@ the Bpecial Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and four other Bpecial Rapporteurs informed China that traffic;ers systematically target DPRK )omen@ )ho are usually hungry and desperate. The traffic;ers did so by approaching the )omen in the border region and promising them food@ shelter@ employment and protection before forcing them to ImarryJ or become the concubines of Chinese men. The ImarriageJ is not a legally appro ed relationship@ but a de facto status )hich )as forced on )omen )ho ha e been traffic;ed or paid for@ and )ho are consequently not under the protection of the la). The Bpecial Rapporteurs on iolence against )omen@ its causes and consequences emphasiEed that the Chinese practise forced repatriation made the )omen e>tremely ulnerable to traffic;ing and that traffic;ers are )ell a)are of this policy and often manage to subdue their ictims by threatening to report

Fnited :ations Protocol to Pre ent@ Buppress and Punish Traffic;ing in Persons@ especially Aomen and Children@ supplementing the Fnited :ations Con ention Against Transnational 8rganiEed Crime@ #000. The protocol defines traffic;ing in persons as the recruitment@ transportation@ transfer@ harbouring or receipt of persons@ by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion@ of abduction@ of fraud@ of deception@ of the abuse of po)er or of a position of ulnerability or of the gi ing or recei ing of payments or benefits to achie e the consent of a person ha ing control o er another person@ for the purpose of e>ploitation. ->ploitation shall include@ at a minimum@ the e>ploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of se>ual e>ploitation@ forced labour or ser ices@ sla ery or practices similar to sla ery@ ser itude or the remo al of organs.



them to the authorities if they resist. %.4 5n a detailed response@ China ac;no)ledged that offences in ol ing traffic;ing in )omen and children )ere starting to occur in China and emphasiEed that the Chinese public security authorities too; the issue ery seriously and crac;ed do)n on illegal traffic;ing.%.$ "o)e er@ the response by China did not address the causal lin;s bet)een the illegal repatriations and human traffic;ing. The Bpecial Rapporteurs con eyed the same concerns to the DPRK@ )hich dismissed them as Ifabricated contentsJ. %.% 4%0. The reasons for the large numbers of )omen lea ing the DPRK in comparison to men are aried. Aomen are pushed into lea ing due to the difficulties that )omen particularly face inside the DPRK@ especially during times of famine@ as )ell as ongoing challenges as a result of the political system. 4urthermore@ )omen ha e relati ely more freedom of mo ement and can go undetected for longer periods as sur eillance on men is generally stricter *see abo e+. 8pportunities for )omen to lea e the DPRK are also greater as bro;ers are more )illing to assist the tra el of a )oman )ith the intention of selling her to a Chinese household@ or into prostitution once in China@ )ith or )ithout the )oman’s ;no)ledge and!or consent. As the primary caregi ers in Korean society@ )omen are also more li;ely to go in search of food or economic opportunity to sustain their families. A final potential reason is that the human rights situation )ithin the DPRK is )orse for )omen@%.2 causing more )omen than men to flee from abuse and human rights iolations. 4%.. There is also a demand for unmarried )omen in Chinese society. %.1 As the Chinese economy gre)@ and its cities de eloped@ urbaniEation began. The nation’s industries@ thri ing after the mar;et economy )as introduced@ pro ided many opportunities for rural )omen to )or; in the cities. %.= The migration of rural )omen to )or; in the cities@ coupled )ith the decrease in the )omen to men ratio associated )ith the one child policy@ has created a gender/imbalance amongst )or;ing age adults in the Chinese countryside. %#0 4%#. DPRK )omen unaccompanied by their families usually tra el to China in a number of )ays. Bome see; out a bro;er to help them escape and arrange for relati es abroad to pay the bro;er. 9ro;ers also approach )omen in the mar;etplace inside the DPRK offering such ser ices. Aomen )ho do not ha e options to ma;e payment may also agree to enter into an arranged unofficial ImarriageJ )ith a Chinese man and the bro;er )ill e>tract payment from that man. 8thers are lured by decepti e promises that they can I)or; offJ their bro;erage fee in China@ )here the bro;er )ould pro ide them )or; in a restaurant or factory. 8nce in China@ dishonest bro;ers re eal themsel es as traffic;ers and ma;e arrangements to sell the )oman instead of connecting her )ith the persons or )or; they had agreed to underta;e. ^ 8ne )itness )as lured to China on the prete>t of )or;ing on a farm@ but found herself in the hands of traffic;ers3 <2n 788=# a bro er )ho came regularly to the mar et con"inced me 2
%.4 %.$ %.% %.2




Bee A!"RC!4!&4!Add..@ paras. .#$/.#=. 5bid.@ para. .44. 5bid.@ paras. #.$/#.1. Bee section 5C.9 for more information about gender discrimination@ and section 5C.D for details of the gendered impact of iolations of the right to food. :ational "uman Rights Commission of Korea@ (act-finding Study on 4uman Rights Biolations against North Korea Refugee ,omen in the Process of (light and Settlement *Beoul@ #00=+@ pp. .&4/.&$. :ational "uman Rights Commission of Korea@ (act-finding Study on 4uman Rights Biolations against North Korea Refugee ,omen in the Process of (light and Settlement @ p. .&4. There are an estimated &0/40 million ImissingJ )omen in China due to non/medical se> selecti e abortions3 ?ing/9oo :ie@ I:on/medical se>/selecti e abortion in China3 ethical and public policy issues in the conte>t of 40 million missing femalesJ@ 3ritish Cedical 3ulletin# ol. =1@ :o. . *#0..+. The Plenum of the .1th Party Congress in December #0.& issued a resolution to ease the one/child policy. &#.


could )or in China and earn a lot of money gro)ing ginseng: 3ro ers came on a daily basis to the mar et to get )omen out of the &PRK: 2 no) a lot of )omen )ho left this )ay: 2 )ent )ith the bro er on the impression 2 )ould be going to a farm# but once in China 2 realiFed 2 )as being traffic ed# and sold by the bro er: 2 )as )ith G other )omen# )hen )e got to [@] location in China / or 0 men )ere )aiting for us in a car: 2 later learnt 2 )as sold for G#888 North Korean )on:?%#. 4%&. Bome )omen are also approached by a traffic;er disguised as a bro;er )ho con inces the )omen that they can obtain )ell/paid agricultural )or; in another pro ince in the DPRK@ and then agree to tra el to the pro ince )ith them. Due to the restrictions on the freedom of mo ement in the DPRK@ some ha e ne er seen outside their o)n illage or city@ let alone other pro inces@ so ictims in this category realiEe they ha e been lured to China only after they ha e been ta;en to China. ^ At the Beoul Public "earing@ the Commission recei ed testimony from 7s C@ )ho had lost her entire family to star ation@ and upon becoming ill herself )as traffic;ed to China. 7s C )as decei ed about an opportunity to earn money in another pro ince of the DPRK and only realiEed later@ )hen she )as ta;en )ith t)o other )omen to cross a ri er@ that they had in fact crossed the border into China. The DPRK bro;er )ho too; the three of them across the ri er then handed them to a Chinese bro;er )ho in turn sold her to a Chinese man3 I2 )as sold to that house: 2 )as not sold as a )or er# but in China there )ere a lot of unmarried men: *hey )ere short of )omen so he bought me to be his )ife: So 2 )asn5t paid: 2n China# at least 2 didn5t star"e but 2 )as hungry )hen 2 )as in North Korea .J%## ^ 7s ?ee "eon A )as lured by traffic;ers )ho had told her there )as )or; in another pro ince of the DPRK@ but instead too; her to China. At the Beoul Public "earing@ she testified before the Commission3 I[A man] told us# me and the girls )ho li"ed in my neighbourhood# that )e could get money [selling grass] in Aosari [in the &PRK]: 2 left my . year old brother behind: 3ut )hen )e arri"ed )e found that )e )ere in China: @ ,e )ere ta en to a house and there )ere fi"e traffic ers there: *hey )ere all men inside a green house: ,e spent about a )ee there: @ ,e had no idea that the bro ers )ere going to sell us to old Chinese men )ho )ere unable to get married.J%#& 4%4. 8nce in China@ regardless of the terms on )hich the )omen )ent )ith the traffic;er@ they are forced into one of t)o options@ to ImarryJ a Chinese man or )or; in se>/related industries. 5n China@ these )omen and girls become ulnerable as they ha e to hide from the Chinese police and are unable to access information and ser ices due to the language barrier. Traffic;ers capitaliEe on this ulnerability and put )omen under pressure by systematically using the threat of forced repatriation to their ad antage and telling the )omen that because their Chinese is poor and they ha e no legal standing in China@ they )ill not be able to get a (ob or mo e around freely *including attempting to tra el o erland to the R8K+. Traffic;ers pose the options of cohabitation )ith Chinese men and se>/)or; as the only )ay the )omen and girls can ha e a safe ha en and learn Chinese Ifor a year or soJ before attempting to tra el to the R8K. Traffic;ers may also tell the )omen that they no) o)e a certain amount of money@ and as they cannot )or; in paid employment@ they must be sold to a Chinese man in order to pay the debt@ or engage in se> )or; to repay the debt. 5n e>treme cases@ traffic;ers may hold )omen against their )ill in loc;ed locations until they agree to either ImarryJ a Chinese man or engage in prostitution. 5n some circumstances@ the Ibro;erJ may arrange the forced marriage or enforced prostitution themsel es. "o)e er@ the )omen are usually transferred to the custody of an intermediary traffic;er. Those )ho choose to do se> )or; are sold to agents in se> industries@ rather than being able to conduct their o)n (ob search.%#4
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TB"0#=. Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ morning *0&3&.3.%+. Beoul Public "earing@ #0 August #0.&@ afternoon *0#3#23.$+. ,ood 4riends3 Centre for Peace@ "uman Rights and Refugees@ IAlternati e :,8 Report on the Con ention on the -limination of All 4orms of Discrimination Against Aomen 4irst Periodic Report of the Democratic People’s Republic of KoreaJ@ ?une #00$@ p. ... A ailable from



^ At the Beoul Public "earing@ the Commission recei ed testimony from 7r Kim Ooung/h)an@ )ho pro ided assistance to DPRK nationals in China. 7r Kim told the Commission about the established net)or; of traffic;ers that arose as a result of the food crisis and the DPRK’s policies3 I2f you loo at the human traffic ing pattern that occurred in the past# there are people )ho loo for these )omen inside North Korea and there are bro ers in China so these people )ho collect these North Korean )omen in North Korea# after they collect )omen they send them to China to the bro ers [traffic ers] and in China# these bro ers [traffic ers] sell these )omen to the Chinese in return for money: @ *raffic ing pea ed siD or se"en years ago: ,omen are "ictimiFed through human traffic ing: Some are a)are they are being sold [and go through )ith it] so that they can pro"ide food for their family# but some are lied to# are lured to be sold.J%#$ ^ 8ne )itness e>plained that she ;no)ingly sought assistance from :orth Korean traffic;ers to go to China as she and her daughter )ere star ing. The )itness@ )ho )as about #2 years of age at that time@ )as sold to a Chinese man in his $0s. Ahen she refused se> )ith the man after she first arri ed@ he threatened her )ith a ;nife.%#% ^ A )itness@ )ho )or;s )ith DPRK nationals in China@ said that a large number of forced marriages occur due to China’s one child policy and ensuing se> ratio imbalance. The )itness has also inter ened in se eral cases )here DPRK )omen )ere traffic;ed into prostitution. "e further stated that )hile China prohibits traffic;ing@ related la)s are not being enforced strictly. %#2 4%$. Aomen )ho ha e tra elled to China )ithout the assistance of a bro;er@ or )ho ha e escaped from traffic;ers or the men )ho ha e paid for them@ are ulnerable to being pic;ed up by traffic;ers and *re/+sold into ImarriagesJ or se> )or;. ^ 4or e>ample@ one )itness@ ha ing escaped from her traffic;ers@ )ent to a telephone ser ice pro ider to ma;e a call. Ahilst trying to use the telephone@ another traffic;er came and too; her@ she suspects as a result of the telephone ser ice manager contacting the traffic;er. %#1 ^ 7s ?ee "eon A further testified about being captured on the streets in China by traffic;ers after ha ing escaped from the Chinese police. I E"ery place )e )ent# )e met bro ers: 2f )e noticed that @ they loo ed li e North Korean men# they )ere bro ers: *hey as ed us )here )e )ere from in Chinese# but )e could not ans)er them because they )ere spea ing to us in Chinese: *hen they )ould s)itch bac to North Korean# and )e )ere as ed if )e )ere from North Korea: @ ,e got arrested again# )e met bro ers again: And by the bro ers# )e )ere sold at 9un 9un Sung: 2 )as sold for 78#888 or =8#888 Chinese yuan.J%#= ^ 7r Kim Ooung/h)an also spo;e about the acti ities of these Ihuman huntersJ@ acti ely loo;ing for DPRK )omen in China to capture and sell against their )ill3 I *here are these Mhuman hunters5 that li"e around these border areas that target North Korean )omen: *hese Mhuman hunters5 )ait for the )omen to cross the border and they catch [them] and traffic them in China: J%&0 4%%. Aomen are usually sold a minimum of t)o times before being sold into forced marriages@ as traffic;ers buy and sell the )omen from each other. The traffic;er bringing the )oman to the DPRK@ or pic;ing her up in the DPRK@ usually sells the )oman to an intermediary traffic;er )ho facilitates the ImarriageJ by reselling the )oman to a rural

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http3!!))).ref)orld.org!pdfid!4%f.4%&#0.pdf Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ afternoon *003&&34$+. TAP0.0. -?"00&. TB"0.$. Beoul Public "earing@ #0 August #0.&@ afternoon *0#3&034%+. Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ afternoon *003&$3#$+. &#2


family. 8ften this process in ol es holding )omen in loc;ed locations for prospecti e buyers *IhusbandsJ+ to inspect them. ^ 7s P chose to go to China to earn a li ing there as the food situation )as so dire in the DPRK. "o)e er@ she ended up being traffic;ed. The Commission heard ho) she found herself transferred from one person to another before being sold to a Chinese man )ith )hom she li ed )ith for about se en years before she )as arrested and repatriated3 I [At the time crossing border )as not easy]# but at least it is better than ;ust doing nothing and dying in North Korea: 2 thought at least if 2 )ent to China 2 )ould ha"e the means to sur"i"e: (or eDample# at least earn some money# but things did not turn out the )ay that 2 had eDpected @ ,e )ere sold to China# it happened in North Korea: @ 2 did not no) 2 )as being sold: People ;ust handed me o"er to people:J%&. ^ 5n <ondon@ 7s Par; ?i/hyun told the Commission of the time her mother@ )ho had been struggling to find some)here for them to li e in China@ encouraged her to get married in China only to learn that she )as actually being sold. 7s Par; testified about being entrusted to a Chinese )oman to find her a IhusbandJ3 I2 stayed )ith a Chinese )oman for about a month to arrange the <marriage?: 2 felt li e an animal in a Foo as many men came to see me# young and old# to see if 2 )ould be a suitable bride:J%&# 4%2. 8nce sold into forced marriages@ )omen ha e been be forcefully ;ept at locations *including under loc; and ;ey+ until they are deemed submissi e enough to stay of their o)n olition and sub(ected to se>ual e>ploitation. The )omen are e>pected to submit to se>ual acti ity and are often sub(ected to iolence if they refuse to ha e se> )ith their IhusbandJ. 5n e>treme cases@ )omen are also se>ually e>ploited by other occupants of the house such as brothers@ fathers and sons. The )omen are often also sub(ect to forced labour@ such as domestic and agricultural )or;@ and often sub(ected to domestic iolence. ^ 7r Kim Ooung/h)an told the Commission@ from his e>perience of )or;ing )ith ictims of traffic;ing in China@ about the human rights iolations )omen and girls traffic;ed in! into China suffer3 <@ these )omen are sold to [men in] rural areas in China and are gi"en subhuman treatment: ,omen )ho are sold to these rural areas in China suffer from "ery serious abnormal li"ing conditions: +nly 78 to =8 per cent of them said they )ere able to fare to some eDtent# but most recei"ed inconcei"able subhuman treatment: Sometimes they are eDploited as seD sla"es or are chained M7/P15 and detained: +r for eDample# if this )oman )as sold to the son# the men in the entire family L the father# the uncle# and the brothers )ould ta e ad"antage of this )oman and she )ould be seDually abused by the men in the entire family:?%&& ^ A sur i or of traffic;ing informed the Commission3 <2 )as sold off to a man )ith disabilities: &espite ha"ing a disability# he beat me often: 4e did not spea Korean and 2 did not spea Chinese# )e communicated in body language: 2 )as loc ed inside the house for > months and did not no) )here 2 )as: After > months# 2 )as finally able to con"ince him 2 )ould not run a)ay# that 2 )ould )or # then 2 )as able to lea"e the house: 2 )as eDpected to sleep in his bed# and ha"e seD from the first day: 2 begged e"ery time not to ha"e seD# but )as beaten )hen 2 tried to resist: 4e used to hit me )ith anything until 2 )as bruised and bleeding: 2 tried not to get pregnant by a"oiding seD during my fertile periods by saying 2 )as sic : 2 do not no) if he )anted children because 2 could not

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Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ afternoon *0.3&#30#+. <ondon Public "earing@ #& 8ctober #0.&@ session # *)ith additional details pro ided by the )itness in a confidential inter ie)+. Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ afternoon *003&$34=+.



communicate )ith him: 2 li"ed )ith the man for = years# in the same area the other eight )omen 2 )as traffic ed )ith li"ed:?>=/ ^ At the Beoul Public "earing@ 7s C ga e e idence to the Commission about the treatment she recei ed from the man she )as sold to3 I Cy Mhusband5 )as -- years older: 4e )as a hea"y drin er and )hene"er he )as drun he )ould beat me: *here )as a lot of beating going on:J%&$ ^ of her ImarriageJ3 5n <ondon@ the Commission recei ed testimony from 7s Par; about the conditions <*)o other Korean )omen )ere sold to men in the same "illageH one )as shared by t)o brothers: Although the man had paid for us to marry# 2 thought 2 )ould lead a normal life# but suffered humiliating eDperiences e"ery day: *he "illages treat the Korean )omen li e animals# )e could not mo"e freely as e"eryone in the "illage ept a close eye on us: *hey )ould tease us: *he family 2 li"ed )ith )ould not pro"ide sanitary nap ins for me because they thought 2 )ould run a)ay if 2 had them: 2 )as forced to )or in the rice paddies e"ery day# effecti"ely ensla"ed to the home:?>=> 4%1. The Commission heard many accounts of ulnerable )omen )ho had been forced into ImarriagesJ in the foregoing )ays. The phenomenon of forced marriages appears to be quite ;no)n in China@ at least in the border areas. 8n some occasions@ men )ho ha e paid for a traffic;ed )oman or girl@ ha e paid a second time for the same person after she returned to China follo)ing forced repatriation to the DPRK. ^ 8ne )itness )as ImarriedJ to a Chinese man the first time she left the DPRK for China in #0.0. Bhe )as later arrested and repatriated to the DPRK in #0..@ and after going through interrogation and detention@ she managed to escape follo)ing a bribe pro ided by her family. Ahen she fled bac; to China@ she )as captured by traffic;ers and sold again. Fpon contacting her first IhusbandJ@ he paid for her release from her second IhusbandJ.%&2 ^ Another )itness and her daughter e>perienced@ on different occasions@ being sold to Chinese men after ha ing left the DPRK for China to search for )or;. The forced marriage of the )itness occurred after her daughter’s@ and it )as the daughter’s IhusbandJ )ho paid for the release of the )itness from her o)n IhusbandJ.%&1 4%=. The Commission finds that undocumented DPRK nationals in China remain in constant fear of being detected@ arrested and repatriated to the DPRK. They cannot mo e freely around the country nor access ital ser ices. They li e in constant fear of a disgruntled family member or neighbour of their ne) home tipping off authorities to their e>istence. This is a particularly pre alent problem for )omen and girls )ho ha e been traffic;ed into forced marriage or forced concubinage and prostitution under coerci e circumstances as they li e under the effecti e control of people )ho ha e paid for them and consider them second/class beings. ^ 8ne )itness spo;e to the Commission about the domestically iolent man she )as sold to. Despite fearing for her life and trying to run a)ay@ she could not. Bhe described I 2 had to stay )ith the man for three years: 2 tried to collect money and lea"e# but the father of the man )ith disabilities [i:e: the Mhusband5] reported me to the police:J%&=

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TB"0#=. Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ morning *0&3&#3.0+. <ondon Public "earing@ #& 8ctober #0.&@ session # *)ith additional details pro ided by the )itness in a confidential inter ie)+. TB"0.4 . TB"0&= . TB"0#=. &'&


^ A Chinese Korean man )ho had mo ed to the DPRK )ith his Chinese family during the Cultural Re olution in China pro ided e idence to the Commission about the e>perience of li ing )ithout legal papers in China *his Chinese registration )as re o;ed after li ing in the DPRK for many years+. I2f you are arrested# you are usually held at a police station for t)o days# then sent to a detention facility: 3ut 2 )as sent to the detention centre in ;ust one day so 2 )as suspicious: 2 later found out that t)o of my cousins had conspired to report me# and had gone to the police se"eral times# but had been refused to be heard by police officers there )ho ne) my family: 2 thin 2 )as sent straight to the detention facility so that 2 could not utiliFe my connections in the police station to get out: 2 )as held at the detention centre for three months: *he Chinese guards sympathiFed )ith my position and said to me Mli"e more inland neDt time5 and Mbe careful of people around you5:?%40 420. Traffic;ed )omen and girls suffer se ere iolations of their human rights@ as they are largely sub(ected to se>ual@ physical and mental iolence@ rape and confinement during and after traffic;ing. They are treated as commodities and suffer inhuman and degrading treatment. Aithout the protection of the la)@ DPRK nationals ha e no)here to turn )hen they suffer in(ustice. 7any )omen in forced marriages suffer from se ere domestic iolence and fear being ;illed. They cannot see; the help of the police or state security )hen they are sub(ected to domestic iolence or become ictims of a crime *such as traffic;ing+. Buch lac; of protection and lac; of access to ital ser ices places them in a ery ulnerable position@ allo)ing them to be easily e>ploited. ^ A )itness e>plained to the Commission3 <E"en if you die in China# you ha"e no)here to be buried: 9ou ha"e no rights there: 3ecause you are unregistered# e"en if your Mhusband5 beats you to death# there is nothing that can be done: 2f this happens# your friends )ill ta e the body and bury it for you: *his happened to one of my friends:J%4. 42.. 5n addition to these fears@ DPRK nationals in China cannot access basic health ser ices. Aomen cannot access much needed health ser ices during pregnancy@ nor obtain assistance during childbirth or through the post/natal period. Despite being the primary *and often only+ caregi er for their children@ they cannot ta;e their children for immuniEations or other medical needs. *ii+ Situation of children born to mothers )ho flee or are traffic ed from the &emocratic People5s Republic of Korea 42#. A #0.0 sur ey by the :ational "uman Rights Commission of Korea gi es an estimate of #0@000 to &0@000 children born to )omen from the DPRK li ing in China. %4# As the ma(ority of DPRK )omen in China reside there )ithout permits@ their children are unable to be registered upon birth according to Chinese practice. 7oreo er@ many of these children are fathered by Chinese men@ including those born in forced marriages or concubinage. They are in fact entitled to Chinese nationality under the :ationality <a). %4& "o)e er@ most children born to mothers )ho fled the DPRK are in practice denied this right@ because registering their birth )ould e>pose the mother’s status as an undocumented
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TB"04=. TB"0#=. K5:F@ ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.&+@ pp. 44@ 4%.. According to a confidential submission to the Commission@ the Chinese :ationality <a) pro ides for any person born in China to ha e Chinese nationality as long as one or both of that person’s parents is a Chinese national. 5t also pro ides that any person born in China )hose parents are stateless or of uncertain nationality and ha e settled in China shall ha e Chinese nationality. 5t is not clear ho)@ if at all@ such pro isions are implemented in practice particularly in fa our of children born to one parent of Chinese national and the other parent being an undocumented DPRK national.



migrant and ma;e her liable to refoulement. These children are therefore effecti ely rendered stateless. These practices iolate article 2 of the CRC@ )hich pro ides that e ery child has the right to a legally registered name and nationality. 42&. According to its Compulsory -ducation <a)@ China pro ides for nine years of compulsory education to all children li ing in the country irrespecti e of nationality or race. "o)e er@ there is a requirement for children to be entered on a family register in order to be enrolled in school. As submitted by an :,8 for the second cycle of China’s FPR@ I9ecause of the danger posed to the refugee parent*s+ by China’s policy of forced repatriation@ many children are not entered on the family register@ to a oid disco ery of the parent. The children are thus unable to recei e an education in cases )here the school requires the family register for enrolmentJ. The :,8 submission noted earlier that Ichildren of Chinese fathers and mothers )ho are refugees from a neighbouring country *or those of t)o refugee parents+ are in an e>tremely ulnerable position because of the policy of non/recognition by the Chinese go ernment@ )hich chooses to consider them economic migrants instead.J%44 424. 5n addition to being effecti ely stateless and denied basic rights such as health and education contrary to articles #4 and #1 of the CRC@ children born to mothers )ho came from the DPRK also face separation from their mothers if the mother is arrested and refouled to the DPRK. This is contrary to the right of the child not to be separated from his or her parents@ unless it is in the child’s best interest@ under article = of the CRC. The Commission is deeply concerned about the )elfare of these children. ^ At the Beoul Public "earing@ 7r Kim Ooung/h)an testified before the Commission about the serious situation that children of DPRK )omen born in China face3 I North Korean )omen sometimes gi"e birth to children in China# and the human rights of these babies are neglected today: China does not recogniFe the marriage of Chinese men )ith North Korean defectors as legal because the protection of these North Korean )omen is illegal in China# and often the marriages are not registered )ith the Chinese authorities: *herefore# the birth of these children is illegitimate in China )hich leads to these children not ha"ing access to education and so forth: 2f the mother# the North Korean )oman# is arrested by the Chinese public security and is sent bac to North Korea::: if the child is separated from the North Korean )oman# these children recei"e no protection or no recognition from the Chinese authorities: *here are lot of children li e these cases: And these children of North Korean )omen )ho ha"e defected are not recogniFed as legitimate by the South Korean go"ernment: J%4$ 42$. Reportedly@ some )omen )ho left the DPRK illegally )ere able to obtain resident permits after a prolonged stay in China@ )hile in other cases children born to )omen from the DPRK ha e also been granted resident permits. Apparently@ in some regions@ resident permits are attainable through bribery. %4% 8ne )itness spo;e of her daughter )ho had a child )ith a Chinese man. At some point@ he purchased a Chinese identity card for her daughter.%42 "o)e er@ for the ma(ority of )omen and their children@ this is simply not possible. ^ Ahen 7s Par; ?i/hyun first got pregnant in China by the IhusbandJ she had been forcibly married to@ the illage head had told her that she )ould be better off getting an abortion because if she had a child@ that child could not be registered properly and )ould not get proper medical treatment.%41 Bhe e>plained to the Commission3 I,hen North Koreans are sold to China and gi"e birth in China# the children cannot be registered officially )ith the family because in China the register is ept by

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<ife 4unds for :orth Korean Refugees@ IFni ersal Periodic Re ie) Becond Cycle 6 China 6 Reference documentJ@ 7arch #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).ohchr.org!-:!"R9odies!FPR!Pages!FPRC:Bta;eholders5nfoB.2.asp>. Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ afternoon *003&23&#+. K5:F@ ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.&+@ p. 4%1. TB"0&=. <ondon Public "earing@ #& 8ctober #0.&@ session # *0034%34&+. &''


the mother5s name and since North Korean )omen5s children could not be registered properly# they could not go to school# they could not ha"e any indi"idual rights there:J%4= 42%. 5n addition to the lac; of rights of these children in China@ they are also ulnerable to being separated from their mothers@ )ho are susceptible to being arrested and forcibly repatriated. As those )ho fled the DPRK are a)are of the harsh treatment they )ill face if repatriated@ they usually ha e no choice but to lea e their children behind if repatriated to sa e them from ill/treatment or e en death. ^ 7s Par; )as faced )ith such a dilemma. 7s Par; also e>plained ho) reuniting )ith the child she left behind )as also not easy. 5n her case@ it too; se eral months for her to reunite )ith her son. Bhe recalls that )hen she collected him@ he loo;ed li;e a street child. "e )as thin@ dirty and scrounging for food on the ground. Although he had remained )ith his father and paternal grandparents@ she belie es her son had been star ing as his grandparents rarely fed him. 7s Par; considered herself to be ery fortunate to ha e been able to reunite )ith her son@ and understands others face great difficulty in reuniting )ith their children3 IChildren born to &PRK mothers do not ha"e 2&# so they cannot go to schools: ,hen their mothers are arrested and sent bac to the &PRK# they become literally homeless: ,hen mothers go to [the] R+K and try to ta e their children# some men use the children to blac mail their mothers for money: [*hey say] Mif you send this much# 2 )ill send the child5# but they ne"er do: ,omen can5t go there themsel"es for fear of being arrested and repatriated:J%$0 ^ 7s C@ )ho ga e testimony before the Commission at the Beoul Public "earing@ ga e birth to a child )ith the Chinese man she )as sold to and had to lea e behind the child )hen she )as arrested and repatriated. Bhe )as separated from the child throughout the time she )as detained in the DPRK and ser ed her sentence. Bhe )as only reunited )ith her child after she managed to flee from the DPRK the second time. After se eral months in China@ she decided to ma;e her )ay to the R8K but had to lea e behind her child again as the father did not )ant to gi e up custody of the child. Fnless she con inces the father to also come to the R8K or gi e up the child@ she is not certain )hen she )ould be reunited )ith her child.%$. 422. 5n response to the Commission’s concern regarding this issue@ e>pressed through the letter dated .% December #0.&@ the Permanent 7ission of China in ,ene a responded that Ithe Chinese ,o ernment has not found cases related to DPRK )omen and their children in China mentioned by the CommissionJ. The Commission finds that many such cases e>ist and that they )ould become apparent by an in estigati e process on the part of the Chinese officials. '% Right to return to one’s own country and right to family

421. The right to freedom of mo ement also entails the right to return to one’s o)n country. According to the "uman Rights Committee@ the scope of Ione’s o)n countryJ as pro ided in article .#*4+ of the 5CCPR is broader than the concept of one’s country of nationality. The scope encompasses@ at the ery least@ an indi idual )ho@ because of his or her special ties to or claims in relation to a gi en country@ cannot be considered to be a mere alien. There are fe)@ if any@ circumstances in )hich depri ation of the right to enter one’s o)n country could be reasonable and hence not arbitrary. %$# 42=. "undreds of thousands of persons born in the territory that is today the DPRK but li ing in the R8K ha e ne er been granted an opportunity to re isit their homes in the
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%$. %$#

<ondon Public "earing@ #& 8ctober #0.&@ session # *0034%34&+. <ondon Public "earing@ #& 8ctober #0.&@ session # *)ith additional details pro ided by the )itness in a confidential inter ie)+. Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ morning. CCPR!C!#.!Re ..!Add.=@ paras. #0/#..



DPRK. According to the .=$$ Population and "ousing Census conducted by the R8K Central Btatistical 8ffice@ 2&$@$0. persons among the total population had come from the :orth *before and during the Korean Aar+. Those in the R8K )ho claimed to ha e been born in the :orth numbered 40&@000 in .==$@ &$$@000 in #000 and .%.@%0$ in #00$. K5:F noted that many of them died of old age particularly after #000. %$& The same fate has been e>perienced by those )ho came from the Bouth to the :orth before or during the Korean Aar. At the end of #0.&@ the Fnified 5nformation Center for Beparated 4amilies *established and operated (ointly by the R8K 7inistry of Fnification@ the Korean Red Cross@ and the Committee of 4i e :orth Korean Pro inces+ had on its register of Iseparated familiesJ .#=@#%4 persons *2.@410 ali e@ $2@214 deceased+. 410. The Commission finds that@ in iolation of the right to family protected by article #& of the 5CCPR@ entire families separated bet)een the :orth and the Bouth ha e had no opportunity to see each other@ e>change letters or spea; o er the telephone for more than si> decades. 41.. :egotiations on brief temporary reunions of the separated families commenced in .=2. bet)een the Red Cross of both the DPRK and the R8K. Bince then the R8K has placed great importance upon ad ancing these tal;s@ )ithout this desire being reciprocated by the DPRK. The first official family reunions too; place in .=1$@ )hereby $0 people from each side crossed the border for isits )ith relati es. %$4 Tal;s thereafter stalled until the momentous #000 summit bet)een Kim Dae/(ung and Kim ?ong/il. 4rom #000 to #0.0@ there )ere .1 family reunion meetings in ol ing 4@&#. families. %$$ The reunion programme )as then suspended )ith the )orsening of inter/Korean relations resulting from the shelling of the R8K’s Oeonpyong 5sland by the DPRK in :o ember #0.0.%$% 41#. 5n August #0.&@ it )as announced that the programme )ould be re i ed follo)ing )ee;s of apparently impro ed relations bet)een the DPRK and the R8K )ith the ne)ly installed R8K President Par; ,eun/hye. The reunions )ere set for #$/&0 Beptember@ immediately after the Korean Than;sgi ing Day *Chuso +@ for .00 people from each side to meet at the 7ount Kumgang resort in the DPRK. %$2 ?ust days before the reunions )ere set to ta;e place ho)e er@ Pyongyang issued a statement announcing the indefinite postponement of the reunions@ putting the blame on Beoul.%$1 4ollo)ing the #0.4 :e) Oear’s address by Kim ?ong/un urging for Beoul and Pyongyang to create a fa ourable climate to)ards impro ed relations@ President Par; responded by proposing@ among other actions@ to resume the separated families reunion programme. %$= 41&. Buch family reunions ha e al)ays been emotionally charged e ents. - en )ith the suspension of the programme@ the Red Cross continues to recei e applications. As of December #0.&@ 2.@410 people are on the )aiting list for an opportunity to meet their separated lo ed ones. 8ut of this number@ only .00 )ould be selected at a time ia a lottery to ha e the chance to meet briefly *in some cases only ia ideo+ under the glaring media spotlight@ accompanied al)ays by minders@ ne er to meet again after)ards. Aith 2= per
%$& %$4

%$$ %$%


%$1 %$=

K5:F@ ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.&+@ p. $0=. IKorea family reunion lotteryJ@ 33C Ne)s@ $ ?uly #000. A ailable from http3!!ne)s.bbc.co.u;!#!hi!asia/pacific!1#0%%2.stm. K5:F@ ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.&+@ p. $.&. I: Korea postpones family reunions o er Bouth’s Zhostility’J@ 33C Ne)s@ #. Beptember #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).bbc.co.u;!ne)s!)orld/asia/#4.14%=%. The 7ount Kumgang resort is one of the t)o main (oint R8K/DPRK pro(ects )hich had also stalled follo)ing the shooting of an R8K tourist by a DPRK soldier in #001. The R8K had proposed for tal;s to be held on #$ Beptember regarding the reopening of the resort. I: Korea postpones family reunions o er Bouth’s Zhostility’J@ 33C Ne)s. IBouth Korea Proposes Resuming Reunions of Aar/Di ided 4amiliesJ@ Ne) 9or *imes@ % ?anuary #0.4. A ailable from http3!!))).nytimes.com!#0.4!0.!02!)orld!asia!south/;orea/ proposes/resuming/reunions/of/)ar/di ided/families.htmlDref_)orldMWr_0. &'$


cent of those registered )ith the Fnified 5nformation Center for Beparated 4amilies at the end of #0.# aged 20 and abo e@ each passing year that the reunion programme is suspended means fe)er and fe)er family members are able to be temporarily reunited@ if e er. 414. - en lea ing aside clear/cut obligations under international la)@ the Commission concludes that basic principles of human decency and respect to)ards the )ishes and needs of an elderly generation require that such family reunions not be delayed on unrelated political grounds. (% Principal findings of the commission

41$. The systems of indoctrination and discrimination on the basis of state/assigned social class are reinforced and safeguarded by a policy of isolating citiEens from contact )ith each other and )ith the outside )orld@ iolating all aspects of the right to freedom of mo ement. 41%. 5n the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea@ the state imposes on its citiEens requirements as to )here they must reside and )or;@ in iolation of the freedom of choice. Ciolations are sub(ect to criminal punishment. 7oreo er@ the forced assignment to a state/ designated place of residence and )or; is hea ily dri en by discrimination based on songbun. This has created a socio/economically and physically segregated society@ )here people considered politically loyal to the leadership can li e and )or; in fa ourable locations@ )hereas families of persons )ho are considered politically suspect are relegated to marginaliEed areas. The special status of Pyongyang@ reser ed only for those most loyal to the state@ e>emplifies this system of segregation. 412. CitiEens are not e en allo)ed to lea e their pro ince temporarily or to tra el )ithin the country )ithout official authoriEation. This policy is dri en by the desire to maintain disparate li ing conditions@ to limit information flo)s and to ma>imiEe state control@ at the e>pense of social and familial ties. This regime of control had a particularly calamitous effect on access to food@ li elihood and basic ser ices during the height of the food crisis in the .==0s. 411. 5n an attempt to ;eep Pyongyang’s IpureJ and untainted image@ the state systematically banishes entire families from the capital city if one family member commits )hat is deemed a serious crime or political )rong. 4or the same reason@ the large number of street children )ho had been migrating clandestinely to Pyongyang and other cities 6 principally in search of food 6 ha e been sub(ect to arrest and forcible transfer bac; to their home pro inces@ e>periencing neglect and forced institutionaliEation upon return. 41=. The state imposes a irtually absolute ban on ordinary citiEens tra elling abroad@ thereby iolating their human right to lea e the country. Despite the enforcement of this ban through strict border controls@ nationals still ta;e the ris; of fleeing@ mainly to China. Ahen they are apprehended or forcibly repatriated@ DPRK officials systematically sub(ect them to persecution@ torture@ prolonged arbitrary detention and in some cases se>ual iolence@ including during in asi e body searches. Repatriated )omen )ho are pregnant are regularly forced to undergo an abortion@ a practice that is dri en by racist attitudes to)ards persons from China@ and to inflict punishment on )omen )ho ha e committed a serious offence by lea ing the country. Ahere a baby is born@ it is then ;illed by the authorities. Persons found to ha e been in contact )ith officials or nationals from the Republic of Korea or )ith Christian churches may be forcibly IdisappearedJ into political prison camps@ imprisoned in ordinary prisons or e en summarily e>ecuted. 4=0. Despite the gross human rights iolations a)aiting repatriated persons@ China pursues a rigorous policy of forcibly repatriating DPRK citiEens )ho cross the border illegally. China does so in pursuance of its ie) that these persons are economic *and illegal+ migrants. "o)e er@ many such DPRK nationals should be recogniEed as refugees


fleeing persecution or refugees sur place: They are thereby entitled to international protection. The Commission is of the ie) that in forcibly returning DPRK nationals@ China has iolated its obligation to respect the principle of non-refoulement under international refugee and human rights la). 5n some cases@ Chinese officials also appear to pro ide information on those apprehended to their DPRK counterparts to the ;no)n danger of those affected. 4=.. Discrimination against )omen and their ulnerable status in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea@ as )ell as the prospect of refoulement# ma;es )omen e>tremely ulnerable to traffic;ing in persons. A large number of )omen are traffic;ed by force or deception from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea into China or )ithin China for purposes of e>ploitation in forced marriage or concubinage@ or prostitution under coerci e circumstances. An estimated #0@000 children born to Democratic People’s Republic of Korea )omen are currently in China effecti ely depri ed of their rights to birth registration@ nationality@ education and healthcare because their birth cannot be registered )ithout e>posing the mother to the ris; of refoulement to the DPRK under the present Chinese policy. 4=#. The Commission further finds that the DPRK has repeatedly breached its obligations to respect the rights of its nationals )ho ha e special ties to or claims in relation to another country@ in this case the Republic of Korea@ to return there or other)ise en(oy a facility to meet long separated families. 5n an age )here people e ery)here ta;e for granted the opportunity to tra el and to con erse using modern technology@ the se ere impediments that the DPRK unreasonably places on its people to pre ent contact and communication )ith each other is not only a breach of DPRK’s obligations under international human rights la). 5t is arbitrary@ cruel and inhuman and@ particularly@ in the circumstances of the cancellation of arrangements pre iously agreed in relation to reunions of separated families for )holly unpersuasi e reason@ especially gi en the ad anced ages of the persons concerned.

D% life

Ciolations of the right to food and related aspects of the right to

4=&. The human right to adequate food is enshrined in article #$ of the Fni ersal Declaration of "uman Rights@ article .. of the 5nternational Co enant on -conomic@ Bocial and Cultural Rights *5C-BCR+@ and articles #4 and #% of the Con ention on the Rights of the Child *CRC+@ amongst other international human rights treaties. 4=4. The Committee on -conomic@ Bocial and Cultural Rights *C-BCR+ describes the right to food IrealiEed )hen e ery man@ )oman and child@ alone or in community )ith others@ has physical and economic access at all times to adequate food or means for its procurement.J%%0 The Bpecial Rapporteur on the right to food described this right as3 The right to ha e regular@ permanent and free access@ either directly or by means of financial purchases@ to quantitati ely and qualitati ely adequate and sufficient food corresponding to the cultural traditions of the people to )hich the consumer belongs@ and )hich ensures a physical and mental@ indi idual and collecti e@ fulfilling and dignified life free of fear.%%. 4=$. The right to food has been defined by the 5C-BCR through the elements of .+ a ailability@ #+ economic accessibility@ &+ physical accessibility and 4+ adequacy. A ailability of the right to adequate food refers to Ithe possibilities either for feeding oneself directly from producti e land or other natural resources@ or for )ell/functioning
%%0 %%.

C-BCR@ ,eneral Comment :o. .#@ -!C..#!.===!$@ para. %. -!C:.4!#00.!$&@ para. .4. &'.


distribution@ processing and mar;et systems that can mo e food from the site of production to )here it is needed in accordance )ith demand.J %%# Accessibility requires economic and physical access to food to be guaranteed. -conomic accessibility *affordability+ implies that personal or household financial costs associated )ith the acquisition of food for an adequate diet should be at a le el such that the attainment and satisfaction of other basic needs are not threatened or compromised. Physical accessibility means that food should be accessible to all@ including to the physically ulnerable@ such as children@ the sic;@ persons )ith disabilities or the elderly@ for )hom it may be difficult to go out to obtain food. Access to food must also be guaranteed to people in remote areas and to ictims of armed conflicts or natural disasters@ as )ell as to prisoners. Adequacy means that the food must satisfy dietary needs@ ta;ing into account the indi idual’s age@ li ing conditions@ health@ occupation@ se>@ etc. 4or e>ample@ if children’s food does not contain the nutrients necessary for their physical and mental de elopment@ it is not adequate. 4ood should be safe for human consumption and free from ad erse substances. Adequate food should also be culturally acceptable. 4=%. The Ifundamental right of e eryone to be free from hungerJ is enshrined in article .. *#+ of the 5C-BCR. Article % of the 5CCPR recogniEes e ery human beings inherent right to life@ )hich also requires the state to increase life e>pectancy@ especially in adopting measures to eliminate malnutrition.%%& These t)o rights are closely lin;ed including in the conte>t of children’s rights. 4=2. The right to food is an inclusi e right. This right cannot be limited to a discussion of the minimum calories@ proteins and other specific nutrients required. -qually@ the right to food is not solely about access to a gi en commodity. 4or these reasons@ discussions about IfaminesJ also cannot be limited to consideration of the shortage of food and technical )ays through )hich it can be remedied.%%4 4=1. The information recei ed by the Commission points to the fact that star ation in the DPRK started at the end of the .=10s@ pea;ed during the .==0s and continued after the .==0s. 5n line )ith its mandate@ the Commission has focussed its attention on the human rights issues associated )ith the right to food@ namely )hy people are suffering and dying of hunger@ and )hether someone is responsible for this situation. 4or the present report@ the Commission uses the terms IfamineJ@ IhungerJ and Istar ationJ synonymously@ defining them as the lac; of access to adequate food@ %%$ )hich can lead to physical harm and death. The use of this terminology permits the e>amination of a range of international obligations related to the rights to life@ to adequate food and to the highest attainable standards of health. 4==. The Commission is mindful of concerns relating to the reliability of the data and statistics produced in and about the DPRK@ as discussed belo). %%% The Commission has referred to such data and statistics produced )here it found an adequate le el of corroboration on the basis of testimonies@ e>pert opinions and cross/referencing.

%%# %%& %%4



C-BCR@ ,eneral Comment :o. .#@ -!C..#!.===!$@ para. .#. "uman Rights Committee@ ,eneral Comment :o. %@ "R5!,-:!.!Re ..@ para. $. The Fnited :ations declares a famine only )hen the follo)ing measures of mortality@ malnutrition and hunger are met3 .+ at least #0 per cent of households in an area face e>treme food shortages )ith a limited ability to copeN #+ acute malnutrition rates e>ceed &0 per centN and &+ the death rate e>ceeds t)o persons per day per .0@000 persons. Bee 4A8@ IThe 5ntegrated 4ood Becurity Phase Classification@ technical manual C.#J@ #0.#. A ailable from http3!!))).ipcinfo.org!fileadmin!userWupload!ipcinfo!docs!5PC/7anual/#/5nteracti e.pdf.+ 4ood that is quantitati ely and qualitati ely sufficient to meet physiological caloric needs and containing the nutrients necessary for physical and mental de elopment. Bee section 5C.D.4.



&% !4ailability> adequacy and affordability of food in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea <a= @ituation up until the early &223s

$00. The DPRK economy has been built on the principle of the state’s o)nership of the means of production@%%2 central planning%%1 and the 'uche idea of economic self/ sufficiency. %%= Article #$ *&+ of the DPRK Constitution declares@ IThe state pro ides all the )or;ing people )ith e ery condition for obtaining food@ clothing and housing.J $0.. 4or geographical and historical reasons@ agriculture tended to be concentrated in the south of the Korean Peninsula@ )here the climate is more fa ourable and the ma(ority of arable land is located. The northern part of the Peninsula@ )hich is colder@ less fertile@ and more mountainous@ )as originally the site of most of the industrial acti ity. %20 After the Korean Aar@ the DPRK pursued a strategy of ensuring food security through self/ sufficiency. To attain self/sufficiency@ the go ernment adopted three core strategies3 .+ e>panding croplandN #+ shifting output from traditional food crops such as tubers@ millet@ and potatoes to higher/yield grains@ namely@ rice and cornN and@ most importantly@ &+ adopting an industrial approach to agricultural production.%2. During the .=%0s@ Kim 5l/sung announced a frame)or; for the agricultural de elopment of the country based on four principles3 mechaniEation@ chemicaliEation@ irrigation and electrification. The agricultural conditions of the DPRK are not fa ourable for food self/sufficiency. 8nly .4 per cent of the .# million hectares of land is arable and 10 per cent of the country is mountainous. 7oreo er@ the DPRK lac;s the industrial components necessary for the type of agriculture it opted for@ such as tools and fuel and had to import them from abroad. Therefore@ from the outset@ and despite claiming self/sufficiency@ the DPRK adopted a system hea ily dependent on e>ternal assistance.






Article #0 of the DPRK Constitution stipulates that Ithe means of production are o)ned solely by the state and cooperati e organiEationsJ. The collecti es )ere con erted into state farms )here )or;ers/farmers recei e state )ages rather than a portion of fruits of their collecti e labour. This con ersion is pro ided for by article #& of the Constitution3 IThe state shall consolidate and de elop the socialist cooperati e economic system by impro ing the guidance and management of the cooperati e economy and gradually transform the property of cooperati e organiEations into the property of the people as a )hole based on the oluntary )ill of all their members.J Article &4 of the DPRK Constitution states that@ IThe state shall formulate unified and detailed plans and guarantee a high rate of production gro)th and a balanced de elopment of the national economy.J Bee section 555.D. 9eginning )ith the .==# re ision of the Constitution@ 'uche recei ed prominence as the first article *article .=+ in the -conomics chapter3 I5n the DPRK@ socialist production relations are based upon the foundation of an independent national economy.J 5n the early .=20s@ the 'uche idea )as announced as the leading guideline of the country3 the principle of food self/sufficiency )as officially incorporated into 'uche Ayung;e: 'uche Nongbub *I?uche agricultureJ+ primarily concerns farming techniques. 5t consists of three parts3 youngnong )onchi *farming principles+@ youngnong bangbub *farming methods+ and sebu gong;eong *detailed production processes+. 5n the first place@ its farming principles pro ide four basic rules for agricultural administrators and producers to follo) in order to increase agricultural production under such unfa ourable natural conditions as small land and cold )eather. <ee Bu;@ I4ood shortages and economic institutions in the Democratic People’s Republic of KoreaJ@ PhD dissertation@ Fni ersity of Aar)ic;@ #00&@ p. .#1. <ee Bu;@ I4ood shortages and economic institutions in the Democratic People’s Republic of KoreaJ@ p. .#1. Btephen "aggard and 7arcus :oland@ (amine in North Korea$ Car ets# Aid# and Reform@ p. #%. &'2


$0#. The ulnerability of the DPRK’s economic system )as apparent before its collapse in the mid/.==0s.%2# The first signs of the food shortage in the DPRK started in the late .=10s. 9eginning in .=12@ )ith its o)n economy in disarray@ the Bo iet Fnion began to cut all forms of aid@ trade@ and in estment in the DPRK@ causing a shift in the DPRK’s economic situation.%2& The trade )ith the Bo iet Fnion had not only accounted for three/ fifths of the DPRK’s total trade in .=11@ it )as also based on concessionary terms. Bo iet coal and oil e>ports to the DPRK@ for instance@ )ere pro ided at substantially less than the global mar;et price.%24 $0&. After the collapse of the Bo iet Fnion@ the DPRK had to pay standard international prices for oil and coal@ in hard currency. "a ing defaulted on its international loans@ %2$ the DPRK found itself )ith limited access to foreign currency. Therefore@ it could not buy the fuel@ fertiliEers@ chemicals and spare parts needed for implementing its agricultural plan and maintaining sufficient le els of food production. $04. 5n the absence of Bo iet aid@ the flo) of inputs needed for the DPRK’s agriculture diminished@ and the DPRK’s food production decreased. 4or a time@ China filled the gap left by the Bo iet Fnion’s collapse and pro ided the DPRK )ith significant aid. %2% 9y .==&@ China )as supplying the DPRK )ith 22 per cent of its fuel imports and %1 per cent of its food imports.%22 Dependence on China had effecti ely replaced dependence on the Bo iet Fnion. "o)e er@ in .==&@ China faced its o)n grain shortfalls and need for hard currency. 5t sharply cut aid to the DPRK. %21 5n .==# and .==&@ Chinese grain shipments to the DPRK reportedly a eraged nearly 100@000 tons. 5n .==4@ they fell to under #10@000 tons as a result of China’s reluctance to continue financing ma(or grain shipments to the DPRK on Ifriendship termsJ.%2= <b= @tate food distribution system

$0$. Article #$ *&+ of the DPRK Constitution declares3 IThe state pro ides all the )or;ing people )ith e ery condition for obtaining food@ clothing and housing.J Bince the entire economy is state/o)ned@ this implies that the state has an obligation to pro ide each and e ery citiEen in the DPRK )ith enough adequate food. $0%. The DPRK food rationing system consists of t)o sub/institutions3 the Public Distribution Bystem *PDB+@ and the food rationing mechanism in cooperati e farms. 5n theory@ all non/farm households are entitled to state food rations pro ided by the PDB. The

%2& %24



%22 %21


Btephen "aggard and 7arcus :oland@ (amine in North KoreaN "aEel Bmith@ 4ungry for Peace$ 2nternational Security# 4umanitarian Assistance# and Social Change in North Korea *Fnited Btates 5nstitute of Peace Press@ #00$+@ p. %%. Cictor Cha@ *he 2mpossible State$ North Korea# Past and (uture *-cco@ #0.#+@ p. .1%. 7eredith Aoo/Cumings@ IThe Political -cology of famine3 The :orth Korean Catastrophe and 5ts lessonsJ@ Research Paper Beries@ :o. &. *To;yo@ Asian De elopment 9an; Research 5nstitute@ #00#+@ p. #%. Bee for instance3 I:orth Korea 5s Told of <oan DefaultJ@ Ne) 9or *imes@ #& August .=12. Bubmission to the Commission3 Btephan "aggard and 7arcus :oland@ 4unger and 4uman Rights$ *he Politics of (amine in North Korea *F.B. Committee for "uman Rights in :orth Korea@ #00$+@ p. .4. "aggard and :oland@ 4unger and 4uman Rights@ p. 4. Bubmission to the Commission3 F.B. Committee for "uman Rights in :orth Korea@ I4ailure to Protect@ A Call for the F: Becurity Council to Act in :orth KoreaJ@ #00%@ p. .1. :icholas -berstadt@ IThe :orth Korean economy. 9et)een Crisis M CatastropheJ@ p. ..0. 4or more details on the change of China’s policy to)ards the DPRK see also <iu 7ing@ IChanges and Continuities in Pyongyang’s China PolicyJ@ in North Korea in *ransition: Politics# Economy# and Society@ Par; Kyung/ae and Bcott Bnyder@ eds. *Ro)man M<ittlefield Publishers@ #0.&+@ pp. #.= ff.



Administration and -conomy Committee in each pro ince is responsible for pro iding food for the population and organiEes the rationing procedures independently. "o)e er@ the central go ernment sets up national rationing norms and arranges pro incial food trade in order to enforce the norms in all pro inces.%10 $02. People )or;ing in cooperati e farms do not ha e access to the PDB. Cooperati e farms )ere established to incorporate all farm households@ land and other agricultural and social properties in a illage. 7ember households are the formal o)ners of the cooperati e farms. 7ember households do not recei e a salary from the go ernment. 5nstead@ they should recei e food rations that are ta;en from the farm’s outputs. The state agricultural agency at county le el@ the County 7anagement Commission@ ma;es all decisions relating to a cooperati e farm@ including crop selection@ output distribution and farm mar;eting. <i;e the PDB@ cooperati e farms define a standard ration for each farm household3 the ration for an adult farm labourer usually corresponds to the PDB ration for a hea y industrial )or;er. The rationing mechanism in cooperati e farms supplied farm households )ith annual rations in one single distribution@ carried out shortly after the autumn har est )as completed@ )hereas the rest of the population )as supposed to recei e rations t)ice a month from the PDB. The system )as designed so that if a farm household )as gi en more grain than the standard ration@ the cooperati e farm can sell the difference to state procurement agencies@ and )hen grain distribution is lo)er than the standard ration@ the farm pro ides the difference in the form of either grain loans or aid from communal funds.%1. $01. The theoretical calculation of rations under the PDB depended on )or; and other factors. 4or instance@ an a erage )or;ing adult recei ed a grain ration of 200 grams a day@ a house)ife )as gi en merely &00 grams@ and a person doing hea y physical )or; *for e>ample a miner+ )as eligible for the highest daily ration of =00 grams. %1# The ratio of rice to other *less nutritious+ grains in a ration depended largely on one’s place of residence. The more important the )or; )as for the state@ the higher the ratio of grain that the )or;er recei ed.%1& $0=. The public distribution system progressi ely failed to meet its ration targets e en before its collapse in the mid/.==0s. The chart belo) summariEes the decreases in the food ration amount since .=$$. Ahile in the .=20s@ the rations may ha e been enough to feed a normal adult@ the rations steadily decreased from .=12.


%1. %1#


<ee Bu;@ I4ood shortages and economic institutions in the Democratic People’s Republic of KoreaJ. 5bid.@ pp #./##. R8K 7inistry of Fnification@ I4ood rations by class3 Fnderstanding :orth Korea #00$J@ -ducation Centre for Fnification@ 7arch #00%@ pp. #4$/#42. Bubmission to the Commission3 Andre) :atsios@ *he Areat North Korean (amine *Aashington@ D.C.@ Fnited Btates 5nstitute of Peace Press@ #00#+. &(&



Ration for +fficial ,or er


9asic 4ormula3 from =00 grams of daily rations 200 grams per day for hea y industrial )or;ers to &00 grams for #$% ;ilograms per year children Deduction of four days rations from monthly rations for so/called I)ar/time grain reser esJ *a erage .& per cent deduction+ .0 per cent deduction for so/called Ipatriotic grainJ .0 per cent deduction from adult rations %01 grams per day ### ;ilograms per year $42 grams per day #00 ;ilograms per year 4=# grams per day .2= ;ilograms per year


.=12 .==#

9igure &% Changes in food rations in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea before &22(%14 $.0. The end of the .=10s can be considered as the beginning of the period of star ation in the DPRK. 5n .=12@ the PDB rations@ stable since .=2&@ )ere reduced by .0 per cent. %1$ The distribution became increasingly unreliable in the .==0s. ^ 8ne )itness stated that he first sa) star ation in .=12 in Rason. IA )oman died from star ation. The Party said that she died from a heart attac;.J %1% ^ Another )itness stated that until the beginning of the .==0s@ people recei ed a steady ration@ )hich )as distributed e ery .$ days. 8ne ration consisted of bro)n flour@ corn and potato. The amount aried depending on the status of the recipient 6 for e>ample@ a )or;ing man got 200 grams@ a student $00 grams@ and dependents &00 grams.%12 ^ Another )itness testified that he first started e>periencing food scarcity in .==./ .==#.%11 $... 5n .==.@ the DPRK authorities launched a I<et’s eat t)o meals a dayJ campaign in an attempt to get the population to accept further ration cuts. %1= ->cept for the army and hea y industrial )or;ers@ a further .0 per cent )as cut from the PDB rations for the population in .==#.%=0 ^ A former military officer stated that food for the military became scarce in the early .==0s. 5n .==.@ a patriotic rice donation campaign )as launched@ as;ing e ery household to sa e .0 ;ilograms of rice and donate it bac; to the go ernment to feed the military. %=. <c= Hunger and mass star4ation in the &223s

$.#. The food situation continued to deteriorate. Reportedly@ food riots too; place in .==&.%=# Diplomatic negotiations )ere opened by the DPRK )ith countries in Asia to obtain
%14 %1$

%1% %12 %11 %1=

%=0 %=.

<ee Bu;@ IThe DPRK famine of .==4/#0003 ->istence and 5mpactJ@ K5:F@ #00$. 8h ,yung/chan cited in <ee Bu;@ IThe DPRK famine of .==4/#0003 ->istence and 5mpactJ@ K5:F@ #00$@ p. %. T<C0&&. TAP00.. TAP0... <ee Bu;@ IThe DPRK famine of .==4/#0003 ->istence and 5mpactJ@ K5:F@ #00$@ p. %. 5bid. T?"0#2.



emergency food shipments.%=& 4rom .==4@ state actions became increasingly harsh to)ards specific parts of the population. The PDB )as suspended in four northern pro inces@ :orth and Bouth "amgyong@ Ryanggang and Kang)on. %=4 5n addition@ a campaign )as launched to re/collect $ ;ilograms of grain that had already been handed out to farmers as part of their annual ration.%=$ As a result@ an increasing number of DPRK citiEens )ent to China and Russia in search of food. %=% $.&. The DPRK authorities initially denied the e>istence of a problem that it could not resol e )ithout international aid. 4aced )ith the undeniable reality of mass star ation@ this attitude slo)ly changed.%=2 5n 4ebruary .==$@ the DPRK authorities announced the receipt of food aid from an international :,8. 5n 7ay .==$@ the President of the R8K@ Kim Ooung/sam@ made a public offer of unconditional food assistance to the DPRK. <ater that month the go ernment of the DPRK admitted that the country )as e>periencing a food shortage. 5t as;ed the R8K and ?apan for food assistance. An appeal for aid )as also made to the Fnited Btates of America. $.4. :atural disasters e>acerbated the a ailability of food. 9et)een &0 ?uly and .1 August .==$@ torrential rains caused de astating floods in the DPRK. %=1 8n &. August .==$@ the Fnited :ations Department of "umanitarian Affairs stated that@ for the first time@ the DPRK sought their assistance. %== There )ere more floods in .==%@ follo)ed by Ithe longest spring drought in recorded historyJ. 200 As a result of the natural disasters@ the Fnited :ations reported Ima(or de astation for the agricultural sectorJ and a total of ..$ million tons of grain lost.20. Additionally@ the transportation system )as critically affected@ hindering the distribution of food to a large part of the population. $.$. "o)e er@ the foregoing chronology of e ents contradicts the DPRK’s often reiterated argument that the floods )ere the main cause of the food crisis. Btar ation )as already a problem before the .==$ floods. ?apan’s Acting 4oreign 7inistry Bpo;esman 7r Bhimanouchi Ken underlined in Beptember .==$3 I9efore the flooding@ on &0 ?une .==$@ the ?apanese ,o ernment decided to supply a total of &00@000 tons of rice to Kthe DPRKL from a humanitarian point of ie)@ in response to a request from Kthe DPRKL@ )hich )as suffering from a serious food shortage.J20#


%=& %=4

%=$ %=% %=2




20. 20#

I:orth Korean defector tells of food riotsJ@ *he Auardian@ #& August .==&. A ailable from http3!!))).theguardian.com!)orld!.==&!aug!#&!north;orea. <ee Bu;@ IThe DPRK famine of .==4/#000J@ p. 2. <ee Bu;@ IThe DPRK famine of .==4/#000J@ p. 1. Bee also 7r :atsios’ testimony. Aashington Public "earing@ &. 8ctober #0.&@ morning. Ahn ?ong/Chui cited in <ee Bu;@ IThe DPRK famine of .==4/#000J@ p. 1. <ee Bu;@ IThe DPRK famine of .==4/#000J@ p. 1. Reportedly@ economic problems )ere admitted on some occasions. Bee f:orth Korea3 5tTs bad/8fficialf@ *he Economist@ .1 December .==& and f:orth Korea3 A dangerous gamef@ #1 7ay .==4. Fnited :ations Department of "umanitarian Affairs@ IFnited :ations Consolidated F: 5nter/Agency Appeal for 4lood/Related -mergency "umanitarian Assistance to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea *DPRK+ . ?uly .==%/&. 7arch .==2J@ April .==%. I4loods Btri;e $ 7illion@ :orth Korea ReportsJ@ Ne) 9or *imes@ &. August .==$. A ailable from http3!!))).nytimes.com!.==$!01!&.!)orld!)orld/ne)s/briefs/floods/stri;e/$/ million/north/;orea/reports.html. 4A8!A4P@ ICrop and 4ood Bupply Assessment 7ission to the Democratic PeopleTs Republic of KoreaJ@ #2 ?uly #00.. 5bid. IPress Conference by the Press Becretary .= Beptember .==$J@ 7inistry of 4oreign Affairs@ ?apan. A ailable from http3!!))).mofa.go.(p!announce!press!.==$!=!=.=.htmlQ#. Bee also http3!!))).mofa.go.(p!policy!other!blueboo;!.==%!5/c.html. &('


$.%. The Commission recei ed a large number of testimonies from people )ho suffered star ation and )itnessed the death of their relati es and children during this period. People undertoo; desperate acts to sur i e. Bome made porridge out of the roots of grass or coo;ed the inner bar; of young pine branches. Ahen the har est )as o er@ some pic;ed the roots of rice plants@ mi>ed and ground them )ith corn to ma;e noodles out of them. People eating such rough food substitutes@ suffered from constant indigestion and diarrhoea@ and in the most se ere cases@ death. ^ At the Beoul Public "earing@ 7rs C testified3 <Cy father# because of malnourishment# passed a)ay early in the morning of the ->th of (ebruary -..>@ 2n April -..1 my older sister and my younger sister died of star"ation: And# in -..G# my younger brother also died:?20& ^ At the Aashington Public "earing@ 7s ?o ?in/hye described the malnutrition e>perienced by her and her family during the famine in the .==0s. "er t)o brothers and her grandmother died of star ation3 I,hen my younger brother )as born@ my grandmother actually )anted to ill [him] because my mom )as "ery undernourished and she )as not able to lactate: [Cy mother] begged my grandmother saying# MPlease do not ill the baby:5 @ 2 had to ta e care of this baby brother: So 2 )as piggybac ing him around the to)n and sometimes my grandmother had to carry him around to ma e him stop crying: 3ut as 2 mentioned# because there )as no food# he )as not able to stop crying: @ [Cy] baby brother died in my arms because he )as not able to eat: And because 2 )as holding him so much# he thought 2 )as his mom: So )hen 2 )as feeding him )ater# he )as sometimes loo ing at me smiling at me:J204 ^ At the <ondon Public "earing@ 7r Choi ?oong/h)a stated3 <,ithin fi"e months from )hen 2 came bac from the army in the -..8s my older brother died and# the neDt year# my younger brother died: Cy third brother died of malnutrition @ later on:?20$ Ahen he had to bury three of his brothers )ho died from star ation he thought that there )as something )rong in the DPRK3 <Cy brother sur"i"ed the )ar in the fifties and )hy he had to die [in the -..8s]I ,hy did my brothers ha"e to die in peacetimeI?20% ^ A )oman described the food situation in Bouth "amgyong Pro ince after .==$. "er father died in 4ebruary .==$. "er t)o sisters suffered from malnutrition. The )itness stated3 ICy [older] sister5s dying )ish )as to eat noodles# but there )as no money to buy e"en one bo)l of noodles: She died in -..1: Cy younger sister died ;ust one month later: 4er dying )ish )as to eat a slice of bread: Cy younger brother had been )or ing at the Koo)on coal mine from -..0# but he )as so )ea he )as fired: 4e died of malnutrition on the train on the )ay bac home: 2 found his body.J202 ^ At the Beoul Public "earing@ 7s P said that fi e sons of her neighbour died of star ation and that some people loo;ing for food in the mountains died because they ate to>ic mushrooms.201 ^ 7r Kim ,)ang/il described the Igreat famineJ at the Beoul Public "earing3

20& 204 20$ 20% 202 201

Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ morning *0&3#034$+. Aashington Public "earing@ &0 8ctober #0.& *0034$3.=+. <ondon Public "earing@ #& 8ctober #0.&@ session & *003$#3&#+. <ondon Public "earing@ #& 8ctober #0.&@ session & *0.30130#+. TB"0.%. Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ afternoon.



<2t5s as "i"id as if it happened yesterday: 2n the -..8s# especially in 4amgyong region# the famine began in -../: @ in one day# G8 people from [my neighbourhood] died: So many people died that )e didn5t ha"e enough coffins so )e borro)ed [traditional burial boards] to gi"e them burials: ,e didn5t ha"e any )ood to e"en gi"e tombstones: *hat5s ho) many people died:?18. ^ At the Beoul Public "earing@ 7r A described the period bet)een .==2 and .=== as the Igreat famineJ@ the most difficult time. "e said that the distribution of rations stopped during those years.2.0 ^ 7r ?i Beong/ho described ho) he lost his left hand and part of his left leg in 7arch .==%. "e had been star ing and )as loo;ing for food or money to buy food. "e had got on a mo ing train to collect coal to sell@ but as he had not eaten for many days@ he fell off the train and the train ran o er him@ cutting off his left arm and leg : 7r ?i said that in the )inter of .==0 there )as nothing for him and his family to eat3 I ,e )ould eat tree bar # and )e )ould get the roots of the cabbage under the ground# but that )as ;ust not enough: As time passed# our grandmother and other )ea people )ere ;ust not able to mo"e at all:J2.. $.2. At the beginning of .==%@ the DPRK authorities made an official announcement that the PDB )ould stop pro iding food rations until 7ay of that year. Reportedly@ by .==%@ )ild food accounted for some &0 per cent of the population’s diet. 2.# 9y .==2@ the PDB )as estimated to be supplying (ust % per cent of the population. 5n .==1@ the state )as not supplying anyone for large parts of that year. 2.& 5n ?anuary .==1@ there )as an official announcement that indi idual families )ere henceforth obligated to assume responsibility for feeding themsel es rather than relying on the PDB. 2.4 The country’s rapidly deteriorating food situation )as reflected in a nutritional sur ey conducted by the Fnited :ations@ )hich )as released in December .==1 and sho)ed that .% per cent of children )ere acutely malnourished and %# per cent )ere suffering chronic malnutrition.2.$ $.1. 7any inter ie)s described ho) people )ere not recei ing food@ lea ing them )ith no choice but to try to obtain it from other means@ including begging or engaging in acti ities deemed illegal by the authorities.2.% ^ At the Beoul Public "earing@ 7rs C said that in Bouth "amgyong Pro ince the pro ision of rations through the PDB stopped in .==4.2.2 ^ At the Beoul Public "earing@ 7r Kim K)ang/il described the food distribution in Bouth "amgyong Pro ince$ <2 realiFed the need for freedom in -..>@:All 2 had to do )as )or because the go"ernment )as gi"ing me the rice and food: And that5s

20= 2.0 2.. 2.#




2.% 2.2

Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ morning *003.03$1+. Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ afternoon. Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ morning *0.34#3$$+. 4A8!A4P@ ICrop and 4ood Bupply Assessment 7ission to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea3 Bpecial ReportJ@ December .==%. Recourse to )ild food *)ild fruits@ plants@ grass@ etc.+ is generally considered as an e>treme coping mechanism because it can be associated )ith diarrhoea and other diseases and a leading cause for malnutrition of children under $. Andre) :atsios@ IThe Politics of 4amine in :orth KoreaJ@ Bpecial Report $.@ Fnited Btates 5nstitute of Peace@ August .===@ pp. $/... Amnesty 5nternational@ IBtar ed of Rights3 "uman Rights and the 4ood Crisis in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea *:orth Korea+J@ ?anuary #004@ pp. =/.0. A4P@ I:utrition Bur ey of the Democratic PeopleTs Republic of KoreaJ@ :o ember .==1. T9,0#1@ TB"0.1@ TB"0.%. Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ morning. &($


)hat 2 did up until -..> but the rations stopped in -..>: And people started doing business# committing crimes# people started stealing:?1-G ^ Ahen the PDB stopped in .==$@ one )itness started trading by selling items on mar;ets. Bhe also sometimes )ent to the parents of her husband’s students’ to as; for food. 2.= ^ Another )itness testified that people in the DPRK )ere selling all sorts of things to sur i e@ including drugs and copper stolen from state businesses. The )itness described the predicament the population found itself in as follo)s3 I+beying the rules in the &PRK# you )ill not be able to sur"i"e: 4o)e"er# if you are caught brea ing the rules# you can get arrested and ha"e your life ta en a)ay:?2#0 ^ At the To;yo Public "earing@ 7s Baito described selling )ire around the country to sur i e. The illegal business required inconspicuously transporting the )ire on trains. 7s Baito se)d the )ire into her clothes@ ma;ing them hea y and difficult to )ear@ but usually pre enting detection by train guards. Bhe told the Commission of the desperate measures she sa) one young )oman ta;e3
<[Q] n front of me# a lady )ho )as around her 78s )as there standing )ith her baby

on her bac : 2 thin she )as also there for some ind of transaction and she )as on her )ay bac : 2n that sense# a lot of people in North Korea really suffered from food shortages# but then North Koreans )ere really ind# they ha"e indness in their heart: *his lady )ith the baby on her bac H she )as standing in front of me# and she )as trying to ma e sure that her baby is not crushed: People )ould be helping her out saying that MCa e sure the baby is not crushed5:? 7s Baito and the young )oman )ith the baby )ere ta;en off the train by police. 7s Baito ;no)ing she )as carrying )ire understood )hy she )as as;ed to follo) the police@ ho)e er she could not understand )hy the young )oman )as also as;ed. <She only had a baby on her bac and she had a "ery small bag in her hand# and 2 )as )ondering )hy she )as caught: 3ut 2 )as )aiting and the police came bac L this time# he )as )ith nobody: 2t )as ;ust me and the )oman: 2 as ed her# M&on5t you )ant to feed your childH it5s been a long time:5 She said# M2t )ill be o ay:5 2 )as really )ondering )hy the baby )as so Euiet e"en after > hours or 1 hours ride on the train@: After my interrogation )as o"er# the police told the )oman to put the baby on the des # and suddenly the )oman started to cry and 2 )as )ondering )hy: *he )oman did not put the baby do)n# she ;ust ept crying and the police also )as )ondering )hy: *he )oman )as using a cloth# a )ide band to tie the baby on her bac # and she too the baby off and laid it on the table# but then 2 suddenly realiFed that the baby )as probably -G months old or less than 7 years oldH it )as a boy: 2 sa) red blood around the stomach# and the police as ed )hat this )as all about: *he )oman )as simply crying and the police suddenly ripped the baby5s torso apart and about 7 ilograms of copper )ire )as found inside the baby5s stomach: *his ;ust told me that this is ho) far you ha"e to go in order to eep li"ing here in North Korea:?17<d= @ee1ing alternati4es to @tate distribution

$.=. The failure of the PDB forced people to find their o)n coping mechanisms to a oid star ation. The informal mar;ets )ere spontaneously established by the population@ )ithout this being a state policy choice. The ;angmadang *mar;et place+ started as Ifarmer’s
2.1 2.= 2#0 2#.

Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ morning *0.3$#30%+. T9,0&#. TAP00.. To;yo Public "earing@ &0 August #0.&@ morning *0.3.#300+.



mar;etsJ@ )here people sold agricultural produce they had gro)n in small gardens and other plots of land around their houses. Collecti e farms also set aside a portion of the rice they produced in order to e>change it for agricultural supplies they needed for the follo)ing season@ because they ;ne) the state )ould fail to pro ide such supplies to the farms. They sold or e>changed this stored rice in the ne)ly emerging mar;ets. The rudimentary ;angmadang economy@ )hich de eloped naturally )ith no la)s or regulations@ )as at first an illegal@ or blac; mar;et. "o)e er@ by the late .==0s it had reached all parts of the DPRK. 5n #001@ it )as estimated that informal economic acti ities accounted for 21 per cent of the total income of DPRK households.2## $#0. Testimonies recei ed by the Commission confirm that people engaged in mar;et acti ities@ by selling ideos@ cigarettes and other items@ to earn money to buy food and complement )hate er insufficient rations they still recei ed through the PDB. ^ 8ne )itness said that in the .==0s the food rations )ere hal ed. Therefore@ his family had to supplement the ration through the mar;et and trading )ith China. 2#& ^ Another )itness also underscored that food became scarce in the .==0s. 4ood smuggling and blac; mar;ets for rice emerged as a consequence. 9efore the food became scarce@ there )ere no proper mar;et places. Ahen Kim 5l/sung died@ e en the distribution of food rations stopped totally and mar;et places became the only places to obtain food. 2#4 ^ 4rom .==#@ one )itness@ then a teenager of .4 years@ engaged in business by selling ideos on the blac; mar;et. 9ecause he engaged in this business@ he )as often arrested.2#$ ^ Another )itness claimed that the food situation )as good until .==$. 5n .==%@ his family started selling belongings from their house. After all their belongings ran out@ the )itness tried to sell cigarettes and egetables in the mar;et. 2#% ^ 8ne )itness described the de elopment of the I*alligi economyJ in the .==0s. "e e>plained that I*alligiJ@ )hich literally means IrunningJ in Korean@ refers to the )or; of procuring goods in a small city and transporting them to the countryside to profit from price differentials. People usually sold products coming from Ra(in/ Bgnbong *Rason Bpecial -conomic Uone+. 7ost of the goods )ere made in China.2#2 ^ A married father )ith t)o children said that the food ration )as ne er enough for his family of four. "is )ife had to conduct illegal acti ities in order to get more food for the family. Bhe did some farming and sold liquor and beans to ma;e tofu co ertly. 2#1 $#.. The de elopment of mar;ets had a profound impact on the economy of the DPRK. 7ar;ets became an alternati e to the PDB. They also pro ided opportunities for some groups of the population to increase their re enue@ for instance through trade. Carious elements determined )hether one can benefit from the mar;ets including place of residenceN occupationN ability to engage in corrupt practicesN and access to foreign currency *through official employment@ nonofficial economic acti ities or remittances from relati es

2#& 2#4 2#$ 2#% 2#2 2#1

Kim 9yung/yeon and Bong Dong/ho@ IThe Participation of :orth Korean "ouseholds in the 5nformal -conomy 3 BiEe@ Determinants@ and -ffectJ@ Seoul 'ournal of Economics@ ol. #. *#001+@ p. &2&. TAP0... TAP00.. TB"0&$. TB"0.1. T<C0.&. T<C0&1. &(.


in China@ ?apan and the R8K+.2#= Bome officials benefit from the mar;ets@ by di erting food to ma;e a profit and!or by obtaining bribes in relation to mar;et acti ities. Pre iously marginaliEed groups ha e become e en more ulnerable in this conte>t. $##. 7ar;ets continue to ha e a big impact on the physical and financial accessibility of food. People )ithout financial resources or the capacity to trade are effecti ely shut out from the mar;et. ^ 8ne )itness from :ampo in Bouth Pyongan Pro ince@ said that rice )as $00/%00 )on per ;ilogram in the mar;et and the )itness could not afford it.2&0 ^ Another )itness stated that in #0.0/#0..@ no food )as distributed. Bhe estimates that 40 per cent of the population could not afford buying any food )hen she left. 2&. The )itness emphasiEed3 I*hose )ho do not ha"e money# )ill star"e.J ^ 5n the To;yo Public "earing@ 7r 5shimaru ?iro of Rim(in/,ang@ a media unit of Asia Press )hich maintains a net)or; of underco er (ournalists in the DPRK@ noted that the current price of the rice on the mar;et is around $@000 )on per ;ilogram. 7r 5shimaru highlighted that the a erage salary of public ser ants is #000/&000 )on per month. According to him@ the problem in the DPRK is access to food. There is a lot of food sold in the mar;et@ but people cannot afford it.2&# ^ 5n one confidential inter ie) a )oman stated that in #0.#@ the price of rice soared and most people could no longer afford it. I*he poor and the )ea die of hungerJ@ she added.2&& <e= Persistence of hunger and star4ation after #333

$#&. Ahile the number of deaths from star ation seems to ha e fallen since #000@ reports and studies indicate that large portions of the population are still facing hunger and malnutrition.2&4 According to the 4ood and Agricultural 8rganiEation of the Fnited :ations@ the number of people suffering from malnutrition in the DPRK )as 1.4 million in #000/ #00# *representing &%.% per cent of the population+N 1.% million in #00$/#002 *&% per cent of the population+N =.2 million in #001/#0.0 *40.# per cent+ and 2.% million in #0../#0.& *&0.= per cent+.2&$ 5nstances of deaths from star ation continue to be reported.
2#= 2&0 2&. 2&# 2&& 2&4


Btephen "aggard and 7arcus :oland@ (amine in North Korea@ p. .2#. TB"0$#. T9,0#1. To;yo Public "earing@ #= August #0.&@ afternoon. T9,0&#. 7alnutrition is defined as nutritional disorder in all its forms and includes both undernutrition and o ernutrition. 5t relates to imbalances in energy@ and specific macro and micronutrients as )ell as in dietary patterns. Con entionally@ the emphasis has been in relation to inadequacy@ but it also applies to both e>cess and imbalanced inta;es. 7alnutrition occurs )hen the inta;e of essential macro/ and micronutrients does not meet or e>ceeds the metabolic demands for those nutrients. These metabolic demands ary )ith age@ gender and other physiological conditions and are also affected by en ironmental conditions including poor hygiene and sanitation that lead to food as )ell as )aterborne diarrhoea *A"8 ,lobal :utrition Policy Re ie)+. Ahen micronutrient malnutrition occurs in persons )ho are of a normal )eight or )ho are o er)eight or obese@ it is sometimes referred to as hidden hunger. "idden hunger often has no isible )arning signs@ lea ing sufferers una)are of their dietary deficiency and its potentially ad erse impact on their health. Pregnant and lactating )omen ha e additional specific needs. The additional food needed during pregnancy and lactation is critical to ensuring adequate nutrient inta;e sufficient in both quantity and quality for fetal gro)th and production of breast mil;. 7aternal undernutrition at this stage can lead to intrauterine gro)th retardation and lo) concentrations of certain nutrients in breast mil;. 4A8@ Committee on Aorld 4ood Becurity@ IComing to terms )ith terminologyJ@ C4B #0.#!&=!4. A ailable from http3!!))).fao.org!docrep!meeting!0#%!7D22%-.pdf. 4A8@ The Btate of 4ood 5nsecurity in the Aorld *#0.&+.



$#4. 5n the )inter of #000 and spring of #00.@ the DPRK e>perienced drought )hich se erely affected )heat@ barley and potato crops. The drought also led to an acute loss of soil moisture@ the depletion of reser oirs and the crippling of irrigation systems. 2&% According to a source from the R8K@ .$@000 DPRK soldiers deserted due to food shortages in #00./#00#.2&2 $#$. 5n #00#@ the DPRK introduced the I2.. -conomic 7anagement 5mpro ement 7easuresJ *2.. measures+. This ne) policy )as introduced to ma>imiEe profit in a changing en ironment@ )hilst at the same time preser ing the socialist ideology. The DPRK pursued the follo)ing ob(ecti es3 .+ to restructure some loans and ma;e official prices correspond to real mar;et pricesN #+ to increase managerial discretion afforded to state companies and encourage independent managementN &+ to shut do)n the blac; mar;et@ )hich had continued to gro)N and 4+ to shift consumer goods distribution bac; to the go ernment system. The 2.. measures en isioned the establishment of Igeneral mar;etsJ.2&1 There )ere some characteristics that sho)ed a sense of reform@ such as a demand for profitability of state businesses@ but this did not mean a fundamental reform of the nation’s planned economy system. 9ecause the authorities tried to close the blac; mar;ets )hile not ha ing sufficient means to rebuild the public rationing system@ the measures caused hyper/inflation and ended in failure. 5n order to handle this situation@ the authorities decided to legaliEe the blac; mar;et in April #00&. 2&= 4or decades rice had been IsoldJ in the DPRK )ithin the PDB at a purely to;en price. After the reforms@ the official price increased by a multiple of $$0@ from 0.01 to 44 )on per ;ilogram@ appro>imating the mar;et price at the time. Accordingly@ many DPRK citiEens suffered from unintended side effects of the reforms. $#%. 5n #00$@ the DPRK signed an agreement to eliminate its nuclear programmes in e>change for aid and security assurances. 5n the same year@ the Aorld 4ood Programme *A4P+ representati e reportedly stated3 IAhat the go ernment is able to pro ide the people no)@ these #$0 grams a day@ is a star ation ration.J240 8ne )itnesss said that her second granddaughter@ born in #00$@ suffered from the lac; of food and de eloped health issues3 IE"en today# although she gets better food# she is not all )ell.J24. $#2. 5n ?uly #00% and August #002@ ne) floods hit the DPRK. The Fnited :ations reported that the summer floods decimated domestic food production@ placing the ulnerable population at ris; of rising malnutrition during the )inter months. $#1. The )orsening humanitarian situation reportedly forced people to ta;e desperate measures. The Korea 5nstitute for :ational Fnification reported3 fThough there )ere testimonies of the sale of human meat during the period of the Arduous 7arch@ such testimonies almost disappeared after #000. "o)e er@ in #00% there )as a re/emergence in testimonies of cannibalism attributed to the economic brea;do)n and food shortages.J 24#



2&= 240

24. 24#

4A8!A4P@ ICrop And 4ood Bupply Assessment 7ission to the Democratic PeopleTs Republic of KoreaJ@ #2 ?uly #00.. I.$@000 :orth Korean soldiers desert amid famine in #00./#00#3 reportJ@ Agence (rance-Presse@ #% Beptember #00&. ->hibit T13 5shimaru ?iro ed.@ Rim;in-gang$ Ne)s (rom 2nside North Korea *8sa;a@ Asiapress Publishing@ #0.0+@ p. 4= 5bid. I:orth Korea@ 4acing 4ood Bhortages@ 7obiliEes 7illions 4rom the Cities to "elp Rice 4armersJ@ Ne) 9or *imes@ . ?une #00$. A ailable from http3!!))).nytimes.com!#00$!0%!0.!international!asia!0.;orea.htmlDWr_0. TAP00.. K5:F@ ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.#+@ p. =1. Accounts of e>ecution for the moti e of cannibalism and cannibalism in detention )ere also mentioned by TB"00=@ T9,0..@ T<C0#$. &(2


$#=. The DPRK continues to operate the PDB and has tried on arious occasions to re/ launch it )hile crac;ing do)n on the Iinformal economyJ. 24& According to the 4A8 and the A4P@ the ,o ernment tried to re i e the PDB in 8ctober #00$. This led to some impro ements but before long it re erted bac; to pre/re i al le els.244 Carious factors including lo) food production@ high fuel prices and infrastructure damage caused food distribution to be irregular. 9et)een #00& and #002@ less than a quarter of PDB households and only t)o/thirds of farmers recei ed their food rations@ and e en those )ho did rarely recei ed their full entitlement. Carious attempts by the go ernment to relaunch the PDB failed. 9et)een #004 and #001@ food rations ranged from .$0 grams per person per day to &$0 grams. 5n #001@ rations decreased from &$0 grams at the beginning of the year to #$0 grams in 7ay. They stood at .$0 grams 6 about one quarter of the minimum nutritional requirement / from ?une to Beptember@ before increasing again to &00 grams in 8ctober.24$ As sho)n in the figure belo)@ the ,o ernment target of $2& grams per day has not been attained since #001.

9igure #% !4erage monthly PD@ rations> #330-#3&' compared to Do4ernment target.(-



24$ 24%

Andrei <an;o @ *he Real North KoreaN A4P@ IA4P -mergency ReportsJ@ &0 Beptember #00$. Bee also "uman Rights Aatch@ IA 7atter of Bur i al3 The :orth Korean ,o ernment’s Control of 4ood and the Ris; of "ungerJ@ #00%. 4A8!A4P@ IBpecial Report3 Crop and 4ood Becurity Assessment 7ission to the Democratic PeopleTs Republic of KoreaJ@ 1 December #001. 5bid.@ pp. #&/#4. 4A8!A4P@ ICrop and 4ood Becurity Assessment 7ission to the Democratic People’s Republic of KoreaJ@ #1 :o ember #0.&@ p. &0.



9igure '% Public Distribution @ystem ration #3&&-#3&' <grams"person"day= 242 $&0. 5n #001@ the A4P reported that the DPRK )as e>periencing acute food shortages. 241 The 4A8!A4P food and security assessment published during the same year found that compared to the #00&/#00$ period@ the consumption of )ild foods in the DPRK had increased by nearly #0 per cent3 Diarrhoea caused by increased consumption of )ild foods )as reported to be one of the leading causes for malnutrition amongst children under $@ particularly in urban areas. 7ost hospitals and child institutions had limited ability to effecti ely treat malnutrition due to lac; of fortified food for infants. 24=




Fnited :ations 8ffice for the Coordination of "umanitarian Affairs *8C"A+@ IDPR Korea #0.&3 "umanitarian :eeds and PrioritiesJ@ p. %. 4A8!A4P@ IBpecial Report3 Crop and food security assessment mission to the Democratic PeopleTs Republic of KoreaJ@ 1 December #001. 4A8!A4P@ I->ecuti e Bummary3 Rapid 4ood Becurity Assessment3 Democratic People’s Republic of KoreaJ@ ?une!?uly #001@ p. &. &$&


9igure (% Culnerability to food insecurity2$0 $&.. 8n &0 :o ember #00=@ the go ernment announced that it )ould e>change ne) currency for old currency at the rate of .003.. DPRK citiEens )ere gi en only one )ee; to e>change their old notes for the ne) currency. Btrict limits )ere imposed on the amount of currency they )ere allo)ed to e>change. 2$. According to state/controlled media@ the official purpose of the reform )as to Idefend the interest of the people by stabiliEing and impro ing their li es.J2$# 5n particular@ the go ernment aimed first to combat inflation and second to reduce the role of the mar;et@ restoring the centrally planned economic system. 2$& A former professor in the DPRK@ 7r Cho 7yong/chol@ no) at the Korea 5nstitute for 5nternational -conomic Policy in Beoul@ said@ IAfter failing to shut do)n pri"ate mar ets in North Korea# currency reform )as probably the only option left to neutraliFe the )ealthy merchant class.J2$4 7r Cho added that the currency reform )as aimed at restoring the ruling Kim familyTs hold on po)er. "e said that the DPRKTs ne) class of )ealthy merchants are not the traditional elite and include many people )ho are not IidealJ communists and could become threats to the current leadership. $&#. The result of the currency reform appears to ha e caused further star ation. 9y #00=@ the mar;et price for rice )as fluctuating around the #@000 )on. The number of street


2$# 2$& 2$4

4A8!A4P@ I->ecuti e Bummary3 Rapid 4ood Becurity Assessment3 Democratic People’s Republic of KoreaJ@ ?une!?uly #001. Bcott Bnyder@ I:orth Korea Currency Reform3 Ahat "appened and Ahat Aill happen To 5ts -conomyDJ@ The Asia 4oundation@ &. 7arch #0.0@ p. 4. Bee also I:orth Korea re alues currency@ destroying personal sa ingsJ@ ,ashington Post@ # December #00=. ->hibit T1@ 5shimaru ?iro ed.@ Rim;in-gang$ Ne)s (rom 2nside North Korea@ p. .%=. ->hibit T1@ p. .%2. I:. KoreaTs Currency Reform Ta 9id to Cement Po)erJ@ Chosun 2lbo@ # December #00=@ http3!!english.chosun.com!site!data!htmlWdir!#00=!.#!0#!#00=.#0#00%$%.html



children began to increase again after the #00= currency reform. 2$$ <ess than t)o months after the currency reform@ Premier Kim Oong/il@ reportedly apologiEed directly to the representati es of the people of each region. 2$% This )as follo)ed by the dismissal 6 and reported e>ecution / of the head of the 4inance Department of the Central Committee of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea@ Pa; :am/gi. 2$2 Bome commentators stated that such an unprecedented admission of failure )as probably due to the general discontent e en among supporters of the leadership. The DPRK too; a further step against the mar;ets by banning the use of foreign currencies on #1 December #00=. 2$1 An official decree entitled I8n se erely punishing those )ho use 4oreign CurrencyJ )as announced. 2$= 5n addition@ the authorities shut do)n the general mar;ets. These actions had a ma(or effect on people’s access to food. They particularly affected those )ho made a li ing trading and selling goods in pri ate or free mar;ets. The e>treme inflation that resulted from the currency reform decreased the food purchasing po)er of ordinary citiEens and rendered people’s sa ings almost )orthless.2%0 $&&. Although the authorities shut do)n the mar;ets@ they failed to properly restart the PDB. This contributed to mass star ation in arious parts of the country. 2%. There )as ast discontent among the population and riots reportedly too; place.2%# $&4. Despite all the e idence to the contrary@ the delegation of the DPRK claimed in its Fni ersal Periodic Re ie) of December #00= that Ithe issue of serious malnutrition is a thing of the past.J2%& $&$. The non/go ernmental humanitarian organiEation ,ood 4riends reported the death by star ation of thousands of people in Bunchon and Pyongsong bet)een mid/?anuary and mid/4ebruary #0.0. Btatistics of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea in Binui(u cited by ,ood 4riends indicated that@ after #0 4ebruary #0.0@ about three hundred people died@ )hile more than .@000 households did not ha e food and )ere at ris; of star ation. 2%4 Reportedly@ in 7ay #0.0@ the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea stated that there )ill be no immediate go ernment support and announced that the go ernment Icannot ta;e any immediate measures due to

2$$ 2$%

2$2 2$1


2%0 2%.


2%& 2%4

K9A@ 78-7 ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea@ p. &4=. 7r. Kim Oong/il )as considered at the time as number & of the DPRK regime. Bee I:orth Korea’s Premier ApologiEes 8 er Chaotic Currency ReformJ@ Associated Press@ .0 4ebruary #0.0N I:. Korean technocrat e>ecuted for bungled currency reform3 sourcesJ@ 9onhap Ne)s@ .1 7arch #0.0. A ailable from http3!!english.yonhapne)s.co.;r!north;orea!#0.0!0&!.1!2#!040.000000A-:#0.00&.1004400&.$4." T7<. 8n the e>ecutions related to the currency reform@ see also section 5C.-.$... I:orth Korea bans foreign currenciesJ@ !SA *oday@ &. December #00=. A ailable from http3!!usatoday&0.usatoday.com!money!)orld!#00=/.#/&./north/;oreaW:.htm. ->hibit T1@ Rim;in-gang$ Ne)s (rom 2nside North Korea@ pp. .$%/.$2 *photograph of the official decree posted on the street in ?anuary #0.0+. K5:F@ ,hite paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.#+@ p. &4.. Bcott Bnyder@ I:orth Korea Currency Reform3 Ahat "appened and Ahat Aill happen To 5ts -conomyDJ@ p. &. Bee also f-conomic TReformT in :orth Korea3 :u;ing the Aonf@ *ime@ & December #00=. A ailable from http3!!content.time.com!time!)orld!article!0@1$==@.=4$#$.@00.html. I:orth Koreans fear another famine amid economic crisisJ@ %os Angeles *imes@ #$ 7arch #0.0. A ailable from http3!!articles.latimes.com!#0.0!mar!#&!)orld!la/fg/;orea/famine#4/ #0.0mar#4N I:orth Korea 9ac;trac;s as Currency Reform Bpar;s RiotsJ@ *he Chosun 2lbo@ .$ December #00=. A ailable from http3!!english.chosun.com!site!data!htmlWdir!#00=!.#!.$!#00=.#.$00&%..html. A!"RC!.&!.&@ para. 1#. ,ood 4riends@ I:orth Korea Today@ :o. &&$J@ 7arch #0.0. &$'


the )orse than e>pected food situation.J 2%$ As a measure of last resort@ the authorities lifted restrictions on pri ate mar;ets again in #0.0.2%% $&%. 5n 8ctober #0..@ the DPRK allo)ed the filming of children )ho )ere se erely malnourished in rural areas of the DPRK. A4P reported that the PDB )as distributing #00 gram rations@ one third of an adultTs normal daily requirement. 2%2 5n #0..@ the Fnited :ations reported that more than % million people in the DPRK )ere in urgent need of food aid.2%1 The situation of farmers remains critical in terms of food security. ^ A farmer testified that in #0..@ the manager of the collecti e farm told the farmers that they ha e not met their quota and that I the farm had no obligation to feed them:J2%= $&2. Testimonies to the Commission submitted by persons )ho ha e fled the DPRK in the more recent past@ including in #0.&@ describe the current economic and food hardship. 7alnutrition remains a significant concern@ especially in rural areas. 4ood may be a ailable in the mar;ets@ but the price of items effecti ely e>cludes a large portion of the population. 5ronically@ in a country that has forcefully denounced capitalism@ affordability continues to be a ma(or issue for the poor and their situation appears to ha e )orsened. The graphic belo) sho)s the e olution of the price of rice in the DPRK.

2%$ 2%%




,ood 4riends@ I:orth Korea Today@ :o. &40J@ ?une #0.0. f:orth Korea lifts restrictions on pri ate mar;ets as last resort in food crisisf@ *he ,ashington Post@ .1 ?une #0.0. A ailable from http3!!))).)ashingtonpost.com!)p/ dyn!content!article!#0.0!0%!.1!AR#0.00%.10#1&2.html. IChildren pay for :orth Korea food crisisJ@ Reuters@ % 8ctober #0... A ailable from https3!!))).youtube.com!)atchD _58a0WDf%#fo. A4P also released a ideo@ IThe 4ace of "unger in DPR KoreaJ@ .# Beptember #0... A ailable from https3!!))).youtube.com!)atchD _EAc)"UraU,s. A4P! 4A8 ! F:5C-4@ IRapid 4ood Becurity Assessment 7ission To The Democratic People’s Republic 8f KoreaJ@ #4 7arch #0... T9,0&#.



9igure $% Price of rice in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea between !ugust #332 and !pril #3&'220 $&1. Alarming reports continue to emerge from the DPRK. 5n #0.#@ more than .0@000 people reportedly died of hunger in :orth and Bouth ")anghae Pro inces. 22. These reports confirm information Alert:et@ a humanitarian ne)s ser ice run by the Thomson Reuters 4oundation@ reported after isiting these pro inces in #0...22# The information is further corroborated by testimonies of people )ho ha e recently departed the DPRK. ^ 8ne )itness sa) .# people die of hunger in her region in #0.#. 8ne of them )as a man )ho had nothing but grass to eat.22& ^ Another )itness from Chong(in testified that in #0.# she did not recei e any food rations. 5n #0.&@ she recei ed one ;ilogram of rations in ?anuary and another ;ilogram in 7arch. Bhe stated that the food situation has become )orse since Kim ?ong/un came to po)er.224 $&=. 5n #0.&@ the DPRK authorities reportedly pro ided rations of 400 grams per day bet)een ?anuary and 7ay@ and &=0 grams per day in ?une and ?uly@ leading to an a erage ration siEe of &=2 grams per day for the entire period from ?anuary to ?uly #0.&. 5t )as also reported that some of the distribution included emergency stoc;s of rice ordinarily intended for )artime distribution.22$ According to the 8ffice for the Coordination of "umanitarian Affairs *8C"A+ IPDB rations in #0.& are follo)ing a similar pattern to #0.#. Although supply is higher than in #0..@ it remains )ell belo) the target of $2& grams per person per day.J22% Additionally@ the ration siEe aries mar;edly depending on a person’s age@ as seen in the table belo).




22& 224



IAhy the Aorld Bhould 9e Rallying 4or The TOuan/iEationT 8f :orth KoreaJ@ 3usiness 2nsider@ ## ?une #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).businessinsider.com!north/;orea/ hyperinflation/dollariEation/shift/#0.&/%. Asiapress 5nternational@ I:orth Korea3 Report on the 4amine in the ")anghae Pro inces and the 4ood BituationJ@ #0.#. IBpecial Report3 Crisis grips :orth Korean rice bo)lJ@ Reuters@ 2 8ctober #0... A ailable from http3!!))).reuters.com!article!#0..!.0!02!us/;orea/north/food/ idFBTR-2=$%DF#0...002. T9,0&#. T<C04#. 8ther sources confirm these statements3 Amnesty 5nternational@ IBtar ed of RightsJ3 :orth Koreans forced to sur i e on diet of grass and tree bar;@ .$ ?uly #0.0N Aill 7orro)@ I4amine threatening millions in :orth KoreaJ@ Aorld Bocialist )ebsite@ .$ 8ctober #0... A ailable from http3!!))).)s)s.org!en!articles!#0..!.0!;ore/o.$.htmlN I:orth Korea faces famine3 TTell the )orld )e are star ingTJ@ *he *elegraph@ .% ?uly #0... A ailable from http3!!))).telegraph.co.u;!ne)s!)orldne)s!asia!north;orea!1%4.=4%!:orth/Korea/faces/famine/ Tell/the/)orld/)e/are/star ing.htmlN I"unger Btill "aunts :orth Korea@ CitiEens BayJ@ NPR@ .0 December #0.#. A ailable from http3!!))).npr.org!#0.#!.#!.0!.%%2%00$$!hunger/still/haunts/ north/;orea/citiEens/sayN IThe Dangers of the Coming :orth Korean 4amineJ@ !S Ne)s ,ee ly@ .# :o ember #0.#. A ailable from http3!!))).usne)s.com!opinion!blogs!)orld/ report!#0.#!..!.#!the/political/consequences/of/famine/in/north/;oreaN IThe Cannibals of :orth KoreaJ@ ,ashington Post@ $ 4ebruary #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).)ashingtonpost.com!blogs!)orld ie)s!)p!#0.&!0#!0$!the/cannibals/of/north/;orea!N IThe :orth Korea )e rarely seeJ@ CNN@ .# April #0.&. A ailable from http3!!edition.cnn.com!#0.&!04!.#!)orld!asia!north/;orea/)e/rarely/see!. IPDB Distribution Columes Rise in #0.&J@ &aily NK@ 2 August #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).dailyn;.com!english!read.phpDcata5d_n;00.00Mnum_.01.$. 8C"A@ IDPR Korea #0.&3 "umanitarian :eeds and PrioritiesJ@ p. %. &$$


9igure -% Ration si7es by age group and a4erage ration si7es222 <f= )mpact on 4arious groups

$40. The failures of the PDB and the period of mass star ation ha e profoundly impacted the li es of many people in the DPRK. The Commission focuses on three specific groups because of the )ider implications of their suffering. *i+ 2mpact on children

$4.. 5n its country report to the Fni ersal Periodic Re ie) in #00=@ the DPRK go ernment reported that IThe state has in ariably maintained@ e er since the early days of its founding@ the principled stand that children are the future and the ZKings’ of the country.J221 "o)e er@ children ha e been among the most affected by the dire food situation. Aorld 9an; statistics indicate that infant mortality in the DPRK increased from 4$ per .000 li e births in .==0 to $1 per .000 li e births in .===. 22= The DPRK declared in #00# that the infant mortality rate increased from #2 per .000 li e births in .==& to 41 per .000 li e births in .===.210 $4#. Apart from ;illing many children@ hunger and star ation also ha e the se ere negati e impacts on the long/term de elopment of infants and children. According to 4A83 7alnutrition is especially serious for infants during the first .000 days of life *from conception through the age of t)o+@ and for young children and has largely irre ersible long/term effects on the ability of children to gro) and learn@ and to de elop into producti e adults later in life. This can restrict the de elopment potential of )hole societies and nations@ and create a costly and continuing health and humanitarian burden for the country.21. $4&. The .==1 Fnited :ations nutritional sur ey sho)ed a %# per cent rate of stunting among children under = years old.21# This le el of stunting is considered I ery highJ

221 22=




4A8!A4P@ ICrop and 4ood Becurity Assessment 7ission to the Democratic People’s Republic of KoreaJ@ #1 :o ember #0.&@ p. &0. A!"RC!A,.%!%!PRK!.. The Aorld 9an; ,roup@ IPo erty reduction and -conomic management!"uman De elopment!De elopment -conomicsJ@ 7ay #00.@ p. #2. Becond Periodic Report submitted in 7ay #00# to the Committee on -conomic@ Bocial and Cultural Rights *-!.==0!%!Add.&$+. 4A8@ Committee on Aorld 4ood Becurity@ IComing to terms )ith terminologyJ *C4B #0.#!&=!4+. Btunting reflects shortness/for/ageN an indicator of chronic malnutrition. 5t is calculated by comparing the height/for/age of a child )ith a reference population of )ell/nourished and healthy children. According to the F: Btanding Committee on :utritionTs $th Report on the Aorld :utrition Bituation *#00$+ almost one third of all children are stunted. *A4P@ http3!!))).)fp.org!hunger!glossary+. Btunting is used for measuring achie ements of the 7illennium



according to the A"8 classification *see belo)@ figure 2+. The high stunting rate indicates that star ation started at the end of the .=10s@ as the =/year olds among the children found to be stunted in .==1 had probably faced chronic malnutrition since .=1=.21&

9igure .% ?H+ classification for assessing se4erity of malnutrition by pre4alence range among children under $ years of age214 $44. 5n #00#@ )ith cooperation from the Fnited :ations Children’s 4und *F:5C-4+ and the Aorld 4ood Programme@ the go ernment of the DPRK conducted a sur ey of %@000 households )ith children younger than se en years using multiple/stage sampling methods. Data )as collected on socio/demographic ariables@ use of A4P food aid@ and anthropometric measures of the youngest child in the household. Although the pre alence of )asting21$ had decreased bet)een .==2 *.%.$ per cent+ and #00# *1.# per cent+@ the pre alence of stunting had not changed *&1.# s. &=.4 per cent+.21% $4$. The country suffered from serious economic difficulties starting from the mid/ .==0s@ causing serious deterioration of people’s health@ in particular that of )omen and children. Bupply of nutritious foods@ nutritional and medical care significantly impro ed the situation from the early #000s@ the DPRK claimed before the "uman Rights Council :212 "o)e er@ information collected by the Commission contradicts this claim. According to a #00= F:5C-4 report@ DPRK )as one of .1 countries )ith the highest pre alence of moderate and se ere stunting among children aunder the age of fi e years. 9et)een #00& and #001@ 4$ per cent of children under fi e in the DPRK )ere stunted. 4or the same age group@ nine per cent )ere suffering from )asting and se en per cent )ere se erly under)eight.211 The most recent F:5C-4/financed nutritional sur ey concluded that #2.=
21& 214



212 211

De elopment ,oals. -9,002. Aorld "ealth 8rganiEation@ I,lobal Database on Child ,ro)th and 7alnutritionJ. A ailable from http3!!))).)ho.int!nutgro)thdb!about!introduction!en!inde>$.html. Aasting reflects a recent and se ere process that has led to substantial )eight loss@ usually associated )ith star ation and!or disease. Aasting is calculated by comparing )eight/for/ height of a child )ith a reference population of )ell/nourished and healthy children. 5t is often used to assess the se erity of emergencies because it is strongly related to mortality. *A4P@ a ailable from3 http3!!))).)fp.org!hunger!glossary+. Daniel ?. "offman and <ee Boo/;yung@ IThe Pre alence of Aasting@ but :ot Btunting@ "as 5mpro ed in the Democratic People’s Republic of KoreaJ@ 'ournal of Nutrition@ ol. .&$@ :o. & *#00$+@ pp. 4$#/4%%. A!"RC!A,.%!%!PRK!.. F:5C-4@ ITrac;ing Progress on Child and 7aternal :utrition3 A sur i al and de elopment priorityJ@ :o ember #00=@ pp. .. and .04. A ailable from http3!!))).childinfo.org!files!Trac;ingWProgressWonWChildWandW7aternalW:utritionW-:.pdf. &$.


per cent of the country’s t)o year olds are afflicted by stunting and 1.4 per cent of all children in that age group are se erely stunted. 21= The rate of stunting therefore remains high according to the A"8 classification. $4%. The Commission understands from nutritionists that retarded gro)th and de elopment in the youngest years cannot be later regained or compensated for. Chronic malnutrition increases )ith age and reaches a plateau from three years of age but is irre ersible after t)o years of age. 2=0 The incidence of stunting is not only concerning sub(ect of gra e concern from the standpoint of sur i al and physical gro)th but also for the o erall de elopment of children.2=. Chronic malnutrition leading to stunting can also ha e long/term effects on cogniti e de elopment@ school achie ement@ and economic producti ity in adulthood and maternal reproducti e outcomes. 2=# The intergenerational effect of stunting also needs to be considered. A )oman of short stature and lo) )eight is at greater ris; of gi ing birth to a child of short stature and lo)er )eight. 2=& $42. Chronically malnourished children are also more susceptible to a ariety of diseases. According to arious reports@ including the DPRK’s o)n report to arious international organiEations such as the Aorld "ealth 8rganiEation@ F:5C-4 and the 5nternational 4ederation of Red Cross Bocieties@ o er %0 per cent of DPRK children under the age of fi e suffered from acute respiratory infections and o er #0 per cent suffered from diarrhoea in #00#. During that period@ the death rate from these diseases reached almost 10 per cent. Bome 40 to $0 per cent of children isiting clinics )ere suffering from diseases caused by contaminated )ater. During the monsoon season the rate shot up to %0 to 20 per cent. 2=4 $41. The dire food situation in the DPRK also caused a ery high number of children to become homeless *the so/called ot;ebi+.2=$ Bome lost their parentsN others )ere abandoned in the mar;etplaces or in the )aiting rooms of railroad stations because their families had no means to feed them and recei ed no support from the state. According to article #0 of the Con ention on the Rights of Child@ IA child temporarily or permanently depri ed of his or her family en ironment shall be entitled to special protection and assistance pro ided by the state.J 5n 7ay #00# the DPRK go ernment declared in its second report to the CRC that it )as ta;ing measures to pro ide family en ironments for children )ho had lost their

2=0 2=.





F:5C-4@ IDemocratic People’s Republic of Korea 4inal Report of the :ational :utrition Bur ey #0.#J@ 7arch #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).unicef.org!eapro!DPRKW:ationalW:utritionWBur eyW#0.#.pdf. F:5C-4@ IDPRK :ational :utrition Bur ey #0.#J@ 7arch #0.&. Kristen De lin@ IBtunting <imits <earning and 4uture -arnings of ChildrenJ@ Population Reference 9ureau@ 8ctober #0.#. A ailable from http3!!))).prb.org!Publications!Articles!#0.#!stunting/among/children.asp>N Aorld 9an;@ http3!!)orldban;.org!children!de stages.html. IThe Dutch 4amine 9irth Cohort BtudyJ@ by the departments of Clinical -pidemiology and 9iostatistics@ ,ynecology and 8bstetrics and 5nternal 7edicine of the Academic 7edical Centre in Amsterdam@ in collaboration )ith the 7RC -n ironmental -pidemiology Fnit of the Fni ersity of Bouthampton in the Fnited Kingdom@ found that the children of pregnant )omen e>posed to famine )ere more susceptible to diabetes@ obesity@ cardio ascular disease@ microalbuminuria and other health problems. 7oreo er@ the children of the )omen )ho )ere pregnant during the famine )ere smaller@ as e>pected. "o)e er@ surprisingly@ )hen these children gre) up and had children those children )ere also smaller than a erage. These data suggest that the famine e>perienced by the mothers caused some ;ind of epigenetic changes that )ere passed do)n to the ne>t generation. Kathryn ,. De)ey and Khadi(a 9egum@ I<ong/term consequences of stunting in early lifeJ@ Caternal and Child Nutrition@ ol. 2@ suppl. & *#0..+@ pp. $6.1. Cesar ,. Cictora and others@ I7aternal and child undernutrition3 consequences for adult health and human capitalJ@ %ancet@ ol. &2. *#001+. Center for Children 7edicine Bupport 5nc.@ IBymposium on the "ealth Conditions of :orth Korean ChildrenJ@ Be(ong Cultural Center@ .4 :o ember #00#. 8n the situation of street children@ see also section 5C.C...



parents and that it )as paying great attention to child rearing at both the familial and societal le els. The go ernment claimed that most orphans are sent to institutions )here they can benefit from go ernment protection.2=% $4=. The Commission heard that there )ere different types of orphanage/li;e structures for children in the DPRK3 a system of regular orphanages ;no)n as ilbanN institutions called gyebumo *literally Istep/parentJ+ and guhoso facilities for street children.2=2 $$0. 5n .==2@ facilities called I=/#2 campsJ )ere established in e ery county to crac; do)n on the unauthoriEed mo ement of people and in particular children searching for food.2=1 5t is also reported that Ithe custody facilities )hich ser e the purpose of protecting street children resemble in fact a detention facility@ rather than a protection facility for children@ and children accommodated in the centres are depri ed of education and e>ploited for labourJ.2== "umanitarian agencies ha e ne er had access to these facilities.100 ^ At the Beoul Public "earing@ 7r Kim "yu; described the situation in the orphanage )here he )as placed by his father in .==$. "e said that in .==2 It)enty four out of 10 orphans passed a)ay from star"ation@ internally there )as no food subsidiFed to the orphanages: So )hat )e ate at the time )as the remainder of the corn: ,e dried it and )e grinded and turned it into a po)der: *hat5s )hat )e got# but it does not contain any nutrition and because of that# )e got constipation X. *here )as nothing to eat in the orphanage: 2n -..> and -..1# the orphanages tried to release as many children as possible because they didn5t ha"e anything to gi"e to the ids: So they thoughts that ids )ere better off begging in the streets: 2t )ould be better that star"ing to death sitting in the orphanage.J10. ^ 8ne )itness )as .. years old )hen she )as caught and sent to a guhoso in ,andong )ith si> other children. Bhe said that children )ho did not ha e enough food during the Ardous 7arch or )ho )ere left behind by fleeing parents )ere put in that detention facility. 5n the guhoso@ she met children )ho had been there for one year. Ahen they first arri ed@ they )ere told to stand on a chair@ and )ere beaten )ith a thic; leather belt. Children )ere put in underground rooms )ith small )indo)s at the top of the )alls. The )itness )as put in a cell )ith three boys *bet)een .4 and .$ years old+ and a .# year old girl. The children must sit all day@ they )ere not allo)ed to play@ and )ere only allo)ed to go outside to empty the toilet once per )ee;. Children tried to ma;e themsel es sic; by eating sand or s)allo)ing spoons in the hope they )ill be permitted to lea e. They )ere fed )ith a small amount of salty soup )ith a little bit of radish and flour@ t)o or three times a day. Bhe remembers al)ays being hungry. 10# $$.. Access to public ser ices and in particular health ser ices by concerning. ot;ebi is ery

^ A former nurse from :orth "amgyong Pro ince sa) many ot;ebi die in the hospital in )hich she )or;ed as they could not afford basic necessities. Bhe told the Commission3 I2 sa) a lot of ot;ebi die: 2 )as responsible for assisting them in the hospital and trying to impro"e their hygiene# but because they did not ha"e clothes
2=% 2=2 2=1



10. 10#

CRC!C!%$!Add.#4. Confidential inter ie). The name reportedly refers to the date of #2 Beptember .==$ )hen Kim ?ong/ 5l issued the edict requesting their establishment. Amnesty 5nternational@ IBtar ed of RightsJ@ p..%. CitiEens’ Alliance for :orth Korean "uman Rights *:K"R+@ IChild is the King of the Country@ 9riefing Report on the Bituation of the Rights of the Child in the DPRKJ@ #00=@ p. ##. Bee for instance@ Doctors Aithout 9orders@ I7B4 Calls on Donors to Re ie) Their Policy in DPRKJ@ &0 Beptember .==1. A ailable from http3!!))).doctors)ithoutborders.org!press!release.cfmDid_4%0. Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ morning *003013$2+. TB"0#0. &$2


to eep )arm in# they )ould sleep neDt to the stores of used coal [from the hearth] and get crushed and suffocate under the coal as it slid do)n from the pile: J10& $$#. Bince the #00= currency reform@ the economic situation )orsened in the DPRK and the number of ot;ebi has reportedly increased.104 ^ A former high le el official testified that in August #0.0@ Kim ?ong/un issued an order to BBD and 7PB to get rid of ot;ebi and homeless adults in Pyongyang before holding the Third Conference of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea that too; place on #1 Beptember #0.0 and prepared his succession to become the Bupreme <eader. BBD and 7PB brought in additional units from the pro inces and organiEed them into a shoc; crac;do)n unit. 9ased on the se ereness of their )rongdoing@ those caught )ere to be sent to ordinary prison camps@ short/term forced labour detention facilities or Irehabilitation homesJ for ot;ebi in their pro inces of origin. After the operation BBD and 7PB reported bac; to Kim ?ong/un that a ery large number of ot;ebi and other unregistered citiEens had been arrested and sent bac; to their home pro inces for detention in the said institutions.10$ ^ The Commission also re ie)ed secretly filmed ideo footage sho)ing child homelessness. The ideo depicted ot;ebi in Pyongyang mar;ets in #0.# and in a different pro ince in #0..@ rummaging for food.10% $$&. The Commission is concerned about the DPRK’s continued obstruction of access by humanitarian agencies and non/go ernmental organiEations to children in all regions. 5n addition@ )hen access is granted@ humanitarian organiEations are generally pre ented from conducting a standard assessment of children in institutions and hospitals. *ii+ 2mpact on )omen

$$4. The DPRK is a party to the Con ention on the -limination of All 4orms of Discrimination against Aomen *C-DAA+@ )hich also incorporates specific obligations regarding rural )omen.102 $$$. As noted abo e@101 despite the implementation of la)s to engender equality bet)een the se>es@ gender equality in the DPRK has not been realiEed@ especially at )or; and in the family. Traditionally@ the responsibility of obtaining and preparing food for the family has been borne by )omen alone. During the famine this gendered role remained unchanged. "o)e er@ finding food became more difficult.10= $$%. The economic burden on )omen also increased during the .==0s as a result of the economic decline and the strict requirements on men to report to their state/assigned )or;place e en if it )as not functioning or salaries and rations )ere reduced or no longer being paid.1.0 Due to the reduced rations and salaries from state employment and limitations on men@ )omen )ere required to ta;e on additional economic acti ities aside from their usual chores. At the same time@ the domestic burden on )omen dramatically increased@ as mechanisms that had been put in place to alle iate domestic )or; )ere significantly reduced because the social )elfare system collapsed. 4or e>ample@ the operating hours of
10& 104 10$ 10% 102 101 10=


TB"0$.. K5:F@ ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.&+@ p. 4&.. T?"004. Bee testimony of 7r 5shimaru ?iro@ To;yo Public "earing@ #= August #0.&@ afternoon. Article .4@ C-DAA. Bee section 5C.9. "aEel Bmith@ 4ungry for Peace$ 2nternational Security# 4umanitarian Assistance# and Social Change in North Korea@ p. 1=. <im Boon/hee@ IThe 4ood Crisis and the Changing Roles and Attitudes of :orth Korean AomenJ@ p. &1.



childcare facilities and education institutions )ere shortened@ or the ser ices ceased to e>ist all together.1.. Aomen@ already bearing the increasingly difficult burden of finding adequate food for their family’s sur i al@ )ere also faced )ith increased economic@ domestic and physical )or;loads. $$2. 7any )omen began their o)n economic acti ities to acquire the goods they required. The pri ate mar;et became the main means of obtaining food to support their families )hen food rations and )ages )ere una ailable. At the same time@ the state put in place strict measures in order to limit the mar;et acti ities. 1.# Btate enforced restrictions that only )omen o er 40 years old could trade on the mar;ets left the ma(ority of young )omen in a ery difficult situation in terms of access to food. This is thought to ha e dri en the increase in prostitution in the country as transactional se> became the sole means of sur i al for young )omen@ shut out from state/employment and unable to )or; in the pri ate mar;et. $$1. Aomen also faced physical challenges in accessing the mar;ets. Trading often required transporting hea y loads. "o)e er due to restrictions on transportation@ )omen )ere often forced to carry &0 to $0 ;ilogram loads on their bac;s@ tra eling bet)een mar;ets and homes or e en different pro inces to sell their goods. As )omen started to mo e their goods on bicycles@ the state also began to restrict the use of bicycle by )omen and imposed fines on )omen for doing so or for )earing trousers.1.& $$=. The food crisis has also caused many )omen to lea e the DPRK. 1.4 9ecause )omen ha e the primary role in obtaining food@ they ha e represented the ma(ority of DPRK nationals lea ing the country since #00# as they ha e gone in search of food and (ob opportunities in China. ^ At the Beoul Public "earing@ 7s P described her e>perience of being repatriated 4 times from China3 <crossing the border )as not an easy thing to do# but at least# it5s better than ;ust@dying in North Korea: 2f 2 )ent to China 2 thought 2 )ould ha"e the least means to sur"i"e:?1.$ $%0. Aomen’s acti ity in the underground economy during the food crisis has been a crucial factor in increasing their economic independence and self/reliance. "o)e er@ as a result of the male/dominant@ patriarchal family culture@ 1.% )omen in the DPRK@ particularly mothers in the family@ ha e e>perienced se ere deterioration in their health@ largely because they either s;ipped or reduced portions of their meals for the benefit of other family members. As mothers fed their families first@ they typically ate barely one meal per day. 1.2 *iii+ 2mpact on lo)-ran ing military

$%.. The DPRK has long been unable to pro ide its o ersiEed army )ith an adequate le el of food.1.1 8fficers ha e@ ho)e er@ been prioritiEed in the pro ision of food.
1.. 1.# 1.&

1.4 1.$ 1.%



K9A@ 78-7 ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea@ p. &&2. 5bid.@ p. &4.. :K"R@ <Status of ,omen5s Rights in the ConteDt of Socio-Economic Changes in the &PRK# 3riefing Report?# 7ay #0.&@ p. #1. Bee section 5C.C on related issues of traffic;ing in )omen. Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ afternoon *0.3&#300+. <im Boon/hee@ IThe 4ood Crisis and the Changing Roles and Attitudes of :orth Korean )omenJ@ p. #%. "aEel Bmith@ ICrimes against "umanity in :orth KoreaD Fnpac;ing ZCommon Kno)ledge’ about Ciolations of the Right to 4ood@J K5:F@ !N 4uman Rights Cechanisms R 2mpro"ement of 4uman Rights Conditions in North Korea@J *Beoul@ #0.&+@ pp. #&$@ #4$. K5:F@ IRelations bet)een corruption and human rights in :orth KoreaJ@ #0.&@ p. &$. "aEel Bmith states that IThere )ere no indications that the ran;s of the army )ere gi en e>cessi ely large rations@ but unli;e the general population they )ere more or less assured of a basic food supply &-&


$%#. 4ood shortages affecting ordinary soldiers began in the late .=20s and became e en more apparent in the early .==0s. Be eral )itnesses described soldiers star ing to death because of insufficient ration allocations to the army. ^ At the <ondon Public "earing@ former KPA soldier 7r Choi ?oong/h)a testified3 <2n -.G1# 2 myself suffered malnourishment: People in the military )ondered )hat had happened to their food supply and other necessities: *hey )ere told that it )as because North Korea )as being isolated by other members of the international community:?G-. ^ A former KPA officer stated that food for the military became scarce in the early .==0s. 5n .==.@ a patriotic rice donation campaign )as launched@ as;ing e ery household to sa e .0 ;ilograms of rice and donate it bac; to the go ernment to feed the military. "e estimated that at the time there )as a &/4 per cent malnutrition rate among soldiers.1#0 ^ At the <ondon Public "earing@ 7r Kim ?oo/il@ )ho used to be a captain in the KPA@ e>plained that soldiers faced ration cuts3 <*he rations pro"ided to soldiers )as G88 grams per day: After Kim 2l-sung died and Kim 'ong-il came to po)er# he reduced that amount to >88 grams and this meant the bo)l of rice )e got )ould rise slightly o"er the rim of the bo)l# not li e a large mountain but li e a small mound:?G7$%&. Access to food for ordinary soldiers )as further impacted by )hat 7r Andre) :atsios calls the ImilitariEation of agricultureJ. 1## Btarting in .==2@ the central authorities dispatched soldiers to the state farms in order to increase able/bodied labour and to pre ent hoarding as the famine s)ept across the country. 1#& 4armers used to bribe the military )ith food. Therefore@ the soldiers’ food situation aried depending on )hether they )ere ser ing in rural or urbaniEed areas. Boldiers )ere not allo)ed to engage in mar;et acti ities or other coping mechanisms that could ha e allo)ed them to compensate for their insufficient rations. ^ At the <ondon Public "earing@ 7r Choi ?oong/h)a said that soldiers li;e him <star"ed because )e did not ha"e the freedom to ta e care of oursel"es# the go"ernment )as the only thing )e could loo up to:?1#4 $%4. The rations designated for the ordinary soldiers )ere often ta;en and di erted by corrupt high/le el officers for their o)n personal gain. ^ 4ormer KPA captain 7r Kim ?oo/il described the patterns of corruption he e>perienced3 <3ecause of the corruption @ )hen a certain amount )as gi"en to the higher ran ing officers# by the time the lo) bottom soldiers )ould recei"e the rations# the rations gi"en )ould be almost nothing:?1#$

1.= 1#0 1#. 1## 1#&

1#4 1#$

all year around. These )ere basic rations@ ho)e er@ and ordinary soldiers of the million/strong army often remained hungry@ as did their families@ )ho did not recei e preferential treatment simply because a son or daughter )as ser ing in the armed forces@J "aEel Bmith@ 4ungry for Peace$ 2nternational Security# 4umanitarian Assistance# and Social Change in North Korea @ pp. 12/11. <ondon Public "earing@ #& 8ctober #0.&@ session & *003#$3$$+. T?"0#2. <ondon Public "earing@ #& 8ctober #0.&@ session 4 *003#43.1+. Andre) :atsios@ *he Areat North Korean (amine@ p. ..2. Btephen "aggard and 7arcus :oland@ (amine in North Korea@ p. ...N Andre) :atsios@ *he Areat North Korean (amine@ pp. ..2 ff. <ondon Public "earing@ #& 8ctober #0.&@ session & *003$43.#+. <ondon Public "earing@ #& 8ctober #0.&@ session 4 *003#43$&+.



^ At the To;yo Public "earing@ 7r 5shimaru ?iru said that high le el officers embeEEled food to sell it in the mar;et for their o)n benefit3 <At the "ery top of the hierarchy# the brigade leaders )ill ta e )hate"er they )ant and then lea"e the rest to the lo)er le"el @ the ran and file )ill only get "ery limited amount of food:?G7> $%$. Btar ation )ithin the military has also affected ci ilians’ right to food. Btarting in the early .==0s@ hungry soldiers began to steal food from farms and pri ate homes in order to compensate for the poor food rations pro ided by the go ernment. 1#2 ^ The Commission heard from 7r Kim ?oo/il that stealing food from the population )as a common practice and that officers e en encouraged their troops to do so. "e stated3 <Soldiers had to steal in order not to die@ 3efore entering the army# 2 had been indoctrinated to thin that soldiers carry out honourable )or and protect the population: 3ut 2 soon disco"ered that this )as far from the truth@: *he standard practice of soldiers ha"ing to steal their food and supplies has made me Euestion )hether the army )as really there to protect the people: *he army )as more li e pirates:?G7G ^ 7r Choi ?oong/h)a stated that because of the lac; of food@ soldiers started )or;ing against the people and did anything to get food. During the night@ soldiers )ent to ci ilian houses and stole food@ including li estoc;. "e described that on one occasion@ soldiers from a KPA unit stopped three ci ilian )omen tra eling )ith their mar;et goods at night. The soldiers ordered them to put do)n their goods@ strip na;ed@ turn around and sing a song. 9y the time they finished@ the soldiers had run a)ay )ith the goods and the )omen’s clothes. 7r Choi said that high/le el officers recei ed official instructions from abo e that soldiers )ho stole food had to be se erely punished and that soldiers )ere not allo)ed to lea e their bases. "o)e er@ it )as clear that such instructions could not ha e suppressed the problem of looting3 <3ut e"en though they tried to ha"e full control o"er us# restricting us from lea"ing the military base# )e couldn5t ;ust not lea"e: *hey once tal ed about putting barbed )ire on top of the )all [surrounding the barrac s]# but our attitude and our response )as that nothing )ill stop the star"ing soldiers from escaping# going o"er the fence:?G7. ^ 8ne )itness described that the military )as already preying on ci ilians in the .=10s in Chong(in *:orth "amgyong Pro ince+3 <E"en if you )or ed all year on the communal farms# you )ouldn5t ha"e enough food as the military )ould come and ta e it:?G=8 $%%. The DPRK go ernment recogniEed long ago that it lac;s the capacity to feed its huge army. 5n a speech gi en in December .==%@ Kim ?ong/il reportedly stated the follo)ing3 IThe People’s Army is not being properly supplied )ith food. Beeing that )e face temporary difficulties@ the enemies ra e that our socialism )ill fall as )ell@ and they are loo;ing for e ery possible chance to in ade us. 5f they ;ne) )e did not ha e military pro isions@ the FB imperialists might immediately raid us.J 1&.
1#% 1#2 1#1 1#= 1&0

To;yo Public "earing@ #= August #0.&@ afternoon *0.3$.3.=+. K5:F@ IRelations 9et)een Corruption and "uman Rights in :orth KoreaJ@ p. &%. Confidential inter ie). <ondon Public "earing@ #& 8ctober #0.&@ session &@ and confidential inter ie). TB"004. &-'


Ahen the Bupreme <eader of the DPRK e>pressed his fear that the Aest might in ade if they ;ne) that e en soldiers )ere suffering@ Ithe famine )as transformed from a nutritional crisis into a national security matter.J1&# $%2. At present@ food rations pro ided to the military continue to be grossly insufficient. This problem )as graphically illustrated by secretly filmed ideo footage of star ing soldiers@ )hich )as recently ta;en in the DPRK and sho)n to the Commission by 7r 5shimaru ?iro at the To;yo Public "earing. 1&& The DPRK go ernment is still not capable of feeding its military. This has a direct negati e impact on ci ilian access to food@ since the go ernment is forcing the general population to donate food for the military. ^ 8ne )itness claimed3 <Soldiers go hungry to bed and can5t sleep@ 2n Carch 78-=# there )as a Euarrel about food in Regiment 71 based in Cusan# North 4amgyong Pro"ince: A soldier )as caught eating lefto"er rice during the night: 4e )as beaten by others soldiers: 4e )as enraged to be treated li e this because he )as hungry: 4e used his gun and illed se"eral soldiers:?G=/ #% Consequences of geographic segregation and discrimination

$%1. The right to adequate food@ as any other human rights@ must be implemented )ithout discrimination of any ;ind as to race@ colour@ se>@ language@ religion@ political or other opinion@ national or social origin@ property@ birth or other status. Any discrimination in access to food@ as )ell as to means and entitlements for its procurement@ constitutes a iolation of international la). The principle of non/discrimination applies to state food distribution systems as )ell as the distribution of international humanitarian aid. $%=. As pointed out by the Committee on -conomic@ Bocial and Cultural Rights@ - en )here a state faces se ere resource constraints@ )hether caused by a process of economic ad(ustment@ economic recession@ climatic conditions or other factors@ measures should be underta;en to ensure that the right to adequate food is especially fulfilled for ulnerable population groups and indi iduals.1&$ 5n this conte>t@ deprioritiEing ulnerable populations constitutes a human rights iolation. $20. Bince its inception@ the Songbun system of social classification has hea ily impacted the li es of all DPRK citiEens. People )ith lo)er songbun )ere discriminated against in terms of the quantity and composition of rations distributed by the PDB. $2.. As described abo e@1&% the Songbun system is also crucial in determining education and employment opportunities. 5n turn@ one’s type of )or; determined the amount of rations recei ed from the PDB. 4or e>ample@ those employed in special security functions )ere allocated 100 grams of food per day )hile regular labourers )ere entitled to only %00 grams.1&2 5n practice@ the differences are e en more pronounced and people of high songbun ha e pri ileged access to food. ^

Andre) :atsios told the Commission at the Aashington Public "earing3
IKim ?ong 5l 9erates Cadres for 4ood AnarchyJ *in Korean+@ ,olgan Chosun@ #0 7arch .==2@ pp. &0%/&.2N IKim ?ong 5l@ Bpeech at Kim 5l Bung Fni ersity@ December .==%J@ 3ritish 3roadcasting Corporation# #. 7arch .==2. Andre) :atsios@ *he Areat North Korean (amine@ p. 40. To;yo Public "earing@ #= August #0.&@ afternoon *0.340300+. T9,0#2. C-BCR@ ,eneral Comment :o. .#@ para. #1. Bee section 5C.9. R8K 7inistry of Fnification@ I4ood rations by class3 Fnderstanding :orth Korea #00$J@ -ducation Center for Fnification@ 7arch #00%@ pp. #4$/#42.

1&# 1&& 1&4 1&$ 1&% 1&2



<*he caste-based system gi"es greater access to resources for people of upper castes# and for the people of lo)er castes# they are discriminated against:? G=G ^ A former DPRK official )ho )or;ed in agricultural research described the system of production and distribution of food in the DPRK3 IAs far as the public distribution system is concerned# that )as more a )or er compensation system and not a social ser"ice system: As a ruler of society# if you ha"e a limited Euantity of food# you )ould gi"e the food first to the most important people: *he go"ernment ept most of the products for the central areas# the People5s Army# the Party: *he rest is distributed to others.J1&= ^ A )itness from "yesan *Ryanggang pro ince+ stated that people in high/ran;ing positions got three times more food compared to the ordinary people.140 $2#. 8nce food became scarce@ the authorities decided to prioritiEe those people )hom they considered crucial for maintaining the political system and its leadership at the e>pense of those deemed to be e>pendable. Testimonies confirm that food has been channelled to)ards the Party@ critical industries@ important military and security officers and the capital Pyongyang. Allocations differ not only )ith regard to the amount of food@ but also in the quality of food@ )ith rations including higher proportions of preferred grains@ such as )hite rice. ^ A former official from Pyongyang said3 I *he famine did not ha"e any impact on us: ,e obtained e"erything as before .J The official emphasiEed that instructions )ere gi en to prioritiEe distributions to party cadres in political committees and people’s committees@ BBD officers and )or;ers in munitions factories.14. ^ A former researcher in Pyongyang described that@ <during the famine there )ere no dead bodies in Pyongyang: 2 sa) them )hen 2 "isited relati"es in the countryside: Seeing the dead bodies# 2 started distrusting the regime:J14# ^ A former agent of the KPA -scort Command@ an elite force assigned to guard the Bupreme <eader and his family@ stated that@ e en during the famine@ people in the -scort Command recei ed Igood rationsJ. They )ere pro ided )ith three meals a day and )ith meat t)ice per )ee;.14& ^ A former BBD agent ac;no)ledged that he had many pri ileges. 5n particular he recei ed rice of a ery good quality e en during the famine. According to that official@ most of the food rations )ent to Pyongyang@ the military and the security ser ices. "e used to get . ;ilogram of food rations *including por;@ fish@ oil and rice+.144 ^ 8ne )itness )ho studied in Pyongyang@ stated that life in the capital )as much better than in her home pro ince. <*he go"ernment thin s that the city of Pyongyang should sur"i"e e"en if the rest of the country star"es: *he food rations in Pyongyang )ere much more than )hat 2 recei"ed in my home pro"ince of South 4amgyong: *he Euality of food )as also better# e"en though the best food )as of course reser"ed to the top cadres:?14$ $2&. ,i en that people )ith lo)er songbun are concentrated in certain geographical areas@ this gi es the food situation in the DPRK and its underlying discrimination a geographic dimension.
1&1 1&= 140 14. 14# 14& 144 14$

Aashington Public "earing@ &. 8ctober #0.&@ morning *003#&3&$+. T<C0&&. TAP00.. T,C004. T9,004. TB"0.=. T<C040. T?"0.=. &-$


$24. Bome areas@ such as Pyongyang@ benefit from a pri ileged food situation@ because the elites are concentrated there. Con ersely@ the remote northeastern regions ha e traditionally been areas@ to )hich people )ere banished@ including prisoners of )ar and groups purged in the .=$0s and .=%0s.14% 5t is not surprising that they )ere the first to be abandoned by the state. As noted abo e@ in .==4 the four pro inces in the :ortheast that )ere highly dependent on the PDB@ namely :orth and Bouth "amgyong@ Ryanggang and Kang)on@ )ere cut from the distribution system. ^ 8ne e>pert described the concern as follo)s3 <*he Areat (amine )as dri"en by an absolute shortage of food# but also by ineEualities in distribution: &ifferences in distribution priorities follo)ed the Songbun system: *he Mroyal families5 in Pyongyang )ere fed# )hile less or no food )as sent to North 4amgyong )ere mostly people of lo)er songbun li"e:? G/1 $2$. The Commission recei ed a large amount of testimony and information pointing to the fact that once the DPRK finally requested international aid@ the authorities )anted this aid to be focused only on Pyongyang and specific regions. 141 Access to northeastern regions )as denied to humanitarian organiEations. ^ 5n the Aashington Public "earing@ Andre) :atsios stated3 <&uring the famine# )e ha"e substantial e"idence# in the research 2 did and e"idence from the ,orld (ood Programme# that the northeast region of the country )as triaged: *hey actually did not allo) any food to go into that area because the )hole area has a "ery lo) songbun status in the system: 2t is )here political dissidents e"en during the imperial period of the ingdoms in the nineteenth century# that is )here dissidents )ere sent: *here )ere uprisings there before so it has al)ays been "ie)ed as a seditious area of the country and rather dangerous# and the ,(P# the NA+s# the 2CRC# )ere not allo)ed into the three north-eastern pro"inces for almost t)o years during the famine:?G/. $2%. The Commission ac;no)ledges the role played by geographical@ climatic and other elements in the decline of food a ailability in the DPRK. :e etheless@ the aforementioned patterns of discrimination find clear reflection in the follo)ing maps@ )hich sho) large

14% 142 141


Bee section 5C.C. -?"00#. Bee footage of the negotiations bet)een DPRK authorities and the representati e of the non/go ernmental organiEation CAR- )ho tried to initiate programmes in Tongsin and "uichon in Chagang pro ince. fThe .==2 4amine Btill Affecting :orth Korea Todayf. A ailable from https3!!))).youtube.com!)atchD _&0/#sP,:,-). Aashington Public "earing@ &. 8ctober #0.&@ morning *003#&3$&+. This is detailed in Andre) :atsios@ *he Areat North Korean (amine@ particularly p. 1= on)ards.



disparities bet)een regions )ith regard to the pre alence of stunting and acute malnutrition. 9igure 0% @tunting pre4alence by pro4ince1$0

9igure 2% Dlobal acute malnutrition1$. '% !wareness and concealment

$22. Despite being a)are of the )orsening food situation@ the authorities concealed rele ant information from the outside )orld and their o)n population. This aggra ated star ation in three respects. 4irstly@ by hiding the reality of star ation in the country@ the DPRK iolated its o)n population’s right to information and hindered the people’s ability to de elop their o)n coping mechanisms at an early stage. A number of )itnesses underscored that people star ed to death in their homes@ because they )ere )aiting for the ration distributions to recommence. Becondly@ concealing information led to a delay in obtaining international food aid that cost many li es. Thirdly@ the secrecy relating to data has made it ery difficult for the international community to pro ide targeted humanitarian and de elopment assistance in the country. $21. According to the Committee on -conomic@ Bocial and Cultural Rights@ iolations of the 5C-BCR occur )hen a state fails to ensure the satisfaction of@ at the ery least@ the minimum essential le el required to be free from hunger. 5n determining )hich actions or omissions amount to a iolation of the right to food@ it is important to distinguish the state’s inability to comply )ith this obligation from its un)illingness to comply. Bhould a Btate


7ap produced by Aorld 4ood Programme DPRK@ April #0.. in I8 er ie) of :eeds and AssistanceJ@ #0.#. 8C"A@ IDPR Korea #0.&@ "umanitarian :eeds and prioritiesJ@ p. 4. A ailable from http3!!))).)fp.org!sites!default!files!DPRKh#08 er ie)h#08fh#0:eedsh#0Andh#0Assistance h#0#0.#.pdf &-.


party argue that resource constraints ma;e it impossible to pro ide access to food for those )ho are unable to secure such access@ the state has to demonstrate that e ery effort has been made to use all the resources at its disposal in an effort to satisfy@ as a matter of priority@ those minimum obligations.1$# A state claiming that it is unable to carry out its obligation@ for reasons beyond its control@ needs to pro e a+ that this is the case and b+ that it has made all efforts to obtain the necessary international assistance and does not impede the deli ery of such assistance. $2=. The authorities in the DPRK )ere )ell a)are of the country’s deteriorating food situation long before appealing for aid in .==$. Btate actions such as the reduction of rations@ or the launch of campaigns such as I<et’s eat t)o meals per dayJ@ sho)s that the authorities preferred to ta;e steps that deeply affected the right to adequate food in the country to as;ing for international assistance. $10. 5n his memoirs@ former high/le el DPRK official 7r ")ang ?ang/yop )rote3 IPeople in :orth Korea )ere also star ing in .==4@ ho)e er@ there )asn’t any ne)s that people star ed to death.J1$& 5n fact@ all allegations of food shortages )ere categorically re(ected by the DPRK. 5n ?anuary .==4@ the spo;esperson of the DPRK Agricultural Commission condemned the reports of hunger in the Aestern media as a I)ic;ed deception to degrade the socialist image of the DPRKJ. 1$4 "e argued that the DPRK had accumulated a large amount of grain stoc;s as an important strategic resource. $1.. According to former DPRK officials )ho ha e gi en testimonies to the Commission@ the highest le el authorities in Pyongyang ;ne) about the details of the famine. -ach pro ince had to regularly submit statistics on ho) many people had died from star ation and ho) many people )ere missing from their homes. Those documents )ere ;ept confidential.1$$ ^ At the Aashington Public "earing@ Andre) :atsios argued that the system of measuring the height and )eight of e ery child in school once a year )as another source of information the state has at its disposition. "e also noted that the decision to lo)er the minimum height requirements for an .1/year/old boy to enter the DPRK military )as based on this type of data. 1$% $1#. The Commission finds that there )as a)areness about the famine situation all the )ay up to the Bupreme <eader. 4ormer officials stated that the pro inces submitted detailed reports about the situation to the capital. Kim ?ong/il also isited numerous locations in the country as part of his Imilitary firstJ and Ion/the/spot guidanceJ isits. 1$2 8n these occasions@ he could not ha e missed )hat )as happening in the country.




1$$ 1$% 1$2

C-BCR@ ,eneral Comment :o. .#3 The right to adequate food *.===+@ para. .2. Bee also C-BCR@ ,eneral Comment :o. &@ para. .0. 4)ang 'ang-yop 4oegoro *")ang ?ang/yop’s memoirs+ *Published in Korean by Ueitgeist@ #00%@ translated by Daily :K+. Bpo;esperson for the DPRK Agricultural Commission@ :orth Korean Policy Trend@ :o. #2 *?anuary .==4+@ p. 42 cited in <ee Bu;@ IThe DPRK famine of .==4/#0003 ->istence and 5mpactJ@ K5:F@ #00$@ p. 1. T9,0##@ a former ministry officialN T<C0&&. Aashington Public "earing@ &. 8ctober #0.&@ morning. 8fficial DPRK sources ha e emphasised that Kim ?ong/ilTs de oted his frequent field isits to military units and other )or; units Ital;ing to soldiers and people and acquainting himself in detail )ith their li ing conditions.J 9et)een .=%4 and #00#@ Kim ?ong/il reportedly Ipro ided field guidance to at least 1@4%0 units@ spending o er 4@#00 days.J Bee IKim ?ong 5l’s "obbiesJ@ KCNA@ #4 7ay #00#. A ailable from3 http3!!))).;cna.co.(p!item!#00#!#00#0$!ne)s0$!#4.htm. I5n the period from .==$ to #00.@ he ga e on/site guidance to .@&00 units@ co ering some ..%@200 ;ilometres.J Bee IBplendid fruition of Bongun politicsJ@ KCNA@ = April #00&. A ailable from3 http3!!))).;cna.co.(p!item!#00&!#00&04!ne)s04!.0.htm.



^ At the <ondon Public "earing@ former KPA officer 7r Kim ?oo/il told the Commissioners ho) Kim ?ong/il paid a isit to his military unit and )as made a)are of the lac; of food suffered by the soldiers3 <2n -..># Kim 'ong-il had "isited Chol)on-gun in Kang)on Pro"ince: 4e came to inspect the battalion himself and he as ed to see the food that )as being pro"ided to the soldiers: So they sho)ed Kim 'ong 2l a bo)l of porridge: ,hen they turned the bo)l upside do)n there )ere only three grains of rice:? Kim ?ong/il became ery angry and di ested the battalion commander of his ran; and sent him to a detention centre. "o)e er@ the food situation for the unit did not impro e.1$1 $1&. The practices of the authorities to conceal information ha e obstructed the de elopment and deli ery of targeted and efficient international assistance programmes to address the needs of the most ulnerable. 1$= "uman rights treaty bodies ha e also repeatedly requested the DPRK to pro ide them )ith reliable data and indicators. 1%0 Data@ indicators and figures emanating from the DPRK and its authorities ha e been )idely considered to be unreliable. $14. The data published by international organiEations must be treated )ith caution. 1%. The unreliability of the data comes@ amongst other things@ from the inability to perform random and free sampling and to freely access a large portion of the DPRK’s territory. Therefore@ the data published is generally an e>trapolation to the )hole country@ based on data gathered in a limited portion of the country in ery controlled settings. (% <a= !ctions and omissions of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Reluctance to change

$1$. "uman rights la) does not prescribe any specific type of economic system or nutritional food production strategy. "o)e er the national choices must allo) the fulfilment of a state’s obligations under international human rights la). The Commission shares the ie) of the Committee on -comonic@ Bocial@ and Cultural Rights3 - ery state )ill ha e a margin of discretion in choosing its o)n approaches@ but the Co enant clearly requires that each Btate party ta;e )hate er steps are necessary to ensure that e eryone is free from hunger and as soon as possible can en(oy the right to adequate food. This )ill require the adoption of a national strategy to ensure food and nutrition security for all@ based on human rights principles that define the ob(ecti es@ and the formulation of policies and corresponding benchmar;s. 5t should

1$1 1$=

1%0 1%.

<ondon Public "earing@ #& 8ctober #0.&@ session 4 *003#$3#2+. Be eral agencies ha e e>pressed their concerns about the lac; or una ailability of data )hich impact the )or; in their sector. IBtudents at primary schools need food and basic necessities such as boo;s@ pencils and noteboo;s. The go ernment does not re eal any official statistics about 5CT Kinformation and communication technologiesL@ not e en the number of people using computers.J *5CT@ F:-BC8@ http3!!))).unescob;;.org!education!ict!themes!policy!regional/country/ o er ie)s!north/;orea!+. Bee also Aorld "ealth 8rganiEation@ IA"8 Country Cooperation Btrategy Democratic People’s Republic of Korea #00=/#0.&J@ p. .%. Bee CRC!C!.$!Add.11 and C-DAA!C!PRK!C8!.. "uman Rights Aatch notes3 I:orth Korea rarely publishes reliable data on basics facts of life in the country. 5n the fe) e>ceptional cases )hen it does do@ the data is often limited@ inconsistent@ or other)ise of questionable utility. :orth Korea almost ne er allo)s foreigners to conduct research in the country. The research for this report )as carried out in the conte>t of these limitations.f "uman Rights Aatch@ IA 7atter of Bur i alJ@ 7ay #00%. &-2


also identify the resources a ailable to meet the ob(ecti es and the most cost effecti e )ay of using them.1%# $1%. Regarding the right to adequate food@ the Committee on -conomic@ Bocial and Cultural rights formulated a set of human rights based principles that national food strategies must comply )ith3 The formulation and implementation of national strategies for the right to food requires full compliance )ith the principles of accountability@ transparency@ peopleTs participation@ decentraliEation@ legislati e capacity and the independence of the (udiciary. ,ood go ernance is essential to the realiEation of all human rights@ including the elimination of po erty and ensuring a satisfactory li elihood for all.1%& $12. During the #00= Fni ersal Periodic Re ie)@ the DPRK go ernment reported the follo)ing3 Dissolution of the socialist mar;et in the early .==0s and the tremendous financial and economic losses and depletion of material resources o)ing to the successi e natural disasters that started in the mid/.==0s brought the gra est difficulties to the economic de elopment of the country. The most serious difficulty )as the )orsening of the condition of food supply. 5n .==% alone@ &@.10@000 tons of food )as in short supply@ thus causing a sharp decrease in the amount of pro isions. Consequently@ health condition of people in general deterioratedN infant and child mortality rate increased and diseases li;e infants’ diarrhoea@ respiratory tract infection and tuberculosis bro;e out.1%4 $11. Ahile factors beyond the state’s control had an impact on the food situation@ in attributing the famine solely to these factors@ the DPRK grossly ignored the responsibility of its leadership@ )hich imposed a system on its population that pro ed inadequate to fully implement the right to adequate food. 7ore importantly@ the authorities maintained this system despite its manifest insufficiencies. $1=. As described abo e@1%$ the DPRK chose to hea ily industrialiEe its agriculture )hich made it dependent on industrial inputs and fuel. This made the country’s agriculture reliant on e>ternal inputs@ most of )hich it recei ed on the basis of subsidiEed imports from friendly foreign states until the early .==0s. 8n the basis of an econometric analysis of DPRK agricultural production@ scholars "eather Bmith and Oiping "uang concluded the follo)ing3 The dominant triggering factor in the crisis )as the sharp loss of supplies of agricultural inputs follo)ing the disruption of the trade )ith the socialist bloc from the late .=10sX. The contribution of climatic factors to the agricultural crisis@ as stressed by the DPRK’s policyma;ers@ )as at most a secondary cause. 1%% $=0. The DPRK is sub(ect to hea y annual rainfall and typhoons. A number of e>perts inter ie)ed by the Commission pointed out that the agricultural policy has e>acerbated the effects of these regular natural e ents. To obtain more arable land@ forests )ere destroyed and mountains transformed into terraced fields. To counter the lac; of fuel@ trees )ere cut do)n to generate )ood as a source of energy. This situation has e>acerbated the propensity of hea y rains to cause landslides. -rosion has led to ri erbeds becoming silted@ )hich
1%# 1%& 1%4 1%$ 1%%

C-BCR@ ,eneral Comment :o. .#. 5bid. A!"RC!A,.%!%!PRK!.. Bee section 5C.D.#.a. "eather Bmith and Oiping "uang@ ITrade disruption@ collecti isation and food crisis in :orth KoreaJ@ in Peter Drysdale@ Oiping "uang@ and 7asahiro Ka)ai@ eds.@ Achie"ing 4igh Aro)th$ EDperience of *ransitional Economies in East Asia *<ondon@ Routledge@ #00&+.



means that flooding can occur e en after relati ely little rain. 1%2 The intensi e use of land and fertiliEers has also had a negati e impact on the quality of the soil. The Commission recei ed e idence from e>perts on ho) the o eruse of chemical inputs increasingly diminishes the quality of arable land in the DPRK.1%1 $=.. The DPRK is responsible for these decisions. "o)e er the greater responsibility of the state lies in its decision to maintain this course@ including the highly collecti e agricultural system@ in the face of its o er)helming failure. <ittle )as done to reform the system and to promote incenti es for farmers to produce more. $=#. Andrei <an;o @ an )ell/;no)n e>pert on the DPRK@ made the follo)ing obser ations on the DPRK agricultural system3 The forced s)itch to state farms )as a common feature of nearly all Communist states@ but the :orth Korean state farms had some peculiarities. 7ost significantly@ farmers )ere allo)ed only tiny pri ate ;itchen gardens. 5n Btalin’s Bo iet Fnion@ a farmer usually had a pri ate plot )hose siEe might e>ceed .@000 mi@ but in Kim 5l Bung’s :orth Korea pri ate plots could not e>ceed .00 mi@ and not all farmers )ere allo)ed to ha e plots e en of such small siEe. The assumption )as that farmers@ being depri ed of any additional source of income and calories@ )ould ha e no choice but to de ote all their time and energy to toiling in the fields of the state. 1%= $=&. 5n a recent article@ 7r <an;o notes3 5f the go ernment of the DPRK had conducted land reform along the lines of that )hich occurred in China during the .==0s@ not one single :orth Korean )ould ha e died from star ation. 5n the late .=20s@ China di ided all land o)ned by the state bet)een farmers. 5t dissol ed all state/run farms )hich@ incidentally@ )ere similar to DPRK’s cooperati e farms. Fltimately@ )hen Chinese farmers began to )or; on the land they o)ned themsel es@ the country’s agricultural yield increased rapidly. Aithin fi e to si> years of implementing the land reform@ China’s food production increased ..& times.120 $=4. A ery similar conclusion )as presented by agricultural e>pert Dr Kim Ooung/hoon at the Beoul Public "earing. "e noted that the DPRK’s highly collecti iEed farming system is inefficient as there are no incenti es for farmers. 7r Kim concluded that it needs to be reformed.12. 7uch of the testimony that the Commission recei ed from former DPRK citiEens@ including former farmers@ point in the same direction.12# $=$. Despite the fact that some go ernment/led reforms ha e been introduced 6 such as increasing the area of indi idual farming plots 6 the basic principles of the system ha e largely remained unchanged.12& The DPRK go ernment did not profoundly restructure the system in order to impro e the food situation. 5nstead@ the focus has generally been on managing particular emergencies and ;eeping the situation under go ernmental control. 5mpro ements in the economic and food situation in the DPRK since the )orst period of mass star ation can be mainly attributed to spontaneous efforts of the population rather

1%1 1%= 120

12. 12# 12&

<ee Bu;@ I4ood Bhortages and -conomic 5nstitutions in the Democratic People’s Republic of KoreaJN -9,00&N ?ean 4randois@ ICorGe du :ord3 Fn rGgime de famineJ@ Esprit *4ebruary .===+@ p. $. -9,00#@ -<C002. Andrei <an;o @ *he Real North Korea# p. &%. Andrei <an;o @ I:orth Korea 7a;es 7ista;e by :ot -mulating China/Btyle <and ReformJ@ Radio (ree Asia@ .4 8ctober #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).rfa.org!english!commentaries!famine/.0.4#0.&.$.&.$.html. Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ morning. T<C0&&@ T9,0&#. Andrei <an;o @ *he Real North Korea@ p. .=4. &.&


than reforms initiated by the state. - en the formal establishment of general mar;ets may be seen as an attempt to reco er control o er the informal mar;ets that )ere created in the mid .==0s. 8ne e>pert obser ed that Imar;ets are one of the regime’s greatest domestic dilemmasSit loathes them and probably fears them@ but it cannot close them do)n.J124 $=%. Fnderlying the un)illingness to radically reform the system is an apparent fear of losing control o er the population. A reported quote from Kim 5l/sung that )as related by Andre) :atsios during the Aashington Public "earing encapsulates the political calculation made by the authorities3 <+nce the famine started they ne) )hat )as going on# and they chose not to ta e action to protect the population@ *here are reports of &eng 6iaoping telling Kim 2l Sung that he needed to open up to the ,est# to mo"e to a mar et economy# to reform his economy# and the apocryphal response from Kim 2l-sung )as Mif you open the )indo) the flies )ill come in@: 2f )e let them in# then the economy )ill get out of control: ,e )ill lose the control5:?G10 $=2. Bubsequent pronouncements by Kim ?ong/il also sho) that the DPRK prioritiEed calculations of political po)er and ideology o er the reality of the suffering of people. 5n a .==$ treatise@ published )hile mass star ation )as already under)ay in the DPRK@ Kim ?ong/il underscored the primacy of ideology3 5f the ideological bul)ar; falls do)n@ socialism )ill be unable to defend itself no matter ho) great its economic and military po)er may be. 8n the other hand this pro es ho) great a role ideology plays and ho) important ideological )or; is@ to accomplish socialism.12% $=1. 5n a subsequent speech@ deli ered in December .==% at Kim 5l/sung Fni ersity@ Kim ?ong/il e>plicitily (ustified his refusal to underta;e structural reforms )ith the need to protect the political system and its leadership and pre ent the type of popular uprising that occurred in -astern -urope. Kim ?ong/il said3 5n a socialist society@ the food problem should be sol ed by socialist means. 5f the Party lets the people sol e the food problem themsel es@ then only the farmers and merchants )ill prosper@ gi ing rise to egotism and collapsing the social order of a classless society. The party )ill then lose its popular base and )ill e>perience meltdo)n as in Poland and CEechoslo a;ia.G11 $==. During the #00= Fni ersal Periodic Re ie)@ the DPRK go ernment stated3 The state pursues the policy of assuming responsibility for the supply of food to all population. The state has@ in accordance to the <a) on 4ood Administration@ the labour la) and the regulation on Distribution of 4ood@ pro ided a cheap@ timely and equitable supply of food to the )or;ers@ office employees and their dependents. "o)e er@ the considerable decrease in the grain output due to serious natural disasters that repeatedly hit the country since the mid/.==0s ad ersely affected the people’s li ing in general@ and in particular@ the e>ercise of their right to adequate food. The ,o ernment@ )hile meeting the pressing demands )ith a large amount of food obtained through its appeal for international humanitarian assistance has ta;en


12$ 12%


?ohn - erard@ IThe 7ar;ets of PyongyangJ@ Korea -conomic 5nstitute@ Academic Paper Beries@ Col. %@ :o. .@ ?anuary #0.. Aashington Public "earing@ &. 8ctober #0.&@ morning *003.%3#%+. Kim ?ong/il@ I,i ing Priority to 5deological Aor; 5s -ssential for accomplish BocialismJ@ .==$@ a ailable from3 http3!!))).;orea/dpr.com!lib!.0..pdf As translated in ?ohn - erard@ IThe 7ar;ets of PyongyangJ@ quoting ,olgan Chosun of April .==2.



measures to sol e the food problem on its o)n through the increased agricultural production.121 %00. 5n ?une #0.#@ the DPRK go ernment reportedly adopted a ne) set of economic reforms. The Commission has recei ed only limited information about these reforms. The main concept of the officially called I-conomic 7anagement Bystem in 8ur BtyleJ is to shift management po)ers from the state to indi idual factories@ enterprises and farms. 12= As far as the agricultural sector is concerned@ farmers should gi e 20 per cent of the total har est to the state and ;eep &0 per cent for themsel es. 5n the past@ the state collected a certain amount of food regardless of the year’s har est. Fnder the ne) plan@ the state’s share )as based on the fi e/year a erage har est collected from each farm. Accordingly@ farmers )ill recei e a larger share )hen the har est is plentiful@ and less )hen the har est falls short.110 The Commission is not able to assess the results of the reforms or their actual le el of implementation. %0.. 5n his #0.4 :e) Oear’s message@ Bupreme <eader Kim ?ong/un called for Idecisi e impro ement in guidance and management of economic pro(ectsJ. "o)e er@ measures for agricultural reform and opening the economy )ere not mentioned in his speech. 11. ^ Agricultural e>pert Dr Kim Ooung/hoon@ )ho studied the aforementioned economic reform on the basis of information a ailable outside the DPRK@ )as sceptical )hether it )ould lead to mar;ed impro ements3 I*he Kim 'ong-un regime )ill also eDperience the same ind of capital shortage [as Kim 'ong-il] and the system reform )ill not go for)ard@ 2 am predicting that the situation )ill not get any better:?11# ^ Another agricultural e>pert@ )ho used to be a researcher at Pyongyang Fni ersity@ noted that e en under the ne) system@ farmers still ha e to hand o er 20 per cent of their har est to the state@ )hich limited their incenti e to produce more. 7oreo er@ gi en the isolation of the DPRK from the )orld economy@ farmers lac; access to ne) technologies that are necessary in order to effecti ely increase the production.11& %0#. Andrei <an;o suggested that the reforms are fraught )ith uncertainties@ but that first results are quite encouraging. "e noted that Chinese e>perts )ho had recently isited the DPRK ha e claimed that the reforms ha e produced an immediate &0 per cent increase in output.114

121 12=



11# 11& 114

A!"RC!A,.%!%!PRK!.@ para. $%. I!li sig-ui gyeong;eg)anlibangbeob-ui )anseong-eulPnaegag g)angye;a inteobyu sahoe;uui)onchig gosu# guggaui tong-il;eog;idoJ@ KCompleting our )ay of economy management methodS5nter ie) )ith a go ernment officialL Choson Sinbo@ .0 7ay #0.&. A ailable from http3!!chosonsinbo.com!#0.&!0$!0$.0th/4!. Bee also Andrei <an;o @ I"o) economic reforms are changing :. Korea’s farming industryJ@ NK Ne)s@ # ?anuary #0.4@ http3!!))).n;ne)s.org!#0.4!0.!ho)/economic/reforms/are/changing/north/;oreas/farming/ industry! I:orth Korea’s ’:e) -conomic 7anagement Bystem’3 7ain features and ProblemsJ@ Korea (ocus@ 8ctober #0.& A ailable from3 http3!!))).;oreafocus.or.;r!design#!layout!contentWprint.aspDgroupWid_.0$0=#. K5:F Center for :orth Korean Btudies@ IAnalysis of :orth Korea’s #0.4 :e) Oear’s Address by Kim ?ong/un and Domestic and 4oreign Policy ProspectsJ@ 8nline Beries C8 .4/0.. Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ morning *0&3##300+. T<C0&&. Andrei <an;o @ I"o) economic reforms are changing :. Korea’s farming industryJ@ :K :e)s@ # ?anuary #0.4. A ailable from http3!!))).n;ne)s.org!#0.4!0.!ho)/economic/reforms/ are/changing/north/;oreas/farming/industry. &.'



Pre4enting and punishing alternati4e 4iews

%0&. 5nstead of opening up a dialogue and engaging in a participatory approach )ith the population@ in particular farmers@ to find a solution to the food situation@ the DPRK has used ideological indoctrination to preclude criticism throughout the years of crisis. %04. 5n .==.@ the go ernment launched the I<et’s eat t)o meals a dayJ campaign. <ater on@ the Arduous 7arch rhetoric )as put in place to supposedly help people endure increased economic pri ations and ;eep them from thin;ing about and openly discussing alternati e economic systems.11$ 5n this conte>t@ any critical remar;s about underlying political reasons of the situation )ere considered a political crime and therefore harshly punished. ^ 8ne )itness testified that the go ernment ;ept promising that the population )ould e entually recei e food and that e en the Bupreme <eader did not ha e enough food. The population )as forced to attend periodic official lectures about the food situation@ )hile the actual distribution of food )as postponed. The content of these lectures )as in particular focused on the fact that the Bupreme <eader could not sleep )ell because of the lac; of food for his population.11% ^ Another )itness said that during the famine@ compulsory lectures and education classes to boost the morale of the population )ere often imposed on the star ing population. <People )ere told that it )as the Arduous Carch and e"erybody had to endure it: No one could complain: +ther)ise they )ere sent to political prison camps.J112 %0$. The DPRK go ernment also blamed outside forces@ especially the R8K and the FBA@ for the hardship the country )as enduring. ^ A high le el official said he )as a)are that people )ere star ing@ but he did not do anything about it. "e himself belie ed e erything the Party said@ including that the DPRK faced food shortages Ias a result of sanctions by capitalist countries against them:J111 ^ At the <ondon Public "earing@ 7r Kim ?oo/il stated that near the demilitariEed Eone bet)een the t)o Koreas@ soldiers often found pac;ages containing radios@ rice and candy from the R8K that )ere sent by balloons that R8K citiEens launched near the border. 7r Kim e>plained that soldiers recei ed indoctrination training@ and they )ere told that eating any of these R8K goods )ould ma;e them sic; and that their flesh )ould Istart to rotJ.11= %0%. Alternati e ie)s on policies and programmes could not be freely e>pressed. The Commission recei ed testimony from se eral people )ho )ere a)are of the gra e inefficiencies of the system and the need for reform but )ere not allo)ed to discuss the issue. 7ost did not e en try to do so because they )ere a)are of the possible consequences for them and their families. ^ A former researcher of Pyongyang Fni ersity stated that go ernment officials ;ne) that the collecti e farming system )as not )or;ing but no real reform )as initiated. "e )as frustrated )ith the stagnant situation and )rote a letter directly to the Bupreme <eader. 5n his letter@ he compared the producti ity of collecti e farms and pri ate farms@ )hich )as fi e times higher. "e attached documents )ith his research results to corroborate his arguments. 5n response@ he )as threatened3 <A central party person came to me after three months: 4e said that 2 had to deal )ith science and not )ith politics:?G.8

11% 112 111 11= 1=0

Bee Kongdan 8h and Ralph C. "assig@ North Korea *hrough the %oo ing Alass *9roo;ings 5nstitute@ #000+@ p. $$. T<C0.&. T9,0#1. TCC0.4. <ondon Public "earing@ #& 8ctober #0.&@ session 4 *003$=3&0+ T<C0&&.




Confiscation and dispossession of food

%02. 5n arious circumstances@ ordinary people ha e been dispossessed of their means of sur i al. "ar ests )ere ta;en a)ay from farmers )ithout legal basis. CitiEens )ere robbed of their food or dispossessed of international aid intended for them. Testimony gi en to the Commission confirmed the practice of soldiers looting food3 ^ According to one former soldier@ <2n the &PRK army# e"eryone had to ta e turns coo ing for the other soldiers: ,hen it )as my turn# my commanding officer pro"ided me )ith some rice# but )ith nothing to ma e sauce or side dishes: *he night before my coo ing assignment# one of the most senior soldiers in his unit )o e me up: +ther soldiers )ere already up: *he senior soldier ga"e us bags and told us to go to the "illage and steal )hat )e could: *he looting )as so good that 2 managed to ma e > side dishes: *he neDt day# 2 )as praised for this achie"ement in front of the )hole unit:? The )itness stated that stealing from the population did not stop after the famine@ but continued throughout his time in the army. As far as he is a)are@ it continues up to this day. G.^ 8ne person )ho used to )or; as coal miner stated that during the har est season they recei ed an order from the Party to gi e 20 per cent of their total har est to the military. 1=# %01. Aitnesses confirmed that these practices are still ongoing. ^ A farmer stated@ I2n 78-7# )e )ere told that )e could eep .8 per cent of the har"est: ::: 3ut )hen it )as har"est time# the military came and too e"erything:? The same person reported death by star ation in her illage during the same period.1=& %0=. Testimony recei ed by the Commission@ in particular from former army officials and soldiers@ confirm a pattern of di ersion of international food aid by the military. 1=4 Ci ilians inter ie)ed by the Commission had@ in the ast ma(ority of cases@ not seen any humanitarian aid.1=$ Bome donors insisted on the presence of international obser ers during the distribution of food aid. Be eral )itnesses )ho fled the DPRK mentioned that after the international monitors had obser ed the distribution and left the area@ the authorities forced the population to gi e bac; the ma(ority of the food distributed to the authorities. ^ 8ne )itness stated3 <(ood pro"ided through humanitarian assistance )as gi"en to the authorities: 2 had to buy the food aid that )as sold in the mar et: *he food that had been distributed to the population had to be handed bac to the authorities: *hey left the population )ith 088 grams of food instead of the 0 ilograms that )ere originally distributed:?G.> ^ A former high le el DPRK official estimated that 10 per cent of the food )as ta;en bac; after the international monitoring too; place.1=2 ^ 8ne )itness testified that )hile he )as at a military academy in Pyongyang@ he and his colleagues recei ed an order one day to remo e their military clothes and insignias. They )ere then as;ed to put their fingerprints on a document stating that they )ould not re eal anything they )ere going to do. They )ere ta;en to the :ampo port and had to open 40 ;ilogram sac;s of rice )ith Fnited Btates
1=. 1=# 1=& 1=4 1=$ 1=% 1=2

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and R8K logos@ pour them into a machine and fill the rice into $0 ;ilogram sac;s )ith no logos. They loaded the ne) sac;s onto &0/40 unmar;ed truc;s.1=1 ^ Another )itness stated3 <(rom -..> to -..G# a lot of aid Jfood and fertiliFerK came into the country "ia the Nampo port: (rom my house# 2 could see cars line up to collect the aid goods# usually mar ed )ith !SA2& and R+K labels: Cilitary personnel )ould put on ci"ilian clothes and paint o"er their "ehicles5 military number plates# so that they did not loo li e the military and could get the food: Cilitary officers sold the rice and supplies to the blac mar et in order to buy alcohol and cigarettes: *hey also came to our house and insisted )e buy these items from them:?G.. ^ 8ne )itness described the same modus operandi in another part of the country. <3ecause of my ;ob# 2 sa) food coming at the Chong;in port in -..G--...# including aid coming from the !nited Nations: *he North Korean guards used to )ear plain clothes and pretended to be ci"ilians in order to get food:? The )itness said that he remembers boats )ith #0@000 tons of food approaching the Chong(in port. <,hen the !nited Nations officials left# the food )as gi"en to the military: *he monitoring group of the !nited Nations usually )anted to chec that the food )as distributed: *hey had to pre-notify the field "isit: *he North Korean authorities used to ta e the !nited Nations officials to the food distribution centre: +nce the !nited Nations officials left# the North Korean authorities too the food bac from the population: At the time )hen all this )as happening# you could see dead bodies on the streets# people )ho had died from star"ation:J=00 ^ A former high le el official )as told by colleagues of Department :o. # *7ilitary Affairs+ of the Central Committee of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea ho) they proceeded )hen :,8s insisted on monitoring the food distribution. The authorities ga e strict instructions to the population not to eat the food aid recei ed. 5nstead@ they )ere to gi e it secretly bac; to the authorities. The population )as told that the rice distributed )as needed to secure the sur i al of the military. People complied@ because most families had a family member ser ing in the military. 4amilies had to return the #0 ;ilograms of rice they recei ed from :,8s in e>change for . ;ilogram of inferior corn pro ided by the go ernment.=0. <d= Criminali7ation of coping mechanisms

%.0. According to the A4P@ food insecure households employ four types of consumption coping strategies. / 4irst@ households may change their diet. 4or instance@ households might s)itch food consumption from preferred foods to cheaper@ less preferred substitutes. / Becond@ households can attempt to increase their food supplies using short/term strategies that are not sustainable o er a long period. Typical e>amples include borro)ing or purchasing on credit. 7ore e>treme e>amples are begging or consuming )ild foods@ immature crops@ or e en seed stoc;s. / Third@ if the a ailable food is still inadequate to meet needs@ households can try to reduce the number of people that they ha e to feed by sending some of them else)here *for e>ample@ sending the children to a neighbours’ house )hen those neighbours are eating+.

1=1 1== =00 =0.

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/ 4ourth@ and most common@ households can attempt to manage the shortfall by rationing the food a ailable to the household *cutting portion siEe or the number of meals@ fa oring certain household members o er others@ or s;ipping )hole days )ithout eating+. =0# %... 5n times of food shortage@ some of these coping mechanisms )ere encouraged by the DPRK authorities. This included the consumption of )ild foods@ despite the medical ris;s associated )ith that strategy. "o)e er@ the authorities prohibited the population from resorting to the most efficient coping mechanisms@ such as mo ement in search of food@ trade and other similar acti ities@ in order to preser e their control o er the population. *i+ (reedom of mo"ement

%.#. During periods of food shortage@ it is usual for people to mo e in search of food. "o)e er@ the strict restrictions on freedom of mo ement imposed in the DPRK@ )hich )ere maintained e en during the )orst period of mass star ation@ denied the population the opportunity to effecti ely pursue this option.=0& %.&. 5n the DPRK@ any tra el )ithin the country requires a tra el permit deli ered by the local authorities. Persons tra eling )ithout a permit are sub(ect to arrest@ repatriation to their home county and punishment.=04 Ahen the PDB )as )or;ing@ e en )ith inadequate rations@ people tended to remain in their place of residence in order to access PDB rations. "o)e er@ )hen the PDB collapsed the authorities )ere unable to e>ercise the same le el of mo ement control as before. Desperate people started mo ing around the country in search of food in order to sur i e. 5nstead of abolishing internal tra el restrictions@ people )ere still prohibited from lea ing their home pro ince )ithout a permit during the famine. 5n December .==%@ Kim ?ong/il )arned that the incipient population mo ement )as causing chaos and disorder in the country and ordered the go ernment to immediately ta;e all necessary actions to pre ent it.=0$ Authorities established a net)or; of ad hoc detention facilities to deal )ith illegal internal mo ement@ including the mo ement of street children and children orphaned by the famine. =0% %.4. The famine also created a surge of desperate people fleeing to China that started in the mid/.==0s. 7any DPRK citiEens sought help from ethnic Korean relati es li ing in Chinese pro inces bordering the DPRK. 8thers sought to )or; in China for food or money@ )hich they used to buy for themsel es and their families.=02 5nstead of facilitating such coping mechanisms@ the go ernment used punishment and iolence to deter people from crossing the border. %.$. The Commission collected a large amount of testimony from people )ho )ent to China in search of food and )ere subsequently repatriated and imprisoned.=01 ^ 7s ?o ?in/hye told the Commission that her father and pregnant mother )ere going bac; and forth to China loo;ing for food. They )ere arrested@ detained and tortured shortly after Kim ?ong/il publicly called for stricter enforcement of the prohibition on crossing the border )ith China. <Cy mom and dad )ent to China together about t)o times and successfully got food for us such as rice and bean paste and coo ing oil# etc: So 2 remember ha"ing a "ery good meal after they got bac from China: And on their third trip on the )ay bac

=0& =04 =0$ =0% =02 =01

A4P@ IThe Coping Btrategies 5nde>3 A tool for rapid measurement of household food security and the impact of food aid programmes in humanitarian emergencies@ 4ield 7ethods 7anualJ@ Becond -dition@ ?anuary #001@ p. &. Bee section 5C.C. Bee section 5C.C... Andre) :atsios@ IThe Politics of 4amine in :orth KoreaJ@ p..#. Amnesty 5nternational@ IBtar ed of RightsJ@ p. .%. Bee section 5C.C. Bee also section 5C.C. &..


home# they got caught: At that time# there )ere a lot of other North Koreans )ho got caught )hile going bac and forth bet)een North Korea and China: And it )as not really a crime that )ould get us illed but at that time# Kim 'ong-il made some announcements saying that )e need to reduce the number of North Koreans going bac and forth bet)een North Korea and China: And to do that# [Kim 'ong-il said] M)e need to ma e the gunshot sound loud5:?.8. 7s ?o’s father )as tortured in detention. "e died during his subsequent transfer to another detention centre. I&uring the process of being transferred [bet)een detention facilities]# he )as not able to eat and he )as not pro"ided any )ater to drin : 4e )as also tortured in the pre"ious detention facility and he had a lot of )ounds on his body# so that basically illed him.J=.0 ^ 7r Kim ,)ang/il described ho) he secretly tra elled to China to sell pine mushrooms since this )as the only )ay for him to sur i e. Fpon his forced repatriation from China@ he )as detained and tortured by the 7inistry of People’s Becurity. 9ased on an unfair trial@ he )as imprisoned at 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. .# at ?onggo/ri.=.. %.%. Despite the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people during the late .==0s@ the authorities continued to apply criminal punishment for cross/border mo ement. 9order guards )ere allo)ed to shoot to ;ill anyone crossing the border illegally@ a policy that remains in place.=.# -specially harsh treatment )as reser ed for DPRK citiEens )ho approached citiEens of the R8K or Christian churches for help )hile in China.=.& Periods of imprisonment for people crossing for food aries from t)o to fi e years. Reportedly@ in #000@ )hen the famine had already pea;ed@ Kim ?ong/il issued a decree to treat those )ho only crossed the border in need of food )ith a degree of leniency. "o)e er@ this decree )as only in force for a fe) months. - en during that time@ people forcibly repatriated from China )ere still sub(ect to arrest and punishment. =.4 %.2. The Commission notes that the DPRK ,o ernment apparently ne er contemplated pursuing the option of requesting the R8K to temporarily open the inter/Korean border so as to allo) its star ing citiEens to cross into the R8K@ )here many could ha e recei ed help from relati es and fello) Koreans. *ii+ +ther coping mechanisms

%.1. 4or a long period@ the DPRK go ernment failed to officially ac;no)ledge the economic changes occurring in the country including the de facto mar;etiEation. At most@ officials described them as temporary emergency measures. =.$ This position e>plains the DPRK go ernment’s repeated attempts to limit or e en criminaliEe mar;et acti ities. The go ernment has been reluctant to accept the de elopment of the mar;ets despite their importance for people in need of food@because this )as a mechanism in the country that fell outside its control.

=0= =.0 =.. =.# =.& =.4


Aashington Public "earing@ &0 8ctober #0.& *003&$300+. 5did. *003&% 300+. Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ morning. Bee section 5C.C.#. Bee section 5C.C.#. According to "uman Rights Aatch *"RA+@ the decree from Kim ?ong/il said@ I5f anyone crosses the border because they are in need of food@ they shall li e.J This decree )as effecti e bet)een .% 4ebruary #000 *Kim ?ong/il’s birthday+ to .0 8ctober #000 *the fiftieth anni ersary of the establishment of the Korean Aor;ers Party+. "RA@ IThe 5n isible ->odus3 :orth Koreans in the PRCJ. A ailable from http3!!))).hr).org!reports!#00#!north;orea!nor;or..0#.pdf. 7eredith Aoo/Cumings@ IThe Political -cology of 4amine3 The :orth Korean Catastrophe and 5ts <essonsJ.



%.=. 5n the .=== Criminal Code@ the chapter on I8ffenses against the management of the Bocialist -conomyJ comprised only eight articles. 5n #004@ the chapter )as renamed I8ffences against the management of the -conomyJ and e>panded to 24 articles. Article ..0 )as introduced into the Criminal Code ma;ing it an offense to gain large profits by engaging illegally in unfair commercial acti ities. The offense is sub(ect to t)o years of imprisonment in a labour training camp. 5n #002@ a series of Iadditional clausesJ )ere introduced by )ay of a decision issued by the Presidium of the Bupreme People’s Assembly.=.% That decision introduced offenses such as the crime of illegal business operations. ->tremely gra e cases of smuggling (e)ellery and precious metals and illegally selling the state’s resources )ere made sub(ect to the death penalty. %#0. The DPRK penal system has played a central role in the go ernment’s response to the coping strategies that DPRK citiEens adopted in order to address the se ere shortage of food. During the famine@ the DPRK established an e>tensi e system of detention facilities ;no)n as labour training camps *rodongdanryundae+.=.2 These and other short/term forced labour detention facilities )ere used to incarcerate those caught crossing the border into China@ those in ol ed in internal mo ement )ithout permits@ and those in ol ed in mar;et acti ity. The #004 reform of the Criminal Code regulariEed these facilities. 5t established Ilabour trainingJ for up to t)o years as the punishment for a gro)ing number of economic and social crimes. ^ 8ne )itness commented that people )ere trapped in an impossible situation. Those )ho only did their )or; follo)ing the state’s directions died from malnutrition. Those )ho tried to do something else to sur i e 6 such as engaging in mar;et acti ities 6 li;ely got arrested. =.1 %#.. 8ne aspect of the command/and/control response to the famine and its aftermath )as the use of the police and the military to reassert authority o er both the cooperati e farms and the industrial )or;place. 5n August .==2@ the authorities issued a decree on the hoarding and theft of food. This decree stipulated the e>ecution of any indi idual in ol ed either in stealing grain or trading in it. 7ilitary units )ere deployed to farms to ma;e sure that hungry farmers did not di ert part of their farm’s production in order to secure their o)n sur i al. ^ 8ne )oman testified that she )itnessed fi e public e>ecutions during the famine. The officials announced ho) much food had been stolen or )asted by the ictim concerned. Then@ the person )as shot in the head.=.= ^ Another )oman testified that her husband )as arrested for trading oil in .==%. "e )as sentenced to .. years of imprisonment in an ordinary prison camp * yoh)aso+. Ahile he )as in prison@ she did not ha e money to bring him food. "e died after a year in detention from hunger and hard labour. Bubsequently@ the )itness’s child star ed to death@ follo)ed by the )itness’s mother and father. 5n December .==2@ she crossed to China to find food and )as sold into a forced marriage )ith an ethnic Korean Chinese man.=#0 %##. The authorities also maintained strict control o er communications during the famine. They prohibited people from contacting their relati es abroad for assistance. This prohibition remains in place. "o)e er@ many DPRK citiEens circum ent it by illegally contacting relati es abroad through so/called Ibro;ersJ or by using Chinese mobile phones



=.1 =.= =#0

Bee Decision :o. #41& of the Presidium of the Bupreme People’s Assembly@ adopted on .= December #002. 4or details on the inhumane conditions pre ailing in these detention facilities@ see section 5C.-.4 b+. TB"0&1. T9,00.. T9,0.0. &.2


that )or; in the pro>imity of the Chinese border. =#. Through bro;ers@ people can also illegally recei e remittances from relati es abroad. Pursuing help in this manner is e>tremely ris;y@ and those caught are sub(ect to se ere punishment. ^ 8ne man testified that@ in #00=@ he )as caught by the Btate Becurity Department *BBD+ )hile calling abroad from his Chinese mobile phone. "e )as accused of spying@ beaten and tortured. "e stated that the BBD uses sophisticated electronic de ices to trace mobile phones. =## $% +bstructing humanitarian assistance and access to the most 4ulnerable

%#&. 5n accordance )ith articles # *.+ and .. *#+ of the 5C-BCR@ each Btate has the obligation to ensure freedom from hunger indi idually and through international assistance and cooperation. 5f a Btate is unable to pro ide its population )ith adequate food@ it must ta;e all possible steps to ensure that people in its territory are free from hunger@ including through proacti ely see;ing e>ternal assistance. According to the Committee on -conomic@ Bocial and Cultural Rights@ a Btate claiming that it is unable to carry out its obligation of ensuring freedom from hunger for reasons beyond its control@ has the burden of pro ing that this is the case and that it has unsuccessfully sought to obtain international support to ensure the a ailability and accessibility of the necessary food.=#& %#4. 5n this regard@ Btates are also under an obligation not to arbitrarily re(ect humanitarian assistance. A number of parameters can be used to determine an arbitrary re(ection of humanitarian assistance. Btates fail to respect their obligations if they re(ect assistance offered )ithout pro iding any reasons@ or if the reasons pro ided are based on errors of fact *for e>ample@ a denial of humanitarian needs )ithout a proper assessment+. Btates also act arbitrarily if they deny access for reasons that are not in line )ith their international obligations@ for e>ample@ if a state re(ects assistance offered in line )ith the humanitarian principles of humanity@ impartiality@ neutrality and independence despite being unable to ensure the necessary assistance through other sources. =#4 Any di ersion of international food aid contrary to the principle of distributing aid )ithout discrimination based on humanitarian need also constitutes an arbitrary denial of aid and hence a iolation of human rights including the right to food.=#$ %#$. Bince the arri al of the first relief agencies in the mid/.==0s@ international organiEations and non/go ernmental organiEations ha e been )or;ing in e>tremely difficult conditions imposed by the DPRK authorities. =#% The Commission finds that the DPRK go ernment has imposed mo ement and contact restrictions on humanitarian actors that unduly impede their access and are not (ustified by legitimate humanitarian or security considerations. 7oreo er@ the authorities ha e deliberately failed to pro ide aid organiEations )ith access to reliable data@ )hich@ if pro ided@ )ould ha e greatly enhanced the effecti eness of the humanitarian response and sa ed many li es. %#%. DPRK authorities resisted initial requests from international relief organiEations to pro ide assistance to the northeast part of the country. Aorld 4ood Programme aid did not reach the east coast before .==2. During the late .==0s@ only one/fifth of the A4P’s total aid )ent to feed the people of an area that contains one/third of the DPRK’s total
=#. =## =#& =#4 =#$ =#%

4or more details on the use of Chinese mobile phones@ see section 5C.A. T9,004. C-BCR@ ,eneral Comment :o. .#@ para. .2 *-!C..#!.===!$+. A!%$!#1#@ paras. 1. and 1#. A!%$!#1#@ paras. 1% ff. Bee for instance@ Doctors Aithout 9orders@ I7B4 Calls on Donors to Re ie) Their Policy in DPRKJ@ &0 Beptember .==1. A ailable from http3!!))).doctors)ithoutborders.org!press!release.cfmDid_4%0. Bee also <. ,ordon 4la;e and Bcott Bnyder@ Pa"ed )ith Aood 2ntentions: *he NA+ EDperience in North Korea *Praeger Publishers@ #00&+@ p. ....



population.=#2 The Commission recei ed arious e>planations for this phenomenon@ including the location of political prison camps and sensiti e military installations in some of the affected counties.=#1 "o)e er@ the Commission also notes that humanitarian access )as denied to an entire area@ )here populations of lo) songbun are concentrated.=#= ->hibit A/#@ displayed belo)@ sho)s that@ in .==$/.==%@ the DPRK go ernment denied humanitarian access to most of the northeastern pro inces )here people )ere dying in ery large numbers from hunger and star ation. The four pro inces )ith no access to humanitarian aid *:orth and Bouth "amgyong@ Ryanggang and Chagang+ also correspond to those )here the PDB distribution )as first stopped.=&0

9igure &3% !ccessible and restricted counties &22$-&22-=&. %#2. The political implications for the DPRK of accepting foreign assistance@ especially from countries considered as IenemiesJ )ere frequently considered to out)eigh the plight of the population. ^ At the Aashington Public "earing@ Andre) :atsios told the Commission about problems relating to the deli ery of aid pro ided by the Fnited Btates of America. <*he big contro"ersy )as o"er ta ing do)n the American flag on the "essel deli"ering the aid to a &PRK port: 2n the first shipment that )ent in# ,(P told me

=#1 =#= =&0 =&.

?ohn 4effer@ I:orth Korea and the politics of famine@ Part #3 "uman rights iolationsJ@ Asia *imes@ #& Beptember #00%. A ailable from http3!!))).atimes.com!atimes!Korea!"5#&Dg0..html T<C0&&@ -<C00&. Bee in this regard sections 5C.9@ 5C.C and 5C.D.#. Bee abo e@ section 5C.D... ->hibit A/#. Pro ided by 7arcus :oland@ IAccessible M Restricted Counties .==$/ .==%f@ A4P Asia Regional 9ureau *#00$+. &0&


the story [that] the ship sat in the port for three days because the captain refused to ta e the American flag off the "essel: 2t had to do )ith imagesH no one had gotten any shipments in that port from the central go"ernment in t)o years: People )ere dying in the streets# and the notion that the !nited States )as going to sa"e all these people )as "ery offensi"e to the political authorities:?.=7 %#1. The restrictions imposed by the DPRK on humanitarian actors ha e contra ened@ and continue to contra ene@ the basic principles of humanitarian engagement. 9et)een .==1 and #000@ a number of reputable humanitarian organiEations@ including 7Gdecins sans 4rontiHres *7B4+@ 8>fam@ CAR- and 7Gdecins du 7onde@ stopped their operations in the DPRK@ because they considered their engagement to be unsustainable under the conditions imposed by the DPRK authorities. 5n #00#@ 4iona Terry@ then research director of 7B4@ summariEed the reasons )hy humanitarian organiEations li;e 7B4 had stopped their operations in the DPRK3 :one of the characteristics of humanitarian space e>ists in :orth Korea today@ rendering it impossible to ;no) )hether food aid entering the country is helping to alle iate the slo)/motion famine or is sustaining the political pro(ect of the lst Btalinist dictatorship on earth. 5t is hard to defend the IhumanitarianJ nature of aid to :orth Korea either in its intention@ )hich for ma(or go ernment donors is to pre ent the sudden collapse of the regime to a oid destabiliEing the region@ or in its methods.=&& %#=. The lac; of physical access to populations in need in the DPRK has pre ented humanitarian actors from properly assessing the situation so as to carry out their operations most effecti ely.=&4 4aced )ith the problem that aid apparently did not reach the most ulnerable populations@ a number of humanitarian agencies adopted a Ino access/no aidJ policy@ )hich led to some impro ement regarding the access gi en to agencies to monitor aid distribution. %&0. The number of counties the A4P could access has changed o er time. The latest map produced by the A4P in 7arch #0.& *see figure belo)+ sho)s it can access 1# of about #00 counties.=&$ The entire Chagang Pro ince )hich has the highest le el of acute malnutrition and stunting *alongside Ryanggang Pro ince+@ is not co ered by A4P operations.

=&# =&&



Aashington Public "earing@ &. 8ctober #0.&@ morning *0#3$.3&1+. 4iona Therry@ Condemned to RepeatI$ *he ParadoD of 4umanitarian Action *Cornell Fni ersity Press@ #00#+@ p. #4&. Btephen "aggard and 7arcus :oland@ (amine in North Korea@ p. 1=. Bee also section 5C.D... 8n its )eb site@ A4P states that its operations currently target I#.4 million )omen and children in 12 of DPRK’s #.0 countiesJ. A ailable from http3!!))).)fp.org!countries!;orea/ democratic/peoples/republic/dpr;!o er ie).



9igure &&% +perational co4erage by the ?orld 9ood Programme =&% %&.. The Committee on -conomic@ Bocial and Cultural Rights@ the Committee on the -limination of Discrimination against Aomen@ the Committee on the Rights of the Child ha e all called on the DPRK to pro ide ulnerable groups@ including rural and economically disad antaged )omen and children@ access to food aid and other international assistance.=&2 5n the conte>t of the DPRK@ pregnant and lactating )omen@ children@ and elderly people are considered to be especially ulnerable. =&1 5nformation recei ed by the Commission@ ho)e er@ indicates that food aid and other humanitarian assistance failed to reach targeted groups in many cases. 5n particular the Commission recei ed information from former DPRK citiEens@ former humanitarian staff deployed to the DPRK and other sources that aid often did not reach those children )ho are most in need of assistance@ including street children. %&#. 5n #000@ Action Against "unger *AA"+ decided to stop its programme to pro ide humanitarian aid to children in the DPRK@ because the authorities denied them access to the most ulnerable children. 5t e>plained its decision as follo)s3 The number of children present in the facilities Kthat recei ed AA" aidL )as less than the quoted official figures@ e en though all AA" isits )ere announced in ad ance. The malnutrition detected in these facilities )as around . per cent@ although the nutrition sur ey conducted by F:5C-4@ A4P and the -uropean Fnion sho)ed .% per cent of malnutrition amongst children. 7ost of the malnutrition cases )itnessed by our team )ere amongst children )ith no access to any facilities. Those )ho )ere especially hard hit )ere the Istreet childrenJ@ many of )hom )ere bet)een & and 4 years old@ and found )andering alone@ )hile isibly ery )ea; and fighting to collect food. Confronted )ith this situation and con inced that the aid channelled through go ernment/run facilities did not reach the most ulnerable@ Action Against "unger negotiated )ith the authorities to set up soup ;itchens@ outside the official facilities@ targeting the most high ris; group of children. 9ut the conditions to implement this programme ha e been refused by the :orth/Korean authorities. Ae are con inced that the international aid flo)ing into :orth/Korea is not reaching the people most in need. Ae )ere denied authoriEation to isit the poorest families@ )here )e suspect that children are confined to their homes@ cut off from any assistance and essentially condemned to death. This is e>tremely re olting



A4P@ IDemocratic PeopleTs Republic of Korea@ :e)ly Proposed PRR8 8perational Co erage #0.#/#0.&J. A ailable from http3!!relief)eb.int!sites!relief)eb.int!files!resources!Democratich#0Peoplesh#0Republich#0of h#0Koreah#0:e)lyh#0Proposedh#0PRR8h#08perationalh#0Co erage h#0#0.#h#0#0.&W0.pdf. C-BCR Committee@ Concluding 8bser ations on DPRK@ -!C..#!.!Add.=$@ para. #.N CRC Concluding 8bser ations CRC!C!PRK!C8!4@ para. .%N C-DAA Concluding 8bser ations A!%0!&1@ para. %0. Bee for instance A4P@ I-mergency 4ood Assistance to Culnerable ,roups in the Democratic People’s Republic of KoreaJ. A ailable from http3!!one.)fp.org!operations!currentWoperations!pro(ectWdocs!#00#%%.pdf. &0'


as the li es of these children could be easily sa ed )ith access and appropriate assistance.J=&= 5n Beptember .==1@ 7Gdecins Bans 4rontiHres discontinued its operations in the DPRK citing a Ihigh le el policy change to further restrict and limit effecti e humanitarian aid@ )hich ma;es it impossible to deli er aid in a principled and accountable manner.J 7B4 had sought to target particularly ulnerable groups such as homeless and orphaned children. 5nstead the DPRK authorities insisted that the most effecti e type of medical and nutritional assistance )as for f7B4 to pay deep attention to pro ide pharmaceutical ra) materials.J=40 %&&. Testimony recei ed by the Commission from humanitarian staff@ )ho had )or;ed in the DPRK at different points in time@ indicated that there )ere strong doubts that the people and children presented to them )ere those most in need@ e en in the areas they )ere allo)ed to access. Bome pointed out that these isits )ere I)ell staged performancesJ. =4. 8thers stated that despite the large amounts of international aid gi en to the DPRK@ the most ulnerable )ere not reached.=4# %&4. The DPRK authorities ha e continually prohibited effecti e monitoring of humanitarian assistance by the international pro iders of assistance. 4or humanitarian organiEations )ho decided to continue )or;ing in the DPRK@ it )as ery difficult to understand the situation inside the country. 5n addition to the lac; of physical access@ international relief organiEations@ such as the A4P@ )ere not allo)ed@ to ha e any Korean spea;ing staff. 5nstead@ local Korean interpreters )ere pro ided by the DPRK authorities. Apart from raising ob ious questions about the independence and impartiality of such staff@ this also affected the quality of humanitarian )or;@ since the local staff pro ided did not ha e the specific technical abilities to manage an aid effort. =4& Fnited :ations requests for permission to conduct a random nutritional sur ey of children in the DPRK )ere repeatedly denied.=44 ^ At the Aashington Public "earing@ Andre) :atsios@ )ho ser ed as the Fnited Btates Agency for 5nternational De elopment *FBA5D+ administrator from #00. to #00%@ described the )or; of FBA5D in the DPRK in the .==0s3 <*he North Koreans early in the famine did not let us measure any of the children oursel"esH they insisted on doing it: *hey determined )here the Msentinel


=4. =4#

=4& =44

Action Contre la 4aim@ IAction Against "unger stops its acti ities in :orth KoreaJ@ .0 7arch #000. A ailable from http3!!relief)eb.int!report!democratic/peoples/republic/;orea!action/ against/hunger/stops/its/acti ities/north/;oreaQsthash.Op%A?hK1.dpuf. Doctors Aithout 9orders@ I7B4 Calls on Donors to Re ie) Their Policy in DPRKJ@ &0 Beptember .==1. A ailable from http3!!))).doctors)ithoutborders.org!press!release.cfmDid_4%0 -9,00&. According to a nutritionist )ho isited a nursery and orphanage in Cheong(in@ in :orth "amgyeong Pro ince@ on .$ ?uly .===@ aid did not reach the most ulnerable children. At the nursery@ the nutritionist sa) #0 se erely malnourished children@ & of )hom )ere about to die. At the orphanage@ she sa) .. se erely malnourished children. The children )ere dirty and suffering from s;in infections such as scabies@ and appeared as if they had been left unattended by the staff. The children recei ed goats mil; mi>ed )ith )ater and )ater mi>ed )ith sugar@ neither of )hich is adequate as a treatment for malnutrition. The nursery did not ha e any high/energy mil; e en though F:5C-4 had deli ered t)o tons of high/energy mil; to the nursery in Chong(in in 7ay .===. ?ean/ 4abrice Pietri@ Action Contre la 4aim@ IThe 5nadequacies of 4ood Aid 5n :orth KoreaJ@ Bummary of Comments *Plenary Bession 55+@ 5Cth 5nternational Conference on :orth Korean "uman Rights and Refugees@ Prague@ 7arch #00&. Btephen "aggard and 7arcus :oland@ (amine in North Korea@ p. =%. <. ,ordon 4la;e and Bcott Bnyder@ Pa"ed )ith Aood 2ntentions: *he NA+ EDperience in North Korea@ p. ..$.



sur"eillance5 sites )ould be# )hich means it is not really an accurate sur"ey: 2t is better than nothing# but is not accurate because it can be easily politiciFed:?./0 %&$. Reportedly@ local officials ha e been remo ed from their posts for being too cooperati e )ith international agencies.=4% 5n .==1@ 7B4 stated that the DPRK’s priority )as Imore to preser e the self/sufficient ideology than to pro ide effecti e and accountable assistance to those )ho need it most.J=42 %&%. Bome obser ers ha e claimed that the situation in terms of access and monitoring inside the DPRK has impro ed o er the years for humanitarian organiEations. Bome humanitarian agencies ha e been able to progressi ely access additional counties. 4urthermore@ the use of Korean language spea;ing not selected by the DPRK is no) allo)ed for certain organiEations. Bmall amounts of progress ha e been made in the field of monitoring food aid. "o)e er@ #0 years after humanitarian agencies began their )or; in the DPRK@ humanitarian )or;ers still face unacceptable constraints impeding their access to populations in dire need. According to Fnited :ations Country Team in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea@ K8Lperational restrictions continue to undermine donor confidence and resource mobiliEation@ )hich in turn undermines discussions on better operating conditions. :egotiating access in DPRK has been and remains a long and difficult process. The ,o ernment often places unacceptable constraints on access required for humanitarian agencies to underta;e programme implementation@ monitoring and e aluation of acti ities.=41 -% /on-utili7ation of ma:imum a4ailable resources

%&2. Article # *.+ of the 5C-BCR states that Ieach Btate Party to the present Co enant underta;es to ta e steps@ indi"idually and through international assistance and cooperation@ especially economic and technical@ to the maDimum of its a"ailable resources @ )ith a ie) to achie"ing progressi"ely the full realiFation of the rights recogniEed in the present Co enant by all appropriate means@ including particularly the adoption of legislati e measuresJ *emphasis added+. %&1. The concept of Iprogressi e realiEationJ describes a central aspect of states’ obligations in connection )ith economic@ social and cultural rights under international human rights treaties. At its core is the obligation to ta;e appropriate measures to)ards the full realiEation of economic@ social and cultural rights to the ma>imum of a state’s a ailable resources. The reference to Ia ailable resourcesJ reflects a recognition that the realiEation of these rights can be hampered by a lac; of resources and can be achie ed only o er a period of time. -qually@ it means that a state’s compliance )ith its obligation to ta;e appropriate measures is assessed in light of the resources@ financial and other)ise@ a ailable to it.=4= "o)e er@ the concept of progressi e realiEation must not be misinterpreted as discharging the state from any obligations until they ha e sufficient resources. 8n the contrary@ the treaties impose an immediate obligation to ta;e appropriate steps to)ards the
=4$ =4%




Aashington Public "earing@ &. 8ctober #0.&@ morning *0.344341+. "umanitarian Practice :et)or;@ I:orth Korea3 Conflict 7anagement@ 4ood Aid and "umanitarian PrinciplesJ. A ailable from http3!!))).odihpn.org!general!north/;orea/conflict/ management/food/aid/and/humanitarian/principles. Doctors Aithout 9orders@ I7B4 Calls on Donors to Re ie) Their Policy in DPRKJ@ &0 Beptember .==1. Fnited :ations Country Team@ I8 er ie) of needs and assistanceJ@ #0.#. A ailable from http3!!))).)fp.org!sites!default!files!DPRK per cent#08 er ie) per cent#08f per cent#0:eeds per cent#0And per cent#0Assistance per cent#0#0.#.pdf. 8ffice of the "igh Commissioner for "uman Rights@ I4requently As;ed ]uestions on -conomic@ Bocial and cultural Rights@J ,ene a@ #001@ p. .&. &0$


full realiEation of economic@ social and cultural rights. A lac; of resources cannot (ustify inaction or indefinite postponement of measures to implement these rights. 5rrespecti e of the resources a ailable to it@ a state should@ as a matter of priority@ see; to ensure that e eryone has access to@ at the ery least@ a minimum le el of rights@ and target programmes to protect the poor@ the marginaliEed and the disad antaged. A state cannot plead resource constraints to (ustify its failure to ensure minimum essential le els of socio /economic )ell/ being@ including freedom from hunger@ unless it can demonstrate that it has used all the resources at its disposal to gi e priority to essential economic and social needs. =$0 %&=. 9ased on the body of testimony and submissions recei ed@ the Commission finds that the allocation of resources by the DPRK has grossly failed to prioritiEe the ob(ecti e of freeing people from hunger and chronic malnutrition@ in particular in times of mass star ation. The state has neither prioritiEed the purchase of the food necessary for the sur i al of many in the DPRK@ nor in estment in agriculture@ infrastructure and other )ays of impro ing the a ailability and accessibility of food in the country. 4A8 and A4P note that the continuous inability to achie e the official ,o ernment target of $2& grams of cereal equi alent per person per day in any gi en year points not only to issues of food a ailability@ but also to broader supply chain constraints such as storage@ transport and commodity trac;ing.=$. %40. Testimony and other information recei ed by the Commission sho) that the DPRK continues to allocate disproportional amounts of resources on its military@ on the personality cult of the Bupreme <eader@ related glorification e ents and the purchase of lu>ury goods for the elites. <a= Prioriti7ation of military e:penditure

%4.. The DPRK maintains one of the )orld’s largest standing armies@ comprising around ..# million people. This represents the )orld’s highest ratio of military personnel to the general population. ,i en the secreti e nature of the state@ figures displaying actual military spending figures are difficult to obtain. 8fficial sources state that around .% per cent of the total state budget is de oted to national defence.=$# 8ther sources estimate that it is around a quarter of the ,ross :ational Product.=$& %4#. 5nstead of shifting resources to address urgent needs during the course of the famine in the late .==0s@ Kim ?ong/il placed e en more emphasis on the military in line )ith the I7ilitary 4irstJ doctrine *Bongun+.=$4 An official broadcast from the Korean Central 9roadcasting Btation e>plained this policy3 During that period@ )hich )as called the IArdous 7archJ in our history@ ,reat Comrade Kim ?ong/il firmly belie ed that the destiny of the people and the future of the re olution hinged on the barrel of a gun@ and that )e could brea; through the difficulties and lead the re olution to ictory only by depending on the Army@ X. if the barrel of a gun )ere )ea;@ a country )ould be e entually s)allo)ed by outside






Bee C-BCR@ ,eneral Comment :o. .#@ para. .2@ *-!C..#!.===!$+@ and C-BCR@ ,eneral Comment :o. &@ anne> 555@ para. .0 *-!.==.!#&+. 4A8!A4P@ ICrop and 4ood Becurity Assessment 7ission to the Democratic People’s Republic of KoreaJ@ #1 :o ember #0.&. IReport on 5mplementation of #00= 9udget and #0.0 9udgetJ@ KCNA@ = April #0.0. A ailable from http3!!;cna.co.(p!item!#0.0!#0.004!ne)s0=!#0.0040=/.0ee.html. The Center for Arms Control and :on/Proliferation@ IF.B. Defense Bpending s. ,lobal Defense BpendingJ@ #4 April #0.&. A ailable from http3!!armscontrolcentre.org!issues!securityspending!articles!#0.#WtoplineWglobalWdefenseWspending!. Bee also section 555.-.



force@ no matter ho) po)erful its economic might be and no matter ho) ad anced its science and technology may be.=$$ %4&. A #00& editorial published in Rodong Sinmun# the ne)spaper of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea@ similarly notes3 Ahat ta;es the leading position in the correlation bet)een the army and the economy is still the armyX..5f economic po)er is based on military po)er@ military po)er is a guarantee for economic po)er and impetus for economic de elopment. Ae cannot defend national industries nor ensure a peaceful en ironment for economy/building )ithout strong military po)er. 8nce )e lay the foundations for a po)erful self/sustaining national defense industry@ )e )ill be able to re(u enate all economic fields@ to include light industry and agriculture and enhance the quality of the people’s li es.=$% %44. ->pert analysis presented to the Commission sho)s that a marginal redistribution of state military e>penditure to)ards the purchase of food could ha e sa ed the population from star ation and malnutrition. According to economist 7arcus :oland@ based on the last 4A8!A4P Crop assessment@ the DPRK has an unco ered grain deficit of 40@000 metric tons. According to the 5nternational 7onetary 4und@ in Beptember #0.&@ the price of rice )as appro>imately FBD 420 per metric ton and the price of corn )as around FBD #02 per ton.=$2 9asing his analysis on Fnited :ations data@ 7r :oland estimates that the siEe of the DPRK economy )as R.#.4 billion in #0...=$1 "e states that the reallocation of resources required to close the grain gap is therefore less than 0.0# per cent of national income. 5f the estimation that #$ per cent of national income is being used for the military is correct@ then the grain shortfall could be addressed by cutting the military budget by less than . per cent.=$= %4$. 7arcus :oland further estimates that e en at the height of mass star ation@ the amount of resources needed to close the food gap )as only in the order of FBD .00 million to FBD #00 million. This represented the alue of about $ to #0 per cent of re enue from e>ported goods and ser ices or . to # per cent of contemporaneous national income. At the Aashington Public "earing@ he stated@ ^ <[,]hile the amount of grain needed to close the gap [during the -..8s famine] )as much larger# the price of grain in the -..8s )as much lo)er than it is no): So at the famine5s pea # the resources needed to close that gap )ere only on the order of a hundred to t)o hundred million dollars depending on ho) you analysed data: E"en during the famine period# the North Korean go"ernment had resources at its disposal if it had chosen to use them# to maintain imports and a"oid that calamity.J=%0




=$= =%0

8n #. 7arch #00& an -ditorial 9ureau Bpecial Article in the DPRK ne)spaper Rodong Binmun@ I7ilitary/4irst 5deology 5s an e er/Cictorious@ 5n incible 9anner for 8ur -ra’s Cause of 5ndependenceJ )as broadcast on Pyongyang Korean Central 9roadcasting Btation *KC9B+. The translated te>t is a ailable from http3!!nautilus.org!publications!boo;s!dpr;bb!military!dpr;/ briefing/boo;/dpr;/military/first/doctrinal/declaration!. I7ilitary/ 4irst Politics is a Precious B)ord of Bure Cictory for :ational Bo ereigntyJ@ Rodong Sinmun@ #00&. Translated te>t a ailable from http3!!nautilus.org!publications!boo;s!dpr;bb!military!dpr;/briefing/boo;/dpr;/military/first/ doctrinal/declaration!. :ote that the 574 estimates the price of rice at FBD 441 in :o ember #0.& *Commodity 7ar;et 7onthly@ December #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).imf.org!e>ternal!np!res!commod!pdf!monthly!.#.&.&.pdf+. 8ther figures at the disposal of the Commission suggest this figure to be higher and around .4.2 billion dollars. Bubmission to the Commission3 7arcus :oland. Aashington Public "earing@ &. 8ctober #0.&@ morning *0.3.%300+. &0.


%4%. - en a delay in purchasing military equipment and using foreign currency instead to buy food on the international mar;ets may ha e sa ed a ery large number of people. 5n .==4@ )hen the food shortage )as already ;no)n to the authorities@ the DPRK reportedly bought a number of submarines. =%. 5n .===@ at the same time that it )as cutting commercial grain imports to less than #00@000 metric tons@ the go ernment reportedly used its foreign currency for the purchase of 40 7i,/#= fighter (ets from 9elarus and 1 military helicopters from KaEa;hstan.=%# %42. 5n #00$@ the Fnited :ations Becretary/,eneral noted that the authorities of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea are under a responsibility to reduce military!defence e>penditure and ensure equitable re/allocation of resources to respond effecti ely to the food crisis and other areas needing de elopment.=%& %41. "o)e er@ the Commission has recei ed no indication that the DPRK has changed its approach of prioritEing the military o er humanitarian concerns. 5nstead@ the current Bupreme <eader Kim ?ong/un has insisted that I7ilitary 4irstJ remains one of the guiding principles of the DPRK. 5n one of his first public speeches as the Bupreme <eader@ deli ered on .$ April #0.#@ Kim ?ong/un emphasiEed3 I5n order for us to eternally glorify the dignity of military/first Korea and successfully accomplish the cause of building a po)erful socialist state@ first@ second@ and third@ )e must strengthen the people’s army in e ery )ay.J=%4 %4=. 5n a report to the Bupreme People’s Assembly on the #0.# state budget@ 7inister of 4inance Choe K)ang/(in mentioned that only I&1.= per cent of total e>penditure )as spent for enforcing popular policies and measures for social culture under socialism such as the uni ersal free compulsory education system@ free healthcare@ social insurance and social security@ recuperation and rela>ation systems as )ell as those for de elopment of literature and art and building of a sports po)er.J =%$ Ahile 7r Choe’s report focuses on increased e>penditure in areas that could positi ely impact economic@ social and cultural rights@ it aguely mentions that Isome of the total state budgetary e>penditure )ent to national defence.J=%% <b= 6se of aid to reduce @tate spending on food

%$0. The DPRK has had an ambi alent attitude to)ards foreign aid. 5t first considered such aid as an admission of failure of the DPRK system and a point of entry for e>ternal meddling. <ee ?ong/)ha@ the Chairperson of the DPRK 4ood Damage Rehabilitation Committee@ described the famine claims as a Ipure fictionJ. "e said that the DPRK did not accept any food aid )ith political purposes because it degraded the country’s pride and


=%& =%4



Bee for instance@ I:orth Korea 9uying 8ld Russian BubsJ@ Ne) 9or *imes@ #0 ?anuary .==4. A ailable from http3!!))).nytimes.com!.==4!0.!#0!)orld!north/;orea/buying/old/ russian/subs.html. Bubmission to the Commission3 Btephen "aggard and 7arcus :oland@ 4unger and 4uman Rights@ p. .%. A!%0!&0%@ para. .2. Bpeech deli ered by Kim ?ong/un on .$ April #0.# in Kim 5l/sung square in Pyongyang. An unofficial -nglish translation of the full te>t is a ailable at3 http3!!))).north;oreatech.org!#0.#!04!.1!english/transcript/of/;im/(ong/uns/speech! IRe ie) of 4ulfilment of Btate 9udget for <ast Oear and Btate 9udget for This OearJ@ KCNA@ . April #0.&. 7r Choe’s report )as gi en before the 2th Bession of the .#th Bupreme People’s Assembly. Reportedly@ the DPRK spent R..&4 billion for the launch of t)o roc;ets in #0.#. I:orth Korea’s roc;et costs as much as a year’s )orth of food@J *he 4an yoreh@ 1 December #0.#. A ailable from http3!!))).hani.co.;r!arti!englishWedition!eWnorth;orea!$%4&1#.html.



because it might lead to demands for economic and political changes. =%2 5n .==2 Kim ?ong/ il stated3 IThe imperialist’s aid is a noose of plunder and sub(ugation aimed at robbing ten and e en a hundred things for one thing that is gi enJ. =%1 5n #000@ Rodong Sinmun reported the official position of the DPRK on humanitarian aid3 IThe imperialists’ aid is a tool of aggression ... a dangerous to>in )hich brings about po erty@ famine and death@ not prosperity.J=%= %$.. The DPRK has ho)e er used aid for its o)n political purposes. The DPRK has lin;ed the degree of conditionality attached to aid operations and the number of international aid )or;ers allo)ed into the country to the amount of money a humanitarian organiEation brings to the negotiating table.=20 %$#. 7ost problematically@ figures indicate that the DPRK has effecti ely used the inflo) of aid as a balance of payments support@ rather than as of means for relie ing the most ulnerable part of the population from hunger and star ation. 5nstead of using aid as a supplement to its o)n commercial food imports@ aid has apparently been used as a substitute for commercial imports. The graph belo) *figure .#+@ presented by 7arcus :oland to the Commission during the Aashington Public "earing@ sho)s that@ as the olume of aid deli ered to the DPRK increased@ the olume of commercial food imports decreased.

9igure &#% Colume of aid and imports on commercial terms=2.



=%= =20


Kristin ,usta son and ?inmin <ee Rudolf@ IPolitical and -conomic "uman Rights Ciolations in :orth KoreaJ in Thomas ". "enri;son and ?ongryn 7o@ eds.@ North Korea after Kim 2l Sung $ Continuity or ChangeI *"oo er 5nstitution Press@ .==2+@ p. .4#. Kim ?ong/il@ I8n preser ing the ?uche Character and :ational Character of the Re olution and ConstructionJ *.= ?une .==2+. A ailable from http3!!))).;orea/dpr.com!lib!....pdf. I:orth Korea )arns against outside aidJ@ *he Associated Press@ 4 8ctober #000. According to the Fnited :ations Country Team in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea@ Ithe ,o ernment continues to lin; the granting of more fa ourable operating conditions to the amount of resources being brought into the country@ )hich means that an agency )ith lo)er funding is allo)ed less access to populations.J Bee I8 er ie) of needs and assistanceJ@ #0.#. Bubmission to the Commission3 7arcus :oland based on 4A8!A4P data a ailable in the 5nternational 4ood Aid 5nformation Bystem *5:T-R4A5B+ database. &02


%$&. The graph belo) *figure .&+@ also submitted to the Commission by 7arcus :oland@ sho)s the e olution of the DPRK’s o erall merchandise imports as compared to the e olution of food imports. Despite the chronic situation of malnutrition in the country@ food imports e>perienced a do)n)ard trend bet)een .==& and #0.0@ as opposed to o erall merchandise imports@ )hich increased substantially.

9igure &'% Democratic People’s Republic of KoreaE merchandise imports and food imports=2# <c= Role of bilateral donors

%$4. 7ultilateral agencies ha e played a relati ely minor role in the deli ery of aid to the DPRK. An estimated 2$ per cent of the total amount of food aid deli ered since .==$ has been pro ided by China@ the Republic of Korea@ the Fnited Btates of America@ and ?apan. The conditions under )hich such assistance ha e been pro ided ha e differed from country to country. 5n accordance )ith its Bunshine Policy@ the R8K has distributed large amounts of unconditional aid. The FBA has lin;ed aid to progress on the nuclear issue. 9et)een .==$ and #00=@ the FBA pro ided around FBD %00 million in energy assistance to the DPRK. The aid )as gi en bet)een .==$ and #00& and bet)een #002 and #00= in e>change for the DPRK freeEing its plutonium/based nuclear facilities. =2& %$$. The )ay bilateral donors ha e handled their aid@ has affected the )or; of the Fnited :ations and other humanitarian agencies. 8bser ers ha e noted that the unconditioned aid that China and the R8K deli ered in the mid/#000s put the DPRK in a position to resist some of the monitoring arrangements the A4P sought to put in place. =24 A report by the FB Congressional Research Ber ice *CRB+ notes the follo)ing3



Bubmission to the Commission3 7arcus :oland based on data pro ided by the R8K 7inistry of Fnification@ 4A8 Bpecial reports@ and 7r :oland’s o)n calculations. Congressional Research Ber ice *CRB+@ I4oreign Assistance to :orth KoreaJ@ .. ?une #0.&. Bee I:orth Korea re(ects F: food aidJ@ 33C Ne)s@ #& Beptember #00$. A ailable from http3!!ne)s.bbc.co.u;!#!hi!asia/pacific!4#2&144.stm.



5n #00%@ the A4P drastically scaled do)n its programme after the :orth Korean go ernment imposed ne) restrictions@ limiting the organiEation’s siEe and ability to distribute and monitor its shipments. The A4P and Pyongyang then negotiated a ne) agreement that )ould feed ..= million people@ less than a third of the %.4 million people the A4P pre iously had targeted. The total population in the DPRK constitutes appro>imately ## million. 5n the deal )ith the A4P@ e>patriate staff )ere cut by 2$ per cent@ to .0 people@ all of )hom )ere based in Pyongyang. 9efore #00%@ the A4P had o er 40 e>patriate staff and si> offices around the country conducting thousands of monitoring trips e ery year. The DPRK go ernment did not allo) any Korean spea;ers to ser e on the A4P’s in/country staff.=2$ <d= Parallel funds for the benefit of the @upreme 8eader

%$%. The economic and financial problems faced by the DPRK in the .==0s@ led the DPRK authorities to engage in a number of legal and illegal acti ities to earn foreign currency. =2% "o)e er@ the currency earned )as not used to purchase food@ medicine or other goods@ )hich the population urgently needed during the famine. 5nstead@ it )as channelled into parallel funds that are outside the regular go ernment budget. =22 %$2. These funds@ )hich continue to e>ist@ are tightly controlled by the Bupreme <eader through offices institutionally connected to the Central Committee of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea. They are ;ept at the personal disposal of the Bupreme <eader and used to co er personal e>penses of the Bupreme <eader@ his family and other elites surrounding him@ as )ell as other politically sensiti e e>penditures that should not appear in the official budget. %$1. Testimony from officials in ol ed indicates that DPRK authorities engaged in a number of criminal acti ities to earn foreign currency. Re enue from criminal acti ity has been estimated to be as much as FBD $00 million per year in #001@ amounting to a third of the DPRK’s annual e>ports.=21 5nformation recei ed suggest that a considerable portion of the salaries of )or;ers@ )ho are sent to )or; abroad by the DPRK@ are placed in these types of funds.=2= ^ 8ne )itness described his )or; at the :orth -ast Asia 9an; in the Korean 4oreign 5nsurance Company *K45C+ in .==2. "e described in detail the e>istence of t)o parallel budgets in the DPRK@ in )hat he called the Ipeople5s economyJ and the Iroyal economyJ )hich is run by the Bupreme <eader. "e )as in charge of earning foreign currency by defrauding foreign insurances companies. This money )as then reallocated to the <royal economy?. All the documents produced at the K45C )ere destroyed to remo e e idence that foreign currency earnings )ere mostly used to contribute to Kim ?ong/ il’s personal IRe olution 4undsJ. The )itness personally destroyed many documents such as accounting records and )ithdra)al information.=10 ^ 8ne )itness@ )ho )or;ed in the Keumsusan Palace in the .==0s@ stated that the Accounting Department of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea is in charge of producing@ handling and pro iding )hat the Kim family )ants# and that e en their rice is produced separately. "e stated that one of the trading companies@ Rungra 111@ )as generating financial resources for this fund.=1.
=2$ =2% =22 =21

CRB@ I4oreign Assistance to :orth KoreaJ. Btephen "aggard and 7arcus :oland@ (amine in North Korea@ p. #4$. T9,0#$@ T?"0.$. CRB@ IReport for Congress@ :orth Korean Crime/for/Profit Acti itiesJ@ #$ August #001. Bee@ for instance@ I8 erseas :orth Koreans Aor; li;e Kim ?ong 5l’s Bla esJ@ &aily NK@ #= April #0... T<C0&#. T9,0#$. The name of this company is also mentioned in the report of the Panel of ->perts to assist the Becurity Council Committee established pursuant to Resolution .124 *#00=+@ B!#0.&!&&2. &2&


=10 =1.


^ A former BBD agent@ stated that e ery go ernment agency )as gi en an annual quota of foreign currency they had to earn. <*he Ao"ernment did not care )here the money )ould come from# so agents )ere pushed to engage in all inds of acti"ities:? "e ;ne) of BBD agents )hotraded )eapons and drugs )ith Chinese merchants. The agents obtained the )eapons and drugs from state drug factories and depots in the DPRK. The )itness has direct ;no)ledge of the traffic;ing of the narcotic drug methamphetamine@ )hich )as formally authoriEed by central le el authorities. =1# ^ 8ne )itness said that a company bought ingredients used for the production of Korean herbal medicine and sold them to a producer of the medicine. 5n the .==0s@ he regularly )ent to an ordinary prison camp * yoh)aso+ to buy opium produced by the prison@ )hich he then sold to a trading company. "e )as once sho)n the economic plan of the pro incial department for managing medical ingredients. The plan specifically indicated that opium )as produced for e>port purposes. =1& ^ Another )itness@ a former manager of a state company@ recalled that the central le el of the Aor;ers’ Party pro ided the )itness’s company )ith instructions to gro) and trade opium in order to generate foreign currency. =14 ^ Another former official pro ided detailed information on the illegal acti ities of DPRK embassies around the )orld. They )ere engaged in acti ities such as the illegal sale of alcohol in 5slamic countries or the internationally prohibited traffic;ing of i ory from African countries to China. =1$ <e= !d4ancement of the personality cult and glorification of the political system

%$=. A number of )itness testimonies@ including from former high le el officials confirmed that a considerable part of state resources has been used to further the cult of personality and the glorification of the Kim regime. ^ 9uilt in .=2&@ the Keumsusan Assembly "all )as turned into an immense mausoleum for the late Kim 5l/sung. The )or; started in .==$ )hen mass star ation )as de astating the country. The Keumsusan palace is one e>ample of the monumental buildings built at the height of the famine. 5t co ers a surface of &4@=.0 square metres )ith a main square of .0@000 square metres )here #00@000 people can gather. Reportedly@ 200@000 granites sculptures )ere car ed into #0 different shapes to decorate the building.=1% A former high ran;ing official testified3 <Kim 2l-sung died in -../: *here )ere months of mourning and the eEui"alent of !S& 1.8 million )as spent for building his tomb and other monuments: *he &PRK economy that )as already in poor conditions hit the bottom:?.G1 ^ Another former official )itness described his )or; at the Kim 5l/sung <onge ity Research 5nstitute@ an e>tremely )ell/resourced research facility established )ith the sole purpose of ensuring long li es and good health for Kim 5l/sung and Kim ?ong/il. =11

=1# =1& =14 =1$ =1%

=12 =11

T?"0.$. T?"00$. T?"0##. T9,0##. IThe 4irst disclosure of the Kim 5l Bung Tomb Castle )hich )as built at the e>pense of & million li es@J Daily :K@ & ?uly #00%. A ailable from http3!!))).dailyn;.com!english!read.phpD cata5d_n;00.00Mnum_%0% and the DPRK FriminEo;;iri )ebsite )hich sho)s pictures of this facility *))).uriminEo;;iri.com+. T9,0##. TB"0.=. Bee also I8riental medicine doctor gi es B. Koreans tastes of :. KoreaTs Troyal court medicineTJ@ 9onhap Ne)s@ ## August #0...



^ The Commission also recei ed testimony about the immense e>penditures de oted to the .&th Aorld 4esti al of Oouth and Btudents@ )hich )as held from . to 1 ?uly .=1= in Pyongyang. =1= The Aorld 4esti al )as held in an apparent response to the Republic of Korea’s hosting of the 8lympic ,ames in .=11. ^ 8ne )itness@ )ho )as a member of the KPA -scort Command@ )hich is assigned to protect Kim ?ong/il@ stated@ <Kim 'ong-il had airplanes# ships# trains# helicopters# car@ 4e did not use the plane himself but he still )anted one:?==0 %%0. <arge amounts of state e>penditure are also de oted to giant bronEe statues and other pro(ects designed to further the personality cult of Kim 5l/sung and his successors and sho)case their achie ements. These pro(ects are gi en absolute priority@ )hich is also e idenced by the fact that they are often completed in a short period of time. ==. The DPRK 7inister of 4inance@ Choe K)ang/(in@ reported about the #0.# budget of the DPRK3 8f the total state budgetary e>penditure for the economic de elopment and impro ement of peopleTs li ing standard@ 44.1 per cent )as used for funding the building of edifices to be presented to the .00th birth anni ersary of President Kim 5l/sung@ the consolidation of the material and technological foundation of 'uche/ based@ modern and self/supporting economy and the )or; for face/lifting the country.==# %%.. 5n #0.&@ Kim ?ong/un ordered the KPA to construct a I)orld/classJ s;i resort that )ould ri al the )inter sports facilities that are being built in the R8K in preparation of the R8K’s hosting of the #0.1 Ainter 8lympic ,ames. Ahen isiting the site in 7ay #0.&@ Kim ?ong/un reportedly I)as greatly satisfied to learn that soldier/builders ha e constructed a s;iing area on mountain ranges co ering hundreds of thousands of square meters@ including primary@ intermediate and ad anced courses )ith almost ..0@000 meters in total length and bet)een 40 and .#0 metres in )idth.J==& %%#. A number of similar prestige pro(ects that fail to ha e any immediate positi e impact on the situation of the general population ha e been pursued@ including the construction of the monumental 7unsu Aater Par; in Pyongyang@ the Rungna Dolphinarium and Pleasure Par; in Pyongyang and a beach resort to)n in Aonsan.==4 <f= Purchase of lu:ury goods

%%&. The DPRK continues allocating a significant amount of the state’s resources for the purchase and importation of lu>ury goods@ as confirmed by the reports of the Fnited :ations Panel of ->perts established pursuant to Becurity Council Resolution .124 *#00=+@
=1= ==0 ==.


==& ==4

TAP0... T9,0.#. 4or instance@ the e>tension of the Cictorious 4atherland Aar 7useum too; .0 months. IReport on APK <eadership o er Construction of Aar 7useum@ .& August #0.&J@ KC:A. A ailable from http3!!))).youtube.com!)atchD _KD;&A(uR;)4Mfeature_playerWembedded. IRe ie) of 4ulfilment of Btate 9udget for <ast Oear and Btate 9udget for This OearJ@ KCNA@ . April #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).;cna.co.(p!item!#0.&!#0.&04!ne)s0.!#0.&040./ #0ee.html. IKim ?ong Fn Cisits 7asi; Pass B;iing ,roundJ@ KCNA@ #% 7ay #0.&. IBongdo)on 9athing Resort Cro)ded )ith CisitorsJ@ KCNA@ #4 August #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).;cna.co.(p!item!#004!#00401!ne)s01!#$.htmN I7unsu Aater Par; CompletedJ@ KCNA@ .$ 8ctober #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).;cna.co.(p!item!#0.&!#0.&.0!ne)s.$!#0.&.0.$/&0ee.htmlN IRunga Dolphinarium Cro)ded )ith CisitorsJ@ KCNA@ #. August #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).;cna.co.(p!item!#0.&!#0.&01!ne)s#.!#0.&01#./.$ee.html. Bee also IKim splurges on anity pro(ects )hile his people go hungryJ@ &,@ . :o ember #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).d).de!;im/splurges/on/ anity/pro(ects/)hile/his/people/go/hungry!a/.2.=1#44. &2'


)hich inter alia monitors the implementation of the Becurity Council sanctions prohibiting the import of lu>ury goods. 5n one report@ the Panel of ->perts described the confiscation@ by 5taly@ of lu>ury items such as high quality cognac and )his;ey )orth .#@000 euros *FBD .2@#=0+ and equipment for a .@000/person cinema alued at -uro .&0@000 *FBD .12@&.0+. The report further re ealed that the DPRK has attempted to purchase and import a doEen 7ercedes/9enE ehicles@ high/end musical recording equipment@ more than three doEen pianos and cosmetics.==$ %%4. <u>ury goods e>penditure by the DPRK rose to FBD %4$.1 million *420 million euros+ in #0.#. Reportedly@ this )as a sharp increase from the a erage of FBD &00 million a year under Kim ?ong/il in 8ctober #0.&.==% .% Ciolation of freedom from hunger> death by star4ation and diseases related to star4ation %%$. 4reedom from hunger lies at the con(unction of the right to adequate food *article .. *#+ of the 5C-BCR+ and the right to life *article % of the 5CCPR+. Btates are obligated to pro ide directly food@ including@ if necessary@ by appealing to e>ternal assistance@ )hen indi iduals or parts of the population are unable@ for reasons beyond their control@ to en(oy access to food. %%%. There has been much debate ho) many people died from star ation or related diseases in the DPRK in the .==0s. 5n .===@ ?on 5n/chan@ an official )ith the DPRK’s 4lood Damage Rehabilitation Committee@ reportedly released figures sho)ing a &2 per cent increase in deaths bet)een .==$ and .==1@ )hich represented a famine/related death toll of ##0@000 people.==2 %%2. 8ther sources point to a much higher death toll. A former official stated that in .==$@ $00@000 died of hunger@ )hile in .==% and .==2@ one million died each year. ==1 A source in the R8K reported that a sur ey@ carried out in ?uly .==1 by the 7inistry of People’s Becurity@ recorded a decline of the population of #.$ million to & million people bet)een .==$ and 7arch .==1. === "o)e er@ this figure may ha e included migration and may ha e been inflated to secure additional food aid. 7r ")ang ?ong/yop@ a high/le el defector )ho fled the DPRK in .==1@ indicated in arious public statements that the death toll for the years .==$ to .==2 )as #.$ million3 I2n No"ember -..># 2 )as "ery concerned about the economy and as ed a top official in charge of agricultural statistics and food ho) many people had star"ed to death@:[*he official] replied in -..0# about 088#888 people star"ed to death including 08#888 party cadres: 2n -..># about one million people are estimated to ha"e star"ed to death: X 2n -..1# about 7 million people )ould star"ed to death if no international aid )ere pro"ided:J.000




==1 ===


#0.0 Report B!#0.0!$2.N Report of the Panel of ->perts established pursuant to resolution .124 *#00=+. A ailable from http3!!))).un.org!sc!committees!.2.1!panelofe>perts.shtml . I:orth Korea’s Kim ?ong/un splurges on lu>ury goods in bid to strengthen rule@J *he *elegraph@ .4 8ctober #0.&. A ailable from ))).telegraph.co.u;!ne)s!)orldne)s!asia!north;orea!.0&22.$4!:orth/Koreas/Kim/?ong/un/ splurges/on/lu>ury/goods/in/bid/to/strengthen/rule.html. I:orth Korea Admits 5ts 4amine Killed "undreds of ThousandsJ@ Associated Press@ .0 7ay .===. T9,0#0. I:orth Korea Tloses & million to famineTJ@ 33C Ne)s@ .2 4ebruary .===. A ailable from http3!!ne)s.bbc.co.u;!#!hi!asia/pacific!#1..&#.stm. ")ang ?ang/yop@ North Korea$ *ruth or %ies# *5ntitute for Reunification Policy Btudies@ .==1+@ p. .$. BF900%4.



%%1. Carious academics ha e applied statistical methodology to e>isting data to deri e estimates on the death toll. 5n #00.@ Daniel ,ood;ind and <oraine Aest concluded that e>cess deaths due to the famine most li;ely numbered bet)een %00@000 and one million in the period bet)een .==$ and #000..00. 5n #0..@ 7r ,ood;ind and 7s Aest re ised their earlier estimates of e>cess deaths do)n)ard to 4=0@000. .00# The research group of the ?ohns "op;ins Bchool of Public "ealth estimated #.. million deaths for the period of .==$ to .==1..00& Btephen "aggard and 7arcus :oland estimate that there )ere bet)een %00@000 and . million deaths@ or appro>imately & to $ per cent of the pre/crisis population..004 %%=. The Commission is not in a position to pro ide its o)n estimate on the number of deaths related to the I,reat 4amineJ or Arduous 7arch of the .==0s. 9y all accounts@ ho)e er@ at the ery least hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings perished due to massi e breaches of international human rights la). 7oreo er@ the suffering is not limited to those )ho died@ but e>tends to the millions )ho sur i ed. The hunger and malnutrition they e>perienced has resulted in long/lasting physical and psychological harm. %20. Despite the large amount of international assistance pro ided in the last #0 years@ the figures of malnutrition and stunting in the DPRK continue to be ery high and une enly distributed. The Commission is particularly concerned about the ongoing situation of children in the DPRK. Article % of CRC@ to )hich the DPRK is a party@ recogniEes e ery child’s inherent right to life and requests Btates Parties to Iensure to the ma>imum e>tent possible the sur i al and de elopment of the child.J %2.. The close connection bet)een maternal under/nutrition@ lo) birth/)eight@ childhood stunting and under)eight has been ;no)n for a long time and has ma(or intergenerational implications..00$ 5t is e>ceptionally important to brea; this intergenerational cycle@ because it is Inot only a fundamental ethical issue but also a priority for any ,o ernment concerned for the future intellectual and economic capacity of its people.J .00% 5n the Commission’s ie)@ the generational impact of star ation must also be considered from a human rights and accountability perspecti e. %2#. Btar ation is the most acute iolation of the right to food. Ahen considering star ation@ four broad situations can be en isaged3 / Btar ation as a result of factors outside authorities control *such as natural disasters+N / Btar ation as a result of lac; of capacity@ incompetence@ corruption and other factors )ithin the stateN / 5naction or indifference of state to)ard star ation despite ;no)ledge of the situationN and / Btar ation resulting deliberate actions.




.004 .00$


Daniel ,ood;ind and <oraine Aest@ IThe :orth Korean 4amine and 5ts Demographic 5mpactJ@ Population and &e"elopment Re"ie)@ ol. #2@ :o. # *?une #00.+. A ailable from http3!!))).(stor.org!stable!#%=$#02 . Daniel ,ood;ind@ <oraine Aest and Peter ?ohnson@ IA Reassessment of 7ortality in :orth Korea@ .==&/#001J@ #1 7arch #0... A ailable from http3!!paa#0...princeton.edu!papers!...0&0. A Courtland Robinson and others @IRising 7ortality in :orth Korean "ouseholds Reported by 7igrants in ChinaJ@ %ancet@ ol. &$4@ :o. =.2$ *?uly .===+. Btephen "aggard and 7arcus :oland@ (amine in North Korea# pp. 2#/2%. Bee for instance I-nding 7alnutrition by #0#03 an Agenda for Change in the 7illenniumJ@ 4inal Report to the Administrati e Committee on Coordination of the Fnited :ations Btanding Committee on :utrition *ACC!BC:+ by the Commission on the :utrition Challenges of the #.st Century@ 4ebruary #000. Bee -!C:.4!Bub.#!.===!.#@ para. ##. &2$


%2&. These four categories can point to different le el of state responsibility. They are highly rele ant for determining indi idual responsibility. The Commission )ill consider the responsibility of officials for crimes against humanity committed on the basis of decisions that )ere ;no)n to aggra ate mass star ation and related deaths in section C of this report..002 %24. The occurrence of natural disasters and arious actions underta;en by hostile states@ including sanctions@ has been repeatedly presented by the DPRK as the official e>planation for malnutrition and star ation in the country. Ahile ha ing duly considered the impact of factors beyond state control on the food situation@ the Commission finds that decisions@ actions and omissions by the DPRK and its leadership ha e generated and aggra ated this situation. They ha e caused at least hundreds of thousands of human beings to perish. Those )ho sur i ed@ suffered permanent physical and psychological in(ury including intergenerational harm. Actions and omissions that ha e created the faminogenic conditions in the country include3 ^ prioritiEing ideology@ politics and the interests of elites o er the food security of the broader populationN ^ ^ using food as a means of controlling the populationN concealing information and data that could ha e helped to sa e li esN

^ iolating the population’s rights to freedom of information and freedom of mo ement@ )hich directly impact the ability of people to access foodN ^ denying full access to and monitoring by international humanitarian organiEations e en in times )hen the country )as facing mass star ationN ^ engagementN and Placing financial conditions on the type and e>tent of humanitarian organiEations

^ distributing food and di erting international assistance in a discriminatory manner@ based on songbun and according to percei ed loyalty and usefulness to the DPRK. %2$. The Commission is concerned that@ although a number of factors ha e e ol ed since the .==0s@ other elements aggra ating or creating star ation@ )hich are )ithin state control@ remain in place. These elements may cause the recurrence of famine and mass star ation in the country. DPRK continues to deny full and unhindered access to humanitarian and relief organiEations. 5t cannot ignore that this lac; of genuine collaboration can result in increasing the number of deaths by star ation@ stunting and other food/related concerns in the country. The state continues to be secreti e on matters that affect the li es and health of the population. 9y bloc;ing access and pre enting proper monitoring@ the DPRK authorities impede the de elopment of effecti e assistance programmes that can relie e people from hunger@ in particular those most ulnerable. %2%. Reports from the DPRK continue to point to high le els of malnutrition@ stunting and death due to star ation. The specific regional and social patterns emerging from these reports are grounded in discrimination on the basis of state/assigned social class * songbun+. The DPRK also still fails to use the ma>imum a ailable resources to address the problem of hunger in the country. Discrimination@ ideological considerations@ restrictions on freedom of mo ement@ freedom of opinion and freedom of association and lac; of popular participation to decision/ma;ing are precluding sustainable impro ements in the realiEation of the right to food. ,i en these elements@ the mere a ailability of food in the mar;ets may not be enough to stop star ation.


Bee section C.4.



%22. 5n .=1&@ before mass star ation in the DPRK commenced@ Dr Amartya Ben@ :obel laureate and e>pert in famines and their causes@ stated3 IBtar ation is the characteristic of some people not ha ing enough food to eat. 5t is not the characteristic of there not being not enough food to eat.J.001 %21. 4ocusing on star ation uniquely as a question of a ailability of food misses the question of )hy the situation occurred in the first place and )hether the situation may reappear. Along the same lines@ others ha e rightfully argued that@ K4Lamine should be seen as a protracted politico/social/economic process of oppression comprising three stages3 dearth@ famishment and mortality. The culmination of the process comes )ell before the final stage of disease and death. 5f the process is halted before people die@ it is nonetheless still a famine. Becond@ famine cannot be defined solely by reference to the ictims. The process is one in )hich Zbenefits accrue to one section of the community )hile losses flo) to the other..00= %2=. ->perts in the public hearings and arious testimonies recei ed by the Commission ha e made the case that these insights also apply to the DPRK. • At the To;yo Public "earing@ 7r 5shimaru ?iro stated3 I(rom my eDperience in"estigating North Korea# )hat 2 understand is that in North Korea the case is not absolute shortage of food supply: *he famine in North Korea has to do )ith the access to foodJ..0.0 %10. Access to food is about a relationship of po)er bet)een those controlling food and those lac;ing such control. "uman rights lie at the heart of this relation. As long as ci il@ economic@ political and social rights are not progressing in the DPRK@ the population is at ris; of hunger and star ation. 5n a highly centraliEed decision/ma;ing conte>t@ decisions related to food@ including distribution of food@ purchasing food from abroad@ state budget allocation@ and interaction )ith international go ernments and non/go ernmental organiEations@ are ultimately determined by a small group of officials. These officials must be accountable to their people for past@ present and future beha iour. 0% Ciolation of the right to food and prisoners

%1.. The Commission finds that the DPRK has been responsible for the deliberate star ation of people detained for interrogation purposes as )ell as those imprisoned in political prison camps and the ordinary prison system. .0.. Btar ation among the inmates is a general feature of detention in the DPRK. Deliberate depri ation of food has been systematically used as a means of control and punishment in detention facilities. Cuts to rations )ere part of guards training and described in prison documents. Prison camps authorities )ere fully a)are of the results of this depri ation as regular medical chec;s )ere performed on inmates. The food depri ation in detention facilities )as described in all periods independently of the o erall food situation..0.#



.0.0 .0..


Amartya Ben@ Po"erty and (amines$ An Essay on Entitlements and &epri"ation *8>ford@ Clarendon Press@ .=1&+. This argument )as originally de eloped by Amrita Rangasami I4ailure of e>change entitlements theory of famine3 a responseJ@ Economic and Political ,ee ly@ ol. #0@ :o. 4. *.=1$+@ p. .241 and has also been cited )ith appro al by ?enny -d;ins@ IBtar ations and the <imitations of 4amine TheorisingJ@ 2nstitute of &e"elopment Studies J2&SK 3ulletin@ ol. &&@ :o. #@ *#00#+@ p. .4. To;yo Public "earing@ #= August #0.&@ afternoon *0.3&$3.2+. Bee sections 5C.-.& and 5C.-.4 for a more detailed description of conditions in political and ordinary prisons Bee section 5C.-. &2.



Principal findings of the commission

%1#. The rights to food@ freedom from hunger@ and to life in the conte>t of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea cannot be reduced to a narro) discussion of food shortages and access to a commodity. The state has used food as a means of control o er the population. 5t has prioritiEed those )hom the authorities belie e to be crucial in maintaining the regime o er those deemed to be e>pendable. %1&. Confiscation and dispossession of food from those in need@ and the pro ision of food to other groups@ follo)s this logic. The state has practised discrimination )ith regard to access to and distribution of food based on the Songbun system. 5n addition@ it pri ileges certain parts of the country@ such as Pyongyang@ o er others. The state has also failed to ta;e into account the needs of the most ulnerable. The Commission is particularly concerned about ongoing chronic malnutrition in children@ and its long/term effects. %14. The DPRK )as a)are of the deteriorating food situation )ell before the first appeal for international aid in .==$. Btate/controlled production and distribution of food )as not able to pro ide the population )ith adequate food from@ at best@ the late .=10s. The lac; of transparency@ accountability@ and democratic institutions as )ell as restrictions on freedoms of e>pression@ information and association@ pre ented the adoption of optimal economic solutions o er those in accordance )ith directi es of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea. The DPRK has e aded structural reforms to the economy and agriculture for fear of losing its control o er the population. %1$. During the period of famine@ ideological indoctrination )as used in order to maintain the political system@ at the cost of seriously aggra ating hunger and star ation. 8fficial campaigns to collect food for soldiers@ to eat t)o meals instead of three from an already depri ed recipient population and the rhetoric of the Arduous 7arch )ere used to compel the population to endure the hardships for a national purpose. The concealment of information pre ented the population from finding alternati es to the collapsing Public Distribution Bystem. 5t also delayed international assistance that@ pro ided earlier@ could ha e sa ed many li es. %1%. Despite the state’s inability to pro ide its people )ith adequate food@ it maintained la)s and controls effecti ely criminaliEing people’s use of ;ey/coping mechanisms@ including mo ing )ithin or outside the country in search of food and trading or )or;ing in informal mar;ets. %12. - en during the )orst period of mass star ation@ the DPRK impeded the deli ery of food aid by imposing conditions that )ere not based on humanitarian considerations. 5nternational humanitarian agencies )ere sub(ect to restrictions contra ening humanitarian principles. Aid organiEations )ere pre ented from properly assessing humanitarian needs and monitoring the distribution of aid. The DPRK denied humanitarian access to some of the most affected regions and groups including homeless children. %11. The DPRK has consistently failed in its obligation to use the ma>imum of its a ailable resources to feed those )ho are hungry. - en )ith a ailable financial resources@ the DPRK has not purchased the necessary food to compensate for its inadequate production e en )hen star ation pre ailed. 7ilitary spending has been prioritiEed e en during periods of star ation. "o)e er@ the DPRK still failed to feed ordinary soldiers. <arge amounts of state resources@ including funds directly controlled by the Bupreme leader@ ha e been spent on lu>ury goods and the ad ancement of the personality cult )hile ordinary citiEens star e. %1=. The DPRK systematically uses deliberate star ation as a means of control and punishment in detention facilities. Cuts in rations ha e been part of guards training and



described in prison documents. This has resulted in the deaths of many political and ordinary citiEens. %=0. The Commission finds systematic@ )idespread and gra e iolations of the right to food in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Ahile ac;no)ledging the impact of factors beyond state control on the food situation@ the Commission finds that decisions@ actions and omissions by the state and its leadership ha e caused the death of at the ery least hundreds of thousands of human beings and inflicted permanent physical and psychological in(ury including intergenerational harm@ on those )ho sur i ed. %=.. The Commission finds )hat occurred during the .==0s a most serious indictment of the DPRK and its officials. 5n the highly centraliEed system of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea@ decisions related to food@ including production and distribution@ state budget allocation@ decisions related to humanitarian assistance and the use of international aid@ are ultimately determined by a small group of officials@ )ho are effecti ely not accountable to those affected by their decisions. 5n this conte>t@ the Commission considers crimes against humanity of star ation in section C of the present report. %=#. Ahile conditions ha e changed since the .==0s@ hunger and malnutrition continue to be )idespread. Deaths from star ation continue to be reported. The Commission is concerned that structural issues@ including la)s and policies that iolate the right to adequate food and freedom from hunger remain in place )hich could lead to the recurrence of mass star ation.

5% !rbitrary detention> torture> e:ecutions> enforced disappearance and political prison camps
%=&. The Commission bases its findings on arbitrary detention@ torture@ e>ecutions and prison camps mainly on the human rights obligations of the DPRK under article % *the right to life+@ article 2 *freedom from torture and cruel@ inhuman or degrading treatment+@ article = *right to liberty and security of the person+@ article .0 *humane treatment of detainees+@ and article .4 *right to a fair trial+ of the 5nternational Co enant on Ci il and Political Rights *5CCPR+. 5t also too; into account the rights of children under article % *right to life+@ article &2 *freedom from torture and unla)ful depri ation of liberty+ and article 40 *treatment in detention+ of the Con ention on the Rights of the Child *CRC+. &% !rbitrary arrests and enforced disappearances

%=4. The la)s of the DPRK pro ide the security agencies )ith broad po)ers of search@ seiEure and arrest during the in estigation and pre/trial e>amination phases. Contrary to the DPRK’s international obligation under article = *&+ of the 5CCPR@ )hich requires that anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge must be brought promptly before a (udge or other (udicial officer@ o ersight of the detention process is e>ercised only by the 8ffice of the ProsecutorN not the courts. According to the Code of Criminal Procedure@ the prosecutor must issue an arrest )arrant@ )hich must be presented to the suspect. Confirmation of the continued detention must be requested from the prosecutor )ithin 41 hours of the arrest..0.& %=$. 5n practice@ e en these requirements pro ided by DPRK la) are not al)ays complied )ith. A #0.# sur ey on detention and trial practices in the DPRK@ conducted by the Korean 9ar Association in the Republic of Korea@ found that only .1.. per cent of respondents )ere presented )ith an arrest )arrant or other document (ustifying their

DPRK Code of Criminal Procedure@ articles .%0@ .10 and .1#. Bee also statements by the delegation of the DPRK before the "uman Rights Committee@ as reflected in CCPR!C!BR..=4% *#00.+@ para. #0. &22


detention at the time of their arrest. The ma(ority ne er recei ed any information concerning the reason of their arrest. .0.4 Buspects are often not e en informed orally about the reasons for their arrests. ^ 7r Kim ,)ang/il )as arrested )ithout a )arrant )hen authorities found out that he had gone bac; and forth into China to sell rare pine mushrooms. 7r Kim )as not told )hy he had been arrested@ nor )as an arrest )arrant presented to him. .0.$ 7any other )itnesses confidentially inter ie)ed by the Commission had shared the same e>perience. %=%. Ahile a lac; of due process is apparent in the entire criminal (ustice system of the DPRK@ it becomes most apparent )hene er cases are considered to ha e a political dimension@ especially those handled by the Btate Becurity Department *BBD+ and the Korean People’s Army *KPA+ 7ilitary Becurity Command..0.% As a rule of thumb@ it can be said that the more political a case is considered to be@ the less a suspect can hope to en(oy e en the limited due process rights granted by the Constitution and Code of Criminal Procedure. Buspects of political )rongs are frequently arrested at night@ in the street or at their )or;place and brought to a detention facility. 8ften they can only guess from the line of interrogation as to )hy they )ere arrested. ^ 7r Ahn 7yong/chol testified that most inmates to )hom he spo;e during his long years of )or;ing as a political prison camp guard had no idea )hy they had been arrested3 <*hey all told me that one night )hen they )ere in bed# suddenly KState Security &epartment agentsL came to their house and they got arrested@ 2 )as taught that the inmates )ere bad people: 3ut these people# 2 found out# had no idea )hy they )ere there.J .0.2 ^ A former BBD agent confirmed that all they needed to arrest a person suspected of political )rongs )as a )ritten authoriEation from their director. Buspects )ere only informed orally about the reasons for their arrest..0.1 ^ 5n #001@ BBD agents arrested the #0/year old son of a )itness in "oeryoung County@ :orth "amgyong Pro ince..0.= The ictim had con erted to Christianity and had been in contact )ith a Korean/American pastor in China. The men did not present a )arrant and threatened the ictim’s mother that she should not as; any questions about )ho they )ere and )here they )ere ta;ing her son. T)o years later@ the family heard from a personal contact in the BBD that the son had been interrogated for si> months by the BBD in "oeryoung and )as e entually sent@ )ithout trial@ to Political Prison Camp :o. .%. The )itness agoniEes that he ;no)s that is son is I as good as deadJ. 9ut he does not )ish to lose hope of e er seeing him ali e again. %=2. According to article .1& of the DPRK Code of Criminal Procedure a suspect’s family must be notified )ithin 41 hours of the reasons for the arrest and the place of the suspect’s detention. 5n practice@ this requirement is often not respected. According to the sur ey of the Korean 9ar Association mentioned abo e@ only 4=.4 per cent of respondents had their family notified of their detention..0#0 %=1. Buspects of political crimes are regularly held incommunicado. 5n the eyes of friends@ co/)or;ers and neighbours@ the person simply disappears and may ne er be heard
.0.4 .0.$ .0.%

.0.2 .0.1 .0.= .0#0

K9A@ #0.# ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea@ p. #0#. Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ morning. According to article .#4 of the DPRK Code of Criminal Procedure@ the BBD is designated to in estigate the political crimes that the DPRK Criminal Code refers to as Ianti/state and anti/people crimesJ. The KPA 7ilitary Becurity Command is in principle only responsible for political crimes in ol ing military personnel@ but in practices also ta;es on other cases. Bee also section 555.-. Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ afternoon *003403$=+. T<C0#1. T?"0.0. Bee K9A@ #0.# ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.&+@ p. #0&.



from again. - en close family members are not notified about the reasons for the arrest or the )hereabouts of the ictim@ although family members can at times secure such information through informal channels using bribes or personal contacts. Politically moti ated arrests in the DPRK therefore regularly amount to enforced disappearances in that the initial arrest is follo)ed by refusal to disclose the fate or )hereabouts of the ictim@ )ho is placed outside the protection of the la)..0#. %==. The Commission finds that the refusal to disclose information about the fate of persons arrested for suspected political )rongs appears to be a deliberate feature of the system. 5t puts the population on notice that anyone )ho does not demonstrate absolute obedience can disappear at any time for reasons determined solely by@ and ;no)n only to@ the authorities. #% )nterrogation using torture and star4ation

200. The 7inistry of People’s Becurity *7PB+ operates a net)or; of police stations and interrogation detention centres * uryu;ang+ at the hamlet@ city@ county@ pro incial and national le el. Ahen in estigations ta;e longer than usual@ suspects may sometimes also be detained in holding centres *;ip yulso+@ especially if they are repatriated from China. .0## Buspects of political )rongs or crimes )ho are arrested by the Btate Becurity Department *BBD+ are initially detained in interrogation detention centres )hich e>ist at the county@ pro incial and national le el. 5n addition@ the BBD apparently maintains a number of secret interrogation detention facilities. These are often euphemistically described as Iguest housesJ. 20.. 5n a positi e legal de elopment@ the #00$ reform of the DPRK Code of Criminal Procedure introduced a time limit of t)o months during )hich the interrogation and related pre/trial detention must be concluded. Aith the appro al of the 8ffice of the Prosecutor@ this period can be e>tended@ in e>ceptional cases@ to four months. 4or ordinary crimes handled by the 7PB@ these time periods are usually respected. 20#. "o)e er@ the situation changes as soon as a case has a political dimension. Buspects of ma(or political )rongs may find themsel es in a detention interrogation centre any)here from a fe) days to si> months or more@ depending on )hen the in estigating agency considers that they ha e confessed to the entirety of their crimes and denounced all co/ perpetrators. They are often also interrogated successi ely at the county/le el BBD interrogation detention centre@ the pro incial BBD interrogation centre and@ in e>ceptional cases@ also the national headquarters of the BBD in Pyongyang. 20&. - en suspects of minor political )rongs often end up spending months in preliminary detention before their final punishment is determined@ because they are often mo ed bet)een security agencies. 5n many cases@ a suspect )ill be interrogated at length by the Btate Becurity Department or the KPA 7ilitary Becurity Command. 5f the suspect is



According to the preamble of the Fnited :ations Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from -nforced Disappearance@ adopted by ,eneral Assembly 42!.&&@ enforced disappearances occur )here Ipersons are arrested@ detained or abducted against their )ill or other)ise depri ed of their liberty by officials of different branches or le els of ,o ernment@ or by organiEed groups or pri ate indi iduals acting on behalf of@ or )ith the support@ direct or indirect@ consent or acquiescence of the ,o ernment@ follo)ed by a refusal to disclose the fate or )hereabouts of the persons concerned or a refusal to ac;no)ledge the depri ation of their liberty@ )hich places such persons outside the protection of the la).J Almost the same definition is contained in article # of the 5nternational Con ention for the Protection of All Persons from -nforced Disappearance@ )hich the DPRK has not yet signed. The treatment of suspects in (ip;yulso holding centres is also co ered in section 5C.C.#. #3&


found to ha e engaged only in minor )rongs@ he or she is handed o er to the 7PB@ )here the interrogation process is recommenced. <a= @ystematic and widespread use of torture

204. During the interrogation phase@ suspects are systematically degraded@ intimidated and tortured@ in an effort to subdue them and to e>tract a full confession. The physical set/ up of the interrogation detention centre is often already designed to degrade and intimidate. ^ After his forced repatriation from China@ 7r Kim Bong/(u )as first brought to the BBD interrogation centre in 7usan *:orth "amgyong Pro ince+@ )here he )as ;ept in an underground prison that appeared to him li;e a I ca"eJ. Buch underground cells are a common feature of BBD interrogation centres. ^ Bubsequently@ 7r Kim )as transferred for further interrogation to the 7PB interrogation detention centre in 7usan. 7r Kim e>plained that he had to cra)l on his hands and ;nees into the cell he shared )ith 40 other prisoners@ because the entrance door )as only about 10 cm high. The guards told him that I)hen you get to this prison you are not human# you are ;ust li e animals# and as soon as you get to this prison# you ha"e to cra)l ;ust li e animals:J.0#& ^ 7r ?eong K)ang/il testified that he and other suspects of political crimes )ere ;ept in an underground facility run by the BBD in "oeryong *:orth "amgyong Pro ince+..0#4 ^ Another )itness@ )ho )as arbitrarily detained@ described ho) the cell doors in the 7PB detention centre in Chong(in )ere also constructed so that inmates could only cra)l in and out. .0#$ 20$. Article .%2 of the DPRK Code of Criminal Procedure prohibits obtaining the suspect’s confession of guilt through forcible means. Article ##= of the Code of Criminal Procedure further specifies that@ in the process of interrogation@ )itnesses and suspects must be protected from the use of force or intimidation. 20%. 4ormer BBD and 7PB officials confidentially inter ie)ed by the Commission indicated that the general instructions they recei ed from their superiors did not require them to torture suspects. 8n occasion@ general instructions not to use torture ha e apparently been issued by the Bupreme <eader and other central go ernment institutions *indicating a)areness of the use of torture at the highest le els+. "o)e er@ in certain high/ profile cases@ orders )ere gi en by the Bupreme <eader to mercilessly in estigate certain indi iduals..0#% 4ormer DPRK officials also indicated that it is understood across the chain of command that torture is used@ especially in politically sensiti e cases@ to force suspects to confess and name their co/perpetrators. Ahile beating the suspect into a confession )as the most common method@ methods of more sophisticated cruelty )ere also employed. 202. Torture is an established feature of the interrogation process. The same means and methods of torture ha e been employed in different pro inces and at different times. 8fficials often regard it as entirely normal to beat suspects until they confess. Bome interrogation facilities ha e been specially outfitted to conduct more sophisticated methods of torture. 5n some cases@ higher/ran;ing officials e en instructed (unior officials on efficient torture techniques. This is indicated by the fact that. ^ A former BBD official described ho) a special torture chamber e>isted at the BBD interrogation detention facility in the pro ince )here the )itness )as deployed. .0#2 The torture chamber )as equipped )ith a )ater tan;@ in )hich suspects could be immersed until the suspect )ould fear dro)ning. The room also had )all shac;les that )ere specially arranged to hang people upside do)n.
.0#& .0#4 .0#$ .0#% .0#2

<ondon Public "earing@ #& 8ctober #0.&@ session . *003&.3#$+. Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ morning. T9,00$. 4ormer officials T?"0.$@ TAP0#4. T?"0.$.



Carious other torture instruments )ere also pro ided@ including long needles that )ould be dri en underneath the suspect’s fingernails and a pot )ith a )ater!hot chili pepper concoction that )ould be poured into the ictim’s nose. As a result of such se ere torture@ suspects )ould often admit to crimes they did not commit. ^ A )oman )ho )as tortured by the BBD in a different pro ince on suspicion of practising the Christian religion@ described ho) a )ater tan; similar to that described by the foregoing BBD official )as used to torture her. Bhe indicated that she )as fully immersed in cold )ater for hours. 8nly )hen she stood on her tip/toes )ould her nose be barely abo e the )ater le el. Bhe could hardly breathe. Bhe )as gripped by panic@ fearing that she might dro)n..0#1 ^ A former 7PB official re ealed that the pre/trial in estigation bureau in the headquarters of the 7inistry of People’s Becurity in Pyongyang made use of a small metal cage. Cictims )ould be crammed into the cage for se eral hours so that the circulation of blood to e>tremities becomes interrupted and other parts of the body s)ell up. The ictim turns into a rusty bro)n colour. After remo al from the cage@ the ictim is abruptly IunfoldedJ causing further e>cruciating pain. The )itness also recalled recei ing formal training on torture techniques from a senior in estigator holding the ran; of <ieutenant/Colonel. That senior official taught 7PB officials ho) to cut off a suspect’s blood circulation using straps@ )hile simultaneously placing the suspect in physical stress positions in order to inflict the ma>imum le el of pain. .0#= 201. 5n principle@ article #$& of the DPRK Criminal Code criminaliEes torture and other illegal means of interrogation. The DPRK has also stated that ictims of torture and coerci e means of interrogation are duly compensated. .0&0 Cictims can report cases of torture to the Prosecutor and special complaint mechanisms set up at the le el of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea@ the 7inistry of ?ustice and the :ational 5nspection Committee. .0&. 20=. "o)e er@ in practice there is an understanding that perpetrators )ill not be held accountable. The Commission only recei ed information about one case@ in )hich a perpetrator of torture )as held accountable. .0&# :one of the information gathered by the Commission notes any cases@ )here ictims of torture )ere pro ided )ith adequate@ effecti e and prompt reparation as )ould be required under international la)..0&& <b= Torture and inhuman treatment by the @tate @ecurity Department

2.0. The treatment of suspects is particularly brutal and inhumane in the interrogation detention centres of the BBD@ the primary agency tas;ed )ith suppressing Ianti/state and anti/people crimesJ. Buspects held by the BBD are also typically held incommunicado@ a condition that increases their ulnerability.
.0#1 .0#= .0&0




T<C0.. T9,0#&. "uman Rights Council@ :ational Report for the Fni ersal Periodic Re ie) submitted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea@ A!"RC!A,.%!%!PRK!. *#00=+@ para. &%. Rele ant testimony )as pro ided by TAP0..@ a former official. Bee also Btate Report of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the "uman Rights Committee@ CCPR!C!PRK!#000!#@ para. 42. Bee Database Center for :orth Korean "uman Rights *:KD9+@ Political Prison Camps in North Korea *oday@ #nd ed. *Beoul@ :KD9@ #0.#+@ p. 41$ *referring to the con iction and sentence of an BBD officer to .0 years of imprisonment for torturing and ;illing a political prisoner+.. 8n the obligation to pro ide adequate effecti e and prompt reparation for torture and other gross human rights iolations@ see 9asic Principles and ,uidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Cictims of ,ross Ciolations of 5nternational "uman Rights <a) and Berious Ciolations of 5nternational "umanitarian <a)@ adopted by ,eneral Assembly resolution %0!.42@ paras .$ ff.. Bee also "uman Rights Committee@ ,eneral Comment :o. #0@ article 2@ "R5!,-:!.!Re .. at &0 *.==4+@ para. .$. #3'


2... 5nhumane conditions of detention e>ert additional pressure on detainees to confess quic;ly to secure their sur i al. During the interrogation phase@ suspects recei e rations designed to cause hunger and star ation. 2.#. 5n some interrogation detention centres@ inmates also been sub(ected to forced labour in farming and construction. This iolates international standards )hich prohibit the imposition of forced labour on persons not duly con icted..0&4 2.&. 5nmates@ )ho are not undergoing interrogations or )ho are not at )or;@ are forced to sit or ;neel the entire day in a fi>ed posture in often se erely o ercro)ded cells. They are not allo)ed to spea;@ mo e@ or loo; around )ithout permission. 4ailure to obey these rules is punished )ith beatings@ food ration cuts or forced physical e>ercise. Punishment is often also imposed collecti ely on all cellmates. 2.4. 5n accordance )ith international standards@ men and )omen are generally separated. "o)e er@ children of all ages are often detained together )ith adults@ especially in cases of interrogation follo)ing forced repatriation from China. Ooung children are generally allo)ed to stay )ith their mothers. Children are ;ept under the same inhumane conditions as adults@ although they are usually e>empted from the most strenuous types of forced labour. 2.$. The detainees endure squalid hygienic conditions that facilitate the transmission of diseases. 7edical care is pro ided only to those )ho are e>tremely sic; or not at all. A considerable number of prisoners die from star ation or disease. ^ 7r ?eong K)ang/il )as detained in an underground interrogation facility operated by the BBD in "oeryoung *:orth "amgyong Pro ince+. "e )as held there on suspicion of being a spy of the Republic of Korea because 7r ?eong had engaged in trading )ith R8K citiEens. During the .0 months he spent in detention@ 7r ?eong )as gi en so little food that his )eight dropped from 2$ ;ilograms to &% ;ilograms. 5n order to ma;e him confess@ 7r ?eong )as beaten )ith clubs@ )hile hanging upside do)n. <i;e numerous other )itnesses inter ie)ed by the Commission@ 7r ?eong )as also sub(ected to the so/called Zpigeon torture’. <[9]our hands are handcuffed behind your bac : And then they hang you so you )ould not be able to stand or sit? 7r ?eong described. .0&$ 8n repeated occasion@ 7r ?eong had to spend a full three days at a time in the pigeon torture stress position@ enduring e>cruciating pain3 <*here are no people )atching you: *here is nobody: And you can5t stand# you can5t sleep: 2f you are hung li e that for three days# four days# you urinate# you defecate# you are totally dehydrated: @ [the pigeon torture] )as the most painful of all tortures@ [it] )as so painful that 2 felt it )as better to die:? .0&% 7r ?eong informed a BBD prosecution bureau official that he had been tortured until he pro ided a false confession@ but this )as to no a ail3 <2 thought the prosecutor )as going to help me# but the prosecutor left and then the in"estigator came bac in and started hitting me# started assaulting me and hanging me upside do)n: *he neDt day# the prosecutor came bac and said# MCan you tal honestlyI5 And 2 said# M9es# yes# 25m a spy5 L 2 confessed:?.0&2

.0&4 .0&$

.0&% .0&2

Bee the legal standards reflected in section 5C.-.4.a+ *iii+. Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ morning *0#3043$0+. A depiction of the pigeon torture@ dra)n by another ictim@ 7r Kim ,)ang/il@ is reproduced at the end of section 5C.-.# c+. Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ morning *0#30=300+. Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ morning *0#30=34$+.



^ 7s K)on Ooung/hee )as detained and interrogated at the BBD 5nterrogation Detention Centre in 7usan for one )ee; because her brother disappeared@ and there )as suspicion that he had fled the country. .0&1 During the interrogation@ 7s K)on )as beaten on the head )ith a club. Bhe )as also forced to )rite a self/criticism statement of .00 pages. "er beating led to her de eloping a form of tumour@ )hich had to be surgically remo ed after she e entually managed to escape to the Republic of Korea. ^ 7r Kim -un/chol )as detained and interrogated for % months at the BBD interrogation detention facility in 7usan *:orth "amgyong Pro ince+@ because he had been illegally in Russia@ and during that time tried to apply for political asylum. A confession@ on the basis of )hich he )as sent to Political Prison Camp * )anliso+ :o. .$@ )as e>tracted by hitting him )ith )ooden bars. 7r Kim continues to suffer from the serious in(uries sustained to his head and body3 <[2]t5s been ten years but 2 still ha"e scars: And my teeth# since 2 came to South Korea# the South Korean Ao"ernment has gi"en me artificial teeth# but at the time my teeth )ere not there: And if you loo at my ear# it5s been -8 years and still my ear hurts: And on my head# because 2 )as hurt )ith )ooden clubs: And so 2 still ha"e scars# 2 thin about -8 scars in all on the head.J .0&= ^ I7s PJ )as interrogated for .0 days by the BBD in an interrogation detention facility in :orth "amgyong Pro ince. "er interrogations )ere accompanied by systematic beatings3 <*hey ;ust basically beat you to near death: ::: 2f my ans)er did not satisfy the official interrogator than he made me neel do)n on the concrete floor and started beating me:? Ahen inmates )ere not being interrogated@ they had to ;neel motionless and )ithout spea;ing in their cell. 5f someone )as caught tal;ing@ the entire cell had to perform .@000 squats. 7any people fainted during this e>ercise. 8n one occasion@ 7s P noticed that a fello) inmate )as lying in the cell )ithout mo ing. Ahen she brought this to the attention of the guards@ they punished her by stomping on her and hitting her )ith stic; until her head started bleeding. 5n addition@ the entire group of people in her cell )as punished by being depri ed of food for three days. .040 2.%. 7any suspects die at interrogation detention centres as a result of torture@ deliberate star ation or illnesses de eloped or aggra ated by the terrible li ing conditions. ^ 7r ?i Beong/ho testified that his father )as arrested as he tried to escape across the Tumen Ri er to China..04. 5n :o ember #00%@ 7r ?i’s father died as a result of in(uries sustained inflicted through torture@ at the hand of BBD agents. Ahen it became apparent that he )ould not sur i e@ BBD agents )heeled him )ith a cart to his home and dumped him there e en though no one )as home to ta;e care of him. :eighbours later found him dead. ^ 5n August #0..@ BBD agents arrested the .2/year old son of the )itness in "oeryoung City@ :orth "amgyong Pro ince for )atching Bouth Korean mo ies. "e )as so badly tortured that his left an;le )as shattered and his face )as bruised and grossly disfigured. The BBD only released him after the family raised a large bribe. Bhortly after his release@ the boy died from a brain haemorrhage from )hich he suffered as a result of the beatings endured under interrogation. .04# ^ 5n #00.@ the )itness and other inmates )ere beaten at an BBD 5nterrogation Centre in :orth "amgyong Pro ince@ including by smashing her head against the )all. 8ne man from her group

.0&1 .0&= .040 .04. .04#

Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ morning. Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ morning *0.3&$300+. Aashington Public "earing@ &0 8ctober #0.&. Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ morning. T?"0#1. #3$


of detainees died from the in(uries sustained. Considering that the )itness )as forced to dig shallo) mass gra es she inferred that more inmates must ha e been dying in other cells. .04& ^ 5n #004@ the )itness@ a young )oman@ )as forcibly repatriated from China and detained at the BBD 5nterrogation Detention Centre in 8nsong *:orth "amgyong Pro ince+. Bhe suffered there from se ere aginal bleeding and pain due to an undetected ectopic *e>tra/uterine+ pregnancy. Despite her pleas@ she recei ed no medical assistance. Bhe )as not e en allo)ed to ;eep her sanitary nap;ins. Bhe )as also beaten )hen she as;ed to be seated further a)ay from the cell’s defecation hole@ because the stench made her nauseous. . Ahen her health situation became critical@ she managed to bribe her )ay out of detention using money that other cellmates had managed to hide. Doctors at the local hospital ga e her no chance of sur i al. Btill@ she miraculously reco ered. The )itness sa) other detainees dying from star ation and )ater/borne diseases. Bhe also obser ed ho) a man )ith a heart condition collapsed during physical strenuous e>ercise and lay motionless. The guards later dragged the man a)ay and he )as not seen again. .044 ^ BBD agents interrogated and tortured an elderly )oman at the same detention centre in 8nsong in #00%. The torture and star ation she endured aggra ated her pre/e>isting li er disease. The )oman )as denied medical attention in an attempt to force her brother to return from China and turn himself in to the BBD. After .$ days at the interrogation centre@ the )oman died. .04$ <c= Torture and inhumane treatment by the *inistry of People’s @ecurity

2.2. Aitnesses also described torture and deliberate star ation at the hands of 7inistry of People’s Becurity *7PB+ interrogators@ especially )hen they )ere being interrogated for unauthoriEed tra el to China or other politically sensiti e conduct. The detention conditions are similar to that of BBD detention@ e>cept that suspects are often allo)ed to recei e occasional isits from family members. ^ 7r A )as interrogated by the 7PB@ because he frequently tra elled to China in order to secure the means to support his family in the DPRK. "e described being hit )ith a thic; )ooden club@ sustaining lasting in(uries to his ;idneys3 <*hey hit me on my bac doFens of times# and 2 almost fainted# 2 could not scream anymore: *hey stopped beating me because 2 could no longer scream @ 2 thin they )ere told to beat me until they got an ans)er:?.04% ^ 7r Kim ,)ang/il described ho) the police officers interrogating him propped him up in the Ipigeon tortureJ position. .042 5n this e>posed position@ his chest )as beaten until he omited blood. 5n addition@ he )as sub(ected to the Imotorcycle tortureJ and Iplane tortureJ@ )here he )as forced to assume e>tremely painful stress positions in ol ing the prolonged e>tension of his arms until he collapsed..041 Ahen they )ere not being interrogated@ prisoners had to stay the entire day in their cell in a ;neeling position@ )ith the head to the ground. Prisoners )ho mo ed )ere beaten. - entually@ 7r Kim falsely confessed to the crimes for )hich the police )anted to indict him. ^ 7s P recounted that she )as beaten so badly during interrogations carried out by the 7PB in 8nsong *:orth "amgyong Pro ince+ that both her legs )ere bro;en. Bhe also suffered fractures on her spine..04=

.04& .044 .04$ .04% .042 .041


T9,0.1. T?"0&#. T?"0#4. Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ afternoon *0#34134%+. Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ morning. Depictions of the IpigeonJ@ IplaneJ and ImotorcycleJ tortures@ dra)n and submitted by 7r Kim ,)ang/il@ are reproduced at the end of this section. Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ afternoon.



^ At the 5nterrogation Detention Centre of the 7PB in 7usan@ 7r Kim Bong/(u )itnessed ho) a cellmate )as punished for ha ing spo;en )ithout authoriEation. The guard ordered him to stic; his hand through the narro) gap bet)een the cell bars. The guard then beat the prisoner’s hand about &0 times@ using a metal gun cleaning tool s)ung )ith full force. ISeeing this prisoner5s hand 2 )as shoc edJ@ 7r Kim recalled@ and elaborated3 <4e had a lump as a result of the hitting )ith this de"ice that )as as thic as his o)n hand: *he guard told the prisoner to return to the cell but the prisoner could not retrie"e his [s)ollen hand through the narro) bars] and the prisoner ;ust sEuatted do)n and continued crying# he couldn5t do anything else:?.0$0 ^ 7r Kim "yu; )as .% years old@ )hen he )as forcibly repatriated from China. After initial interrogation by the BBD@ he )as handed o er to the 7inistry of People’s Becurity in 8nsong *:orth "amgyong Pro ince+. The police officers interrogating him beat his ;nees )ith a stic;@ )hile placing an additional stic; in the bac; of his ;nees to increase the pain. After that he )as sub(ected to the pigeon torture described abo e. 7r Kim )as ;ept for longer in the interrogation centre@ so that he )ould turn .2 years and could be tried as an adult under DPRK <a). .0$. ^ 5n 4ebruary #0..@ the )itness )as repatriated from China. After enduring .# days of beatings and interrogations by the BBD@ she )as handed o er to the 7PB. During t)o months of detention in an 7PB interrogation detention Center@ she and other inmates )ere beaten )ith arious ob(ects@ in particular during interrogations. People )ho fainted during an interrogation session )ere accused of fa;ing their unconsciousness and made to start again. Although she paid bribes in e>change for more lenient treatment@ the )itness )as still sub(ected to beatings )ith )heelbarro) handles@ gun barrels and pieces of )ood. Detainees had to engage in forced labour during the day. T)o men )ere beaten to death because they had not reached their )or; targets. A )oman star ed to death. Ahile in their cells@ inmates had to sit still the entire time in a cross legged position )ith their hands on their ;nees. 5f they mo ed@ they )ould be forced to do headstands and squats or they )ere beaten. Bome guards too; ad antage of the coerci e setting to rape female inmates@ )ho )ere ta;en to a nearby field for IquestioningJ..0$#

.0$0 .0$.


<ondon Public "earing@ #& 8ctober #0.&@ session . *003&%30.+. Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ morning@ )ith additional information pro ided in a more detailed confidential inter ie). TB"0.4. #3.


^ ^ ^ ^

Pigeon Torture 6 Dra)ing submitted by former prisoner 7r Kim K)ang/il



Bcale@ Aeroplane and 7otorcycle Torture 6 Dra)ing submitted by former prisoner 7r Kim K)ang/il <d= Decision to punish through Fudicial process or e:tralegal means

2.1. At the end of the interrogation process@ the ictim is forced to attest to the accuracy of a confessional statement dra)n up by the in estigating agency by in;ing his finger print on the document. At the BBD@ the same document also obligates the ictim 6 under threat of se ere reprisals 6 ne er to re eal any of the e>periences in the interrogation detention centre. 2.=. At this stage@ the in estigating agency )ill also ma;e the important decision )hether to punish the suspect through the (udicial process or by e>tra/legal means@ )ithout in ol ing the courts. These decisions ta;e into account the percei ed gra ity of the )rong@ the socio/political family bac;ground *songbun+ of the suspect and the political e>pediency of disposing of the case through the (udicial process or by e>tra/legal means. 2#0. A rule of thumb for political cases handled by the BDD is that the more serious a political case handled is@ the more li;ely it is that it )ill be disposed through e>tra/legal means that bypass the (udiciary. The decision/ma;ing is strongly centraliEed and regularly in ol es consultation of pro incial and national headquarters. 5f the interrogating BBD office considers that case to be so serious that it )arrants enforced disappearance to a secret political prison camp or summary e>ecution@ this usually requires a decision from at least BBD national headquarters. 2#.. Courts appear not to e er be in ol ed in the decision to send a person to a political prison camp. This e>clusion iolates not only international la)@ but also article .#2 of the DPRK Code of Criminal Procedure Code. According to that pro ision@ the Pro incial People’s Courts ha e (urisdiction o er cases in ol ing political crimes that may result in life/time imprisonment. 8ccasionally@ high profile cases in ol ing )hat is seen as a ma(or



)rong are referred to the courts@ )hen the authorities consider it politically e>pedient to pro ide a highly isible )arning to the general public@ notably through a public trial and e>ecution. The Bpecial 7ilitary Court operated by the Btate Becurity Department is often in ol ed in such cases..0$& 2##. "o)e er@ the (udicial route is usually reser ed for political cases of medium se erity. The in estigating BBD section hands such cases o er to the BBD Prosecution 9ureau to prepare the indictment and trial. Depending on the seriousness of the political )rong@ the BBD Prosecutor see;s a sentence of e>ecution@ imprisonment in an ordinary prison camp or a short/term forced labour detention camp. 2#&. Ahen the BBD determines that the suspect committed no more than a minor political )rong or the case is deemed non/political@ it usually refers the case for further interrogation to the 7PB. 2#4. Ahere the 7PB handles a case@ the re erse rule of thumb applies3 The more serious cases are disposed of through the (udiciary@ )hile the courts are often bypassed in less serious cases..0$4 2#$. 5f the (udicial route is pursued@ the 7PB cooperates )ith the 8ffice of the Prosecutor@ )hich see;s prison sentences or@ )here deemed appropriate and politically e>pedient@ the death penalty. 2#%. 5n cases of relati ely minor )rongs@ the 7PB commits a suspect to imprisonment and forced labour in a short/term forced labour detention facility for periods ranging from a fe) months to t)o years. 5n some cases@ county le el BBD offices may follo) the same practice in case they end up dealing )ith suspects of relati ely minor )rongs. 2#2. Buch non/(udicial prison IsentencesJ iolate the suspect’s right to a fair and public hearing by a competent@ independent and impartial tribunal established by la)@ )hich is established by article .4 of the 5CCPR. They )ould also appear to be incompatible )ith the DPRK’s o)n la)s@ in particular its Administrati e Penalty Act that allo)s for administrati e penalties of unpaid labour@ but not imprisonment. Buch non/(udicial sentences )ould also constitute the criminal offence pro ided for under article #$# of the Criminal Code. "o)e er@ the Commission has not been able to document a single case@ in )hich security officials )ere con icted for illegally usurping the sentencing po)ers of the (udiciary in contra ention of article #$# of the Criminal Code. 2#1. BBD and 7PB officials operate under great pressure to produce perpetrators of political )rongs. They are often afraid of becoming the targets of suspicion and punishment@ if they appear to be too lenient )ith suspects. As a result@ e en those un(ustly accused of political )rongs often find it difficult@ if not impossible to escape the control of the security apparatus )ithout any punishment. "o)e er@ inter entions by politically connected friends@ and increasingly also the payment of bribes@ often allo) suspects of lesser )rongs to secure their release.



4or instance@ the death sentence preceding the e>ecution of 7r ?ang Bong/Thae; )as handed do)n by the Bpecial 7ilitary Court of the Btate Becurity Department handed do)n. Bee ITraitor ?ang Bong Thae; ->ecutedJ@ KCNA@ .& December #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).;cna.co.(p!item!#0.&!#0.&.#!ne)s.&!#0.&.#.&/0$ee.html. Bee also belo)@ section C.-.$ a+. The Commission could not establish ho) much autonomy the 7PB en(oys in ta;ing decisions on ho) to dispose of a case. According to the Beoul/based Korea 5nstitute for :ational Fnification *K5:F+@ cases handled by the 7PB are usually referred to a People’s Bafety Committee dominated by the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea@ )hich instructs the 7PB ho) to handle the case. Bee Kim Boo/am@ IThe :orth Korean Penal Code@ Criminal Procedures@ and their Actual ApplicationsJ@ K5:F@ #00%@ p. 40.




Political prison camps

2#=. 5f they are not e>ecuted immediately@ persons held accountable for ma(or political )rongs are forcibly disappeared to political prison camps that officially do not e>it. 7ost ictims are incarcerated for life@ )ithout chance of lea ing the camps ali e. Camp inmates are denied any contact )ith the outside )orld. :ot e en their closest family members recei e any notification as to )hether they are dead or ali e. 2&0. The camps ser e to permanently remo e from society those groups@ families and indi iduals that may politically@ ideologically or economically challenge the current political system and leadership of the DPRK. The limited information that seeps out from the secret camps also creates a spectre of fear among the general population in the DPRK@ creating a po)erful deterrent against any future challenges to the political system. 9ecause the camps are generally located in remote@ mountainous areas@ the innocuous e>pression that someone has been Isent to the mountainsJ has become synonymous in the DPRK )ith state/sponsored enforced disappearance. Be eral )itnesses described to the Commission that people )ere a)are of the camps and had a ague idea about iolations going on in the camps@ )hich made them ery afraid..0$$ ^ 7s ?eong ?in/h)a described that the camps )ere generally ;no)n and feared3 <[E]"ery North Korean no)s [about the camps]: ,e ha"e a perception that once you are in# there is no )ay out: 2t5s a cruel# cruel place# and you )ould guess# you are sometimes beaten by the police and so from that you can imagine ho) harsh the treatment )ould be inside:? .0$% ^ 7r. Kim "yu; also indicated that e erybody ;no)s about the camps@ although )hat happens inside the camps and the ;ind of life the inmates )ould li e )ere not ;no)n specifically3 <,e no) that once you are in# there5s no )ay out: E"erybody ne) about that: And )e ne) that there is no due process to enter the [political prison camp] and also that a family can disappear o"ernight and then people )ould get the hint that the family had been sent to [a prison camp]:?.0$2 2&.. The authorities strenuously deny the e>istence of political prison camps in the DPRK..0$1 The ery e>istence of political prison camps is considered a state secret@ e en though international human rights groups ha e reported about them since the late .=10s. .0$= The authorities are deploying considerable efforts to conceal details about the prison camps from the outside )orld. The camps are disguised as military or farming facilities and only selected officials )ith a special security clearance are permitted to isit them. :o human rights organiEation has e er been gi en permission to isit the areas )here the camps are located. - en in classified internal terminology@ the camps are euphemistically called Icontrolled areasJ * )anliso+. Their inmates are referred to as Imo ed peopleJ * e;umin+.

.0$% .0$2 .0$1


A sur ey among persons )ho fled the DPRK@ carried out by the Beoul/based@ non/ go ernmental Database Center for "uman Rights *:KD9+@ found that 2$ per cent of respondents ;ne) about the e>istence of political prison camps@ )hile they still li ed in the DPRK. Bee :KD9@ Political Prison Camps in North Korea *oday@ p. .%. Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ afternoon *0.3023$0+. Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ morning *003$034$+. During the Fni ersal Periodic Re ie)@ the delegate of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea insisted that Iso/called political prisoners’ camps do not e>istJ@ admitting only to the e>istence of reform institutions )here persons sentenced of anti/state or other crimes ser e sentences of reform through labour. Bee A!"RC!.&!.&@ para. 4$. Bee also the statements of the DPRK delegation denying the e>istence of political prison camps before the "uman Rights Committee reflected in CCPR!C!BR..=4$ @ para. &.. Bee 7innesota <a)yers’ 5nternational "uman Rights Committee and "uman Rights Aatch!Asia@ 4uman Rights in the &emocratic People5s Republic of Korea *7inneapolis@ 7innesota <a)yers 5nternational "uman Rights Committee@ .=11+. #&&


The 9ureau of the Btate Becurity Department that administers the camps *9ureau :o. 2+ is ;no)n as the I4arming 9ureauJ. Confidential )itness testimony indicates that diplomats of the DPRK are under strict instructions ne er to admit to the e>istence of the camps. 2&#. ,uards@ released inmates and communities neighbouring the camps are threatened )ith se ere reprisals if they disclose any information about the camps. 7ost disturbingly@ the camp authorities ha e recei ed orders to ;ill all prisoners in case of an armed conflict or re olution so as to destroy the primary e idence of the camps’ e>istence. The initial order seems to ha e been gi en by Kim 5l/sung himself@ and the order )as later reaffirmed by Kim ?ong/il. ^ 7r Ahn 7yong/chol testified that in case of a )ar@ the guards )ere supposed to I)ipe outJ all the inmates Ito eliminate any e"idenceJ about the e>istence of the camps. 4ormer guards from other camps and officials confidentially inter ie)ed by the Commission )ere a)are of the same order. 7r Ahn and other )itnesses also e>plained that specific plans e>ist on ho) to implement the order and that drills )ere held on ho) to ;ill large numbers of prisoners in a short period of time. .0%0 ^ 7r Kim -un/chol started spea;ing publicly about his three years of detention at Political Prison Camp :o. .$ once he escaped to the Republic of Korea. The authorities retaliated by e>ecuting his brother in accordance )ith the guilt by association policy. The tragic e ent caused his sister to ta;e her o)n life..0%. 2&&. Despite all efforts to deny and conceal the e>istence of the political prison camp system@ the Commission finds that an e>tensi e system of political prison camps has been in continuous e>istence since the late .=$0s and continues to operate up to the present time. 5t has inter ie)ed numerous people )ho ha e personally e>perienced or seen the political prison camps@ including former inmates and guards. Be eral of these )itnesses testified in the public hearings..0%# 2&4. Additionally@ the Commission has obtained satellite images of the camps and analysis pro ided by professional satellite imagery analysts@ supplemented by the testimonies of former guards and inmates )ho could identify rele ant structures. .0%& These

.0%. .0%#


Testimony of 7r Ahn 7yong/chol@ Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ afternoon *003.13.0+. Confidential inter ie)s )ith )itnesses T?"004 and T?"04.. Bee also the testimony pro ided by 7r K and 7r Bong Ooon/bo;@ To;yo Public "earing@ &0 August #0.&@ afternoon. Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ morning. Beoul Public "earing3 7r Bhin Dong/hyu;@ #0 August #0.&@ afternoonN 7s Kim Ooung/soonN 7r ?eong K)ang/il and 7r Kim -un/chol@ all #. August #0.&@ morningN 7r Ahn 7yong/chol@ #. August #0.&@ afternoonN 7r ?i Beong/ho@ ## August #0.@ morningN and 7r Kang Chol/h)an@ #4 August #0.&@ afternoon. To;yo Public "earing3 7r K@ &0 August #0.&@ afternoon. <ondon Public "earing3 7s Par; ?i/hyun@ #& 8ctober #0.&@ session #. During the Beoul Public "earing@ former inmates 7r. Bhin Dong/hyu; *#0 August #0.&@ afternoon+@ 7r. ?eong K)ang/il *#. August #0.&@ morning+ and former guard 7r. Ahn 7yong/ chol *#. August #0.&@ afternoon+ displayed and e>plained satellite images co ering Camps :o. .4 and .$. During the Aashington Public hearing *&. 8ctober #0.&@ afternoon+@ Da id "a); of the F.B. American@ non/go ernmental Committee for "uman Rights in :orth Korea *"R:K+ and professional satellite imagery analyst ?oel B. 9ermudeE pro ided e idence relating to Camp .1 and ##. 5n addition@ "R:K submitted recent satellite imagery on Camp :o. #$@ )hich is also included in the public report of the Committee for "uman Rights in :orth Korea!Digital ,lobe@ I:orth Korea’s Camp :o. #$J@ #0.&. A ailable from http3!!hrn;.org!uploads!pdfs!"R:KWCamp#$W#0.&0#WFpdatedW<].pdf. Amnesty 5nternational submitted to the Commission recent satellite imagery and pertaining e>pert analysis co ering Camps :o. .4@ .$ and .%. The satellite images and related information submitted is also reflected in Amnesty 5nternational@ I:orth Korea3 :e) Batellite 5mages sho) continued 5n estment in the 5nfrastructure of RepressionJ@ #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).amnesty.org!en!library!info!ABA#4!0.0!#0.&!en and Amnesty 5nternational@ I:orth Korea3 :e) images sho) blurring of prison camps and illagesJ@ #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).amnesty.org!en!ne)s!north/;orea/ne)/images/sho)/blurring/prison/camps/and/ illages/



images not only pro e to the Commission’s satisfaction the continued e>istence and on/ going operation of large/scale detention facilities. They also pro ide a clear picture of the e olution of the prison camp structure and corroborate the first/hand accounts recei ed from former prisoners and guards. During the course of the Commission’s public hearings@ se eral former prisoners and guards )ere able to identify and describe the locations of camps on satellite images and to identify specific structures@ )here forced labour@ torture@ e>ecutions or other camp/related acti ities are being carried out. <a= 8ocation and si7e of political prison camps

2&$. 4our large prison camps are ;no)n to e>ist in the DPRK today. 5n the DPRK’s o)n internal terminology@ the camps are assigned numbers to distinguish them.0%43 / Political Prison Camp :o..4 co ers .$0 square ;ilometres of a mountainous area near Kaechon City in Bouth Pyongan Pro ince. .0%$ 5t appears to ha e been in e>istence since the .=%0s and )as transferred to its present location in the early .=10s. All inmates are incarcerated for life. 8nly one prisoner is ;no)n to ha e successfully escaped the camp 6 7r Bhin Dong/hyu; )ho testified publicly before the Commission. According to )hat can be seen on satellite images@ the camp appears to ha e been e>panded since his escape in #00$..0%% / Political Prison Camp :o. .$ is spread out o er an area of &20 square ;ilometres co ering se eral alleys in Oodo; County@ Bouth Pyongan Pro ince..0%2 Ahile the inmates of all other e>isting prison camps are incarcerated for life )ithout any chance of release@ .0%1 Camp :o. .$ distinguishes itself in that it has been di ided into a total control Eone * ;eontong;e yooyeo + and a re olutioniEing Eone *hyu myungh)a ooyeo +. Total control Eone inmates are considered ideologically irredeemable and incarcerated for life. Re olutioniEing Eone prisoners are incarcerated for less serious )rongs and tend to come from pri ileged families )ith ery good songbun. 5n the past@ they had a chance of being released after a fe) years of incarceration@ if they con inced the camp authorities through hard )or;@ diligent participation in daily indoctrination sessions@ and often also the payment of bribes@ of their ideological rehabilitation. .0%=
#0.&/0&/02 Bome of the images presented at the public hearings and in submissions@ as )ell as a map sho)ing the appro>imate location of political and ordinary prison camps are a ailable on the )ebsite of the Commission3 ))).ohchr.org!-:!"R9odies!"RC!Co5DPRK. The satellite images at the disposal of the Commission )ere obtained from commercial satellite ser ices. The Commission )as informed that the intelligence ser ices of the Fnited Btates of America@ the Republic of Korea and perhaps also other countries are li;ely to ha e higher resolution images of the camps. The declassification of such imagery )ould pro ide an e en clearer picture of the e olution and current situation of the camps. 5t is common practice in the DPRK to assign numbers to institutions. "o)e er@ the system for the numbers assigned to different Political Prison Camps * )anliso+ is not clear. The camps do not seem to ha e been numbered based on the order of their establishment@ and there also appear to be missing or un;no)n numbers. The ,eoCoordinates of the central area of Camp :o. .4 are &=.&4.$: /.#%.0&.=-. Bee testimony of former Camp :o. .4 inmate 7r Bhin Dong/hyu;@ Beoul Public "earing@ #0 August #0.&@ afternoon. The ,eoCoordinates of the central area of Camp .$ are &=.40&#:/.#%.$0$=-. 8nly in ery rare occasions@ a high/le el officials sent to a total control Eone might be released based on instructions from the ery top. Bee 7r Ahn 7yong/chol@ Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ afternoon. 8ne such reported case is that of 7r Kim Oong@ a former <ieutenant/ Colonel@ )ho )as incarcerated at Camp :o. .4 after details about his father’s bad songbun )ere disco ered. Bee Da id "a);@ *he 4idden Aulag@ #nd ed. *Aashington D.C.@ "R:K@ #0.#+@ pp. $. ff. Beoul Public "earing3 7s Kim Ooung/soonN 7r ?eong K)ang/il and 7r Kim -un/ chol@ #. August #0.&@ morningN 7r Ahn 7yong/chol@ #. August #0.&@ afternoonN and 7r Kang Chol/h)an@ #4 August #0.&@ afternoon. Bome obser ers fear that releases from the re olutioniEing Eones are no longer carried out. Bee testimony of 7r Da id "a);@ Aashington Public "earing@ &. #&'


.0%$ .0%%

.0%2 .0%1



/ Political Prison Camp :o. .% co ers about $%0 square ;ilometres of rugged terrain in 7yonggan@ :orth "amgyong Pro ince..020 5t is located in close pro>imity to the P’unggye/ri nuclear test site. 4irst/hand )itness testimony indicates that the camp has e>isted since the .=20s@ although it )as much smaller at that time..02. 5nmates li e in t)o settlement areas in the torth)estern and southeastern areas of the camp. / A detention facility often referred to as Political Prison Camp :o. #$ is located near Chong(in City@ :orth "amgyong Pro ince. .02# Ahile Political Camps :o. .4@ .$ and .% each ha e tens of thousands of prisoners@ Camp :o. #$ has a population of a fe) thousand prisoners. 5t also distinguishes itself from the other camps@ because it loo;s more li;e a ma>imum security prison )ith a main bloc; surrounded by high )alls. 5ts prisoners are incarcerated for life )ithout trial on political grounds@ )hich is )hy Camp :o. #$ can be considered a political prison camp. 5n recent years@ Camp :o. #$ has been e>panded. 5t almost doubled in surface/siEe since #00% and no) co ers an area of =10 square metres. 2&%. Political Prison Camps :o. .4@ .$ and .% are administered by the BBD. 5t is li;ely@ but not entirely certain@ that the BBD also controls Camp :o. #$. 2&2. The Commission cannot e>clude the possibility that there are additional@ so far undetected secret detention facilities@ )here political prisoners are detained in conditions similar to those of the ;no)n political prison camps. 5n particular@ some )itnesses pro ided information suggesting that the KPA 7ilitary Becurity Command may operate smaller special prison camps in undisclosed locations@ )here officers and ordinary soldiers are held )ithout trial on political grounds. .02& ^ 7r Kim ?oo/il@ a former KPA officer@ e>plained ho) the Bupreme <eader Kim ?ong/il personally isited his battalion in .==%. Ahen Kim ?ong/il noticed that the soldiers )ere not pro ided )ith food@ he immediately di ested the head of the battalion of his ran; and had him sent@ )ithout trial@ to a KPA prison camp. 7r Kim ?oo/il indicated that these camps )ere detention facilities run by the KPA and located on KPA facilities. "e added3 I Some people ser"ed a life sentence there: Anyone )ho )ould be released from these military prisons# they could no longer sur"i"e: *hey couldnSt get a ;ob because of the political nature of their crime.J.024 2&1. 5t is certain that other political prison camps e>isted in the past. There may ha e been .# camps or more. 8 er time@ the system has been consolidated. Bome camps )ere closed do)n and the remaining inmates transferred to other sites@ )hich )ere e>panded..02$ / 4rom the .=%0s until its closure in mid/#0.#@ the BBD operated Political Prison Camp :o. ## near "oeryong *:orth "amgyong Pro ince+. The authorities are belie ed to ha e closed the camp@ because of its pro>imity to the Chinese border@ )hich increased the ris; of successful escapes and of information about the Camp being transmitted to the outside )orld. .02%

.020 .02. .02# .02&

.024 .02$


8ctober #0.&@ afternoon. The ,eoCoordinates for the central area of Camp .% are 4...14=: .#=.#0&#-. T?"04.. The ,eoCoordinates for Camp #$ are 4..$00#: .#=.4&&4-. T<C0#$ and T?"04.. Bee also :KD9@ Prisoners in North Korea *oday# #nd ed. *Beoul@ :KD9@ #0.#+@ p. =& referring to a camp operated by the KPA 7ilitary Becurity Command in "oechang County@ Bouth Pyongan Pro ince. Bee also ,ood 4riends@ I:orth Korea Today :o. 4%$J@ #$ ?uly #0.#. A ailable from http3!!))).goodfriendsusa.blogspot.ch!#0.#!01!north/;orea/today/no/ 4%$/(uly/#$/#0.#.html@ pro iding details on a KPA 7ilitary Becurity Command detention camp in Kumya County@ Bouth "amgyong Pro ince. <ondon Public "earing@ #& 8ctober #0.&@ session 4 *003&43#%+. Rele ant testimony )as pro ided by 7r Ahn 7yong/chol in a follo)/up inter ie) to his public hearing testimony and confidential inter ie)s )ith 7s Kim "ye/soo;N T?"004N and T?"04.. Bee also :KD9@ Political Prison Camps in North Korea *oday@ pp. %1 ff. <ee Keum/soon@ I"uman Rights Conditions of the Political Prison Camps in :orth KoreaJ@ in K5:F@ !N 4uman Rights Cechanisms and 2mpro"ement of 4uman Rights Conditions in



9efore the closure process )as started in #00= or #0.0@ Camp :o. ## )as belie ed to ha e had &0@000/$0@000 inmates. There is no information that any inmates of Camp :o. ## )ere released. The Commission has not been able to establish the fate of the large numbers of prisoners that remain unaccounted for. 8bser ers offer di ergent opinions on )hat happened to the prisoners of Camp :o. ##. Bome ta;e the ie) that the prisoners of camp ## )ere distributed bet)een camps .4@ .$ and .%. .022. 8thers ha e indicated that satellite imagery from other camps does not suggest any ne) construction of a scale that )ould support the inflo) of the entire population of Political Prison Camp :o. ##. They also presented allegations that food supplies )ere di erted from Camp :o. ## in #00= and #0.0@ )hich caused a large number of the inmates to star e to death..021 / Political Prison Camp :o. ..@ controlled by the Btate Becurity Department@ )as located on the upper slope of the K)anmo mountain in :orth "amgyong pro ince. 5nitially@ it )as mainly used to detain high/profile prisoners and their families. At the end of the .=10s@ this camp appears to ha e been closed since a illa for Kim 5l/Bung )as supposed to ha e been constructed in the area. The sur i ing prisoners )ere distributed bet)een Camps .% and ##..02= Political Prison Camps :o. .# and .& *also run by the Btate Becurity Department+ )ere in )hat is today 8nsong County@ :orth "amgyong Pro ince. .010 5nmates included families of former lando)ners@ supporters of ri al socialist factions and collaborators )ith the ?apanese colonial administration. The camps )ere closed in the early .==0s. The sur i ing prisoners )ere apparently transferred to Camp :o. ##. Bince at least the early .=%0s@ a political prison e>isted in Bungho@ near Pyongyang@ )hich is sometimes referred to as Camp :o. #%. .01. 5t )as closed in the early .==0s after a former political prisoner had disclosed its e>istence@ and Amnesty 5nternational reported e>tensi ely on the camp. .01#



2&=. Fntil #00%@ the 7inistry of People’s Becurity and its predecessor@ the Bocial Bafety Agency@ also managed political prison camps@ sub(ect to o ersight by the Btate Becurity Department and the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea. Although the 7PB camps did not share all features of the e>isting camps *e.g. the prohibition of marriage+@ these camps )ere similar to the currently e>isting camps in that inmates suffered enforced disappearance and )ere imprisoned )ithout trial in conditions of star ation and forced labour.







North Korea@ #0.&@ p. .=$@ p. #0%. Bee also Da id "a);# North Korea5s 4idden Aulag$ 2nterpreting Reports of Changes in the Prison Camps *Aashington D.C.@ "R:K@ #0.&+@ p. .4. <ee Keum/soon@ I"uman Rights Conditions of the Political Prison Camps in :orth KoreaJ@ id.. Bee testimony of 7r Bong Ooon/bo;@ To;yo Public "earing@ &0 August #0.&@ afternoon and 7r Da id "a);@ Aashington Public "earing@ &. 8ctober #0.&@ afternoon. Bee also Da id "a);@ North Korea5s 4idden Aulag$ 2nterpreting Reports of Changes in the Prison Camps *Aashington D.C.@ "R:K@ #0.&+@ p. #0. Bee testimony of 7r K and 7r Bong Ooon/bo;@ To;yo Public "earing@ &0 August #0.&@ afternoon and 7r Da id "a);@ Aashington Public "earing@ &. 8ctober #0.&@ afternoon. Bee also :KD9@ Political Prison Camps in North Korea *oday@ p. 2&. Da id "a);@ *he 4idden Aulag@ p. #1. Confidential inter ie) )ith T?"04.@ T?"0... Bee also :KD9@ Political Prison Camps in North Korea *oday@ pp. 24/22. At the To;yo Public "earing@ &0 August #0.&@ afternoon@ 7r Bhibata "iroyu;i presented information indicating that his brother Bhibata KoEo )as incarcerated in this prison for political reasons from the early .=%0s until the early .==0s. 5n a follo)/up inter ie) to his public hearing testimony@ 7r Ahn 7yong/chol also confirmed that a political prison ;no)n as Camp #% e>isted at Bungho. Bee Amnesty 5nternational@ I:orth Korea3 Concern about the fate of Bhibata KoEo and his familyJ@ Beptember .==4 *ABA #4!002!.==4+. #&$


^ <ocated near Camp :o. .4 on the south ban; of the Taedong Ri er@ Camp :o. .1 in 9u;chang County *Bouth Pyongan Pro ince+ may ha e held as many as $0@000 prisoners in the late .==0s. Political Prison Camp :o. .1 )as similar to the re olutioniEing Eone of Political Prison Camp :o. .$ in that at least part of the camp population could secure an early release if deemed to be ideologically rehabilitated. .01& 5t appears that Political Prison Camp :o. .1 )as gradually do)nsiEed until the site in 9u;chang@ Bouth )as closed do)n in #00%. Today@ a short/term labour detention facility has been placed on the premises formerly occupied by Political Prison Camp :o. .1. 7ost of the sur i ing prisoners of Political Prison Camp :o. .1 seem to ha e been released@ although many chose to continue li ing and )or;ing on the camp premises for lac; of another place to go. A small segment of the prisoners from Camp :o. .1 )ere apparently not cleared for release. They may ha e been transferred to a ne) prison camp site in nearby Ch’oma/9ong@ *Kaechon County@ Bouth Pyongan Pro ince+@ )hich borders Camp :o. .4..014 ^ Political Prison Camp :o. .2 )as located in To;song *Bouth "amgyong Pro ince+ and controlled by the Bocial Bafety Agency@ the predecessor organiEation of the 7inistry of People’s Becurity. .01$ The camp )as initially closed in the mid/.=10s. Bome )itness testimony indicates that the camp )as temporarily reopened in the late .==0s since Political Prison Camp :o. .1 )as unable to handle the large inflo) of ne) detainees arrested in connection )ith the shimh)a;o operation..01% ^ The Bocial Bafety Agency reportedly also operated Camp :o. .= in Tanchon@ Bouth "amgyong Pro ince. The camp )as closed around .==0 and most prisoners )ere released. Camp :o. #& in To;song Country@ Bouth "amgyong Pro ince@ also operated by the Bocial Bafety Agency@ )as transformed into an ordinary prison in .=12..012 240. 5n the absence of direct physical access to the camps@ it is e>tremely difficult to pro ide reliable estimates on the o erall siEe of the prison camp population at different points in time. The earliest estimate@ pro ided in .=1# by the :ational 5ntelligence Ber ice of the Republic of Korea@ refers to a prison population of .0$@000 prisoners. <ater estimates@ )hich )ere pro ided by non/go ernmental organiEations@ based on satellite images and testimony from guards and prisoners )ho )ere in the camps in the .==0s or early #000s@ range from .$0@000/#00@000 inmates..011 24.. 8bser ers )ho presented information to the Commission generally agree that there has been a drop in the political prison camp population o er the last fe) years. the Korea 5nstitute for :ational Fnification *K5:F+ estimates that bet)een 10@000 and .#0@000 people are detained in the political prison camps today. .01= This figure@ )hich K5:F bases on analysis of recent satellite imagery analysis and first hand/testimony@ ta;es into account the release of prisoners from Political Prison Camp :o. .1 and the uncertainty about the fate of the prisoners of Political Prison Camp :o. ##. Bimilarly@ the non/go ernmental Committee on "uman Rights in :orth Korea *"R:K+ submitted that a figure of 10@000 to



.01% .012



5nter ie) )ith former Camp .1 inmate 7s Kim "ye/soo; and Aitnesses T,C004@ TB"0#=@ TAP0.#. Batellite images sho) a ne)ly constructed restricted area of about.4.% square ;ilometres in Ch’oma 9ong@ )hich features housing facilities@ barb)ire fences and guard posts This facility is located (ust )est of Camp :o. .4 and shares part of its perimeter )ith Camp :o. .4. Bee testimony of professional satellite analyst@ 7r ?oseph B.9ermudeE ?r.@ Aashington Public "earing@ &. 8ctober #0.&@ afternoon. T?"004. :KD9@ Political Prison Camps in North Korea *oday@ p. .%. Bong Ooon/ bo;@ To;yo Public "earing@ &0 August #0.&@ afternoon@ also referred to Camp .2@ indicating that it may still operate. Bee belo)@ section 5C.-.& b+. Bee also :KD9@ Political Prison Camps in North Korea *oday@ pp. .0$ ff. The e>istence of camp .= )as confirmed by former official T9,0&.. Bee :KD9@ Political Prison Camps in North Korea *oday@ p. 2.N Da id "a);@ *he 4idden Aulag@ pp. #2 ff. K5:F@ ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.&+@ p. .41.



.&0@000 prisoners is an accurate rendering of the prison camp population. .0=0 These figures are also in line )ith a #0.. estimate of the Database Centre for :orth Korean "uman Rights *:KD9+@ )hich placed the siEe of the camp population at a minimum of .&0@$00 people@ but did not yet account for the closure of Camp :o. ## and the related uncertainty about the fate of the prisoners of Camp :o. ##..0=. 24#. The obser ed drop in the number of inmates may be attributed@ to some e>tent to the release of most of the prisoners )ho )ere held in Camp :o. .1. "o)e er@ an equally important factor is the e>tremely high rate of deaths in custody@ coupled )ith the fact that the prisoners are generally not allo)ed to ha e children. 5n the absence of further releases@ a drop in the camp population therefore merely signifies that the inflo) of ne) inmates does not ;eep up )ith the high rate at )hich prisoners are dying due to star ation@ neglect@ arduous forced labour@ disease and e>ecutions. <b= 54olution and purpose of the political prison camp system

24&. The DPRK began to establish its system of secret political prison camps in the late .=$0s@ as large purges )ere carried out under Kim 5l/sung. .0=# The system )as inspired by the prison camps managed by the ,ulag in the Bo iet Fnion during the rule of ?oseph Btalin. 7any features of the DPRK camps are e en harsher than )hat could be found in the ,ulag camps..0=& 244. The camps rapidly gre) in siEe@ as Kim 5l/sung consolidated his rule by purging political opponents and ri al socialist factions and suppressing any e>pression of the Christian and Chondoist religions. Ahile many of the primary targets of the purges )ere often e>ecuted@ lo)er/ran;ing officials and other persons associated )ith them disappeared to the camps. A large number of additional ictims@ including senior officials@ )ere purged bet)een the .=20s and .==0s to preclude any opposition )ithin the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea and the state apparatus to the dynastic succession of Kim ?ong/il follo)ing the death of his father Kim 5l/sung. 24$. 8n the basis of the principle of Iguilt by associationJ * yeon-;)a-;e+@ the entire family of those purged frequently also ended up in the political prison camps including the parents@ spouses@ siblings and children *regardless of age+. 8nly female relati es )ho )ere

.0=. .0=#


Da id "a);@ North Korea5s 4idden Aulag$ 2nterpreting Reports of Changes in the Prison Camps@ p. &%. :KD9@ Political Prison Camps in North Korea *oday@ p. .... Confidential 5nter ie) )ith T?"04.@ a former political prison camp official. ")ang ?ang/yop@ the most senior official )ho e er fled from the DPRK@ has reportedly also testified that the first camp )as established in .=$1 in 9u;chang County@ Bouth Pyongan Pro ince. Bee :KD9@ Political Prison Camps in North Korea *oday@ pp. =$/=%. A diplomatic cable sent in .=$= by the Ambassador of ,erman Democratic Republic *,DR+ notes the follo)ing3 I5n recent time the persecution of comrades )ho e>press a different opinion has been increased. They are being sent to rural areas@ mines@ hydropo)er dams and also into prison camps.J 5n .=$2@ the ,DR -mbassy already noted information according to )hich students )ho had returned from Poland had been sent to prison camps in Pyongyang that )ere guarded by soldiers. 4or a citation of the original ,erman te>ts@ )hich )ere found in ,DR archi es after ,ermany’s reunification@ see <iana Kang/BchmitE@ Nord oreas !mgang mit AbhTngig eit und Sicherheitsrisi o# pp. ##$/##%. 8n the purges see also section 555.D. 7ost inmates of the Bo iet Fnion prison camps operated by the Ala"noye upra"leniye lagerey i oloniy *7ain Administration of Correcti e <abor Camps and <abor Bettlements+@ better ;no)n by its acronym ,F<ag@ could occasionally recei e isits and correspondence from family. "o)e er@ the prisoners in the DPRK’s political prison camps are held completely incommunicado@ ma;ing them more ulnerable to gross iolations. Bee Da id "a);@ *he 4idden Aulag@ p. &#. 4or a comprehensi e description of the ,F<ag system see Ale>ander BolEhenitsyn@ *he Aulag Archipelago *.=2&+. #&.


already married outside the family at the time of the purge )ere usually spared. 9ecause of the strict patriarchal system@ they )ere considered to belong to another family. Bpouses sometimes escaped the prison camps@ if they under)ent an immediate forced di orce. ^ 5n .=1.@ the )itness’s entire family@ including t)o children aged # and 4@ )as arrested by agents of the Btate Becurity Department and sent to Political Prison Camp :o. .#. .0=4 The )itness@ )ho thin;s she )as spared imprisonment because she had married into another family@ ne er sa) her family again. The family apparently became ictim to the purges of side arms of Kim 5l/sung’s family that )ere conducted to pre ent challenges to the succession of Kim ?ong/il. The family )ere relati es of Kim ")an/hyup@ )ho )as related by marriage to Kim ?ong/il. Despite being a high/ran;ing official of the Korean Aor;er’s Party@ Kim ")an/hyup )as reportedly himself purged. ^ 5n .==2@ the 7inistry of People’s Becurity launched a comprehensi e in estigation@ ;no)n as shimh)a;o to identify officials )ho had concealed politically sensiti e aspects of their family history..0=$ The operation )as also strategically used to purge Iold/guardJ officials )hose loyalty to Kim ?ong/il )as considered questionable. An estimated #0@000 suspects disappeared )ithout trial in Political Prison Camp :o. .1@ although many )ere later released. 5n a subsequent counter/purge@ thousands of 7PB officials )ere arrested by the KPA 7ilitary Becurity Command and the BBD. 5n prison@ they )ere often sub(ected to particularly harsh treatment and many died in detention. 8ne former official relayed statistics ;ept by the 7PB Corrections 9ureau according to )hich only fe) of the 7PB officials imprisoned during the counter/purge sur i ed their prison stint. .0=% 7r Kim ,)ang/il testified that guards at Kyoh)aso :o. .# apparently recei ed orders to single out particular prisoners for food ration cuts and other harsh punishments designed to ;ill them. "e named t)o prisoners )ho had ended up in a yoh)aso on political charges and )ere ;illed in that manner. 8ne of them )as detained in reaction to the shimh)a;o operation..0=2 24%. IClass enemiesJ@ including o)ners of large landholdings or factories@ )ould/be defectors to the Republic of Korea and collaborators )ith the ?apanese colonial administration@ ha e also been disappeared to the prison camps. The Commission finds that the camp system ser ed the purpose of re/engineering the social fabric of the DPRK in conformity )ith the ideology of the Suryong system by purging entire groups and indi iduals from general society. This purpose finds clear e>pression in the fact that camp inmates )ere considered to ha e lost all their citiEenship rights. 4or all intents and purposes@ they no longer e>ist as a part of the DPRK’s citiEenry. 242. The Commission also finds that the purge of Iclass enemiesJ )as e>tended to descendants up to the third generation@ i.e. the grandchildren of the original )rongdoer. 5n the rare e ent that prisoners ha e children in the camp@ e en those children became prisoners. The ideological basis for such intergenerational punishment is ascribed to an instruction reportedly issued by Kim 5l/sung himself according to )hich3 IClass enemies and factionalists@ )hoe er they are@ their seed must be eliminated through three generations.J.0=1 Camp guards and other security officials are taught this doctrine during
.0=4 .0=$

.0=% .0=2 .0=1

T?"0... Testimony pro ided by Aitnesses T?"004@ T?"0&=@ T?"044. Bee also the )itness testimony reflected in :ational "uman Rights Commission of Korea KRepublic of KoreaL@ Compilation of :orth Korean "uman Rights Ciolations *#0.#+@ pp. %#@ %& and %1N :KD9@ Political Prison Camps in North Korea *oday@ pp. .&&@ 42% M 421. TCC0.4. Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ morning. According to former BBD political prison camp Ahn 7yong/chol@ Kim 5l/sung made this statement first on the occasion of an unpublished speech before officials of the 7inistry of Btate Becurity in .=$1@ during )hich he addressed the ongoing purges of ri al factions. Bee Kim Oong/sam )ith Ahn 7yong/chol@ Political Prisoners’ Camps in :orth Korea *Beoul@ Center for the Ad ance of :orth Korean "uman Rights@ .=$+@ p. $#. 8n . 7arch .=$1@ the Ambassador of the Bo iet Fnion to the DPRK recorded in his (ournal that Kim 5l/sung told him that on that day he )ould be deli ering a speech before officials of the



their basic training. IAccording to Kim 5l/sung’s instructions X three generations of the inmate should be annihilatedJ@ former camp guard Ahn 7yung/chol recalled. .0== 5n se eral camps@ the guards )ere also reminded of the three generations principle through large boards displaying Kim 5l/sung’s instruction...00 ^ 7r Bhin Dong/hyu; )as born in Political Prison Camp :o. .4 in .=1.@ as a result of a relationship the guards had arranged bet)een his parents@ )ho had no choice in the matter. "is father and his family had apparently been imprisoned in the camp@ because one of 7r Bhin’s uncles had fled to the Republic of Korea. 7r Bhin ne er found out )hy his mother )as in the camp. 7r Bhin described ho) he had been indoctrinated to internaliEe the guilt by family association principle that he ne er questioned the basis and conditions of his imprisonment3 <2 )as born a criminal and 2 )ould die a criminal that )as my fate @ ,here 2 li"ed only t)o inds of people eDisted# the guards )ho had guns and the people )ho are inmates )earing uniforms: 2nmates )ere born inmates# so )e li"ed li e inmatesH that )as our fate::: Nobody taught us that )ay but that )as all that )e could see@ so that5s ho) )e li"ed:?..0. ^ 7s Kim "ye/soo; )as .& years old@ )hen BBD agents arrested her (ust as she returned from school...0# Bhe )as ta;en to Political Prison Camp :o. .1@ )here her entire family )as already incarcerated. :o charges )ere e er presented against any family members. 5nmates )ere )arned that they be e>ecuted if they enquired about the reasons for their arrest or tal;ed )ith other inmates about it. Ahen her father one day challenged the guards about )hy he )as ;ept at the camp@ he )as ta;en a)ay and the family ne er sa) him again. During #1 years of incarceration@ 7s Kim ne er found out )hy she had to endure such a long time of star ation and forced labour. Bhe e en started blaming her parents. 5n #00.@ as Political Prison Camp :o. .1 )as do)nsiEing@ she )as released. 4rom a relati e she found out that the family had been punished because her grandfather had fled to the Republic of Korea during the Korean Aar. ^ 5n .=2$@ the entire family of the )itness )ere arrested by the Btate Becurity Department@ )ithout being presented )ith reasons for his arrest or any criminal charges. The arrests )ere part of a larger operation in the city of :ampo directed against the descendants of lando)ners and other Iclass enemiesJ. Altogether &00 people )ere crammed into train carriages and sent to Political Prison Camp :o. .1. The )itness )as released in #00% )hen Camp :o. .1 )as closed...0& 241. The political prison camp system has ser ed@ and continues to ser e@ the purpose of pre enting the emergence of any future ideological@ political or social challenges to the Suryong system and preser ing its po)er base. 7any inmates )ere sent to the prison camps because they@ or their family members@ had criticiEed the DPRK’s political system@ especially if the Bupreme <eader )as the direct target of the criticism. ^ 7r Ahn 7yong/chol described ho) his father@ )ho )as an official managing a public distribution centre@ had said to other higher/ran;ing officials that the food shortage in the DPRK
7inistry of Btate Becurity ma;ing reference to Iincreasing the struggle against the intrigues of counterre olutionary elementsJ. Bee ?ournal of Bo iet Ambassador to the DPRK A.7. PuEano for . 7arch .=$1@ as translated by ,ary ,oldberg and published by the Ailson Center "istory and Public Policy Program Digital. A ailable from http3!!digitalarchi e.)ilsoncentre.org!document!..$=20. 8ther sources ha e indicated that Kim 5l/sung first made the statement in .=2#. Bee 5an ?effries@ North Korea# 788.-78-7$ A Auide to Economic and Political &e"elopments *Routledge@ #0.#+@ p. #1N Da id "a);@ *he 4idden Aulag@ p. #=. Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ afternoon Confidential inter ie)s )ith Ahn 7yong/chol. Beoul Public "earing@ #0 August #0.&@ afternoon *0034&3&%+. 7s Kim could not participate in the public hearings. The Commission conducted a ideo/conference/based inter ie) )ith her@ during )hich she agreed to ha e her name published in this report. TAP0.#. #&2

.0== ..00 ..0. ..0#



e>isted because the people on the top )ere not doing their (ob correctly. RealiEing his political crime@ 7r Ahn’s father too; his o)n life. 7r Ahn’s mother and three siblings@ including a sister )ho )as still an elementary school student@ )ere all arrested and sent to a political prison camp. "e escaped incarceration only by fleeing across the border into China...04 ^ The uncle of the )itness disappeared after an informant in his o)n family denounced him as ha ing said that Kim ?ong/il )as not made of the right material to be the Bupreme <eader. The last the family heard about the uncle )as that he had been sent to Political Prison Camp :o. ##...0$ 24=. 5n some cases@ entire families disappeared because one member di ulged Istate secretsJ@ such as politically sensiti e information about the pri ate li es of the ruling Kim family. ^ 7s Kim Ooung/soon@ a former professional dancer@ )as a good friend of Bong "ae/ rim@ )ho later became Kim ?ong/il’s third )ife and the mother to his first/born son Kim ?ong/:am. 7s Kim Ooung/soon ;ne) about the relationship in .=%= )hen it )as still a state secret. 5n .=20@ her husband disappeared. 8ne month later@ the Btate Becurity Department arrested her. Bhe )as detained and interrogated in an informal secret detention facility o er t)o months about )hat she ;ne) about Bong "ae/rim. 7s Kim came to understand that officials )ere afraid of her disclosing information about the relationship bet)een Bong "ae/rim and Kim ?ong/il. After the interrogation )as completed@ 7s Kim )ere detained at Camp :o. .$ at Oodo; )ithout trial or any e>planation@ until .=2=. 7s Kim’s parents and her four children *aged &@ $@ 2 and .0 )hen they disappeared+ )ere sent to Oodo; )ith her. 9oth her parents and one of her sons died in the camp. At Political Prison Camp :o. .$@ 7s Kim met another )oman )ho had been sent to the camp because she had assisted Bong "ae/rim in gi ing birth to Kim ?ong/:am...0% ^ 5n #00$@ a college professor from Pyongyang and his entire family )ere sent to Political Prison Camp :o. .$ at Oodo;. The man had told colleagues that Kim ?ong/il had been born in Russia *and not on 7ount Pae;tu@ as his official biography claims+. "e had pic;ed up this information after illegally listening to a short )a e radio broadcast produced in the Republic of Korea. The entire family disappeared@ e>cept for one daughter@ )ho had already married into another family. ..02 2$0. Among the camp inmates are also people )hose acti ities threaten to undermine the authorities’ policy of isolation from IcapitalistJ outside influences or the state’s monopoly o er information. 5n the past@ many prisoners of )ar and ci ilians abducted during the Korean Aar@ )ho refused to be quiet about their past and accept their fate of being denied their right to repatriation@ ended up in the prison camps *see belo)+. 7any of those ethnic Koreans )ho returned from ?apan in the .=$0s and .=%0s...01 disappeared into political prison camps@ because the authorities felt that they might spread sub ersi e information about )hat they had seen abroad. The same fate )as suffered by a large number of young citiEens of the DPRK )ho had studied in -astern -urope and the Bo iet Fnion around .=1= and )itnessed the emergence of democracy in those countries after the fall of the 9erlin Aall. ^ 7r Kang Chol/h)an’s paternal grandparents@ mo ed from ?apan to the DPRK in the .=%0s to help build the country. 5n .=22@ his grandfather suddenly disappeared. Boon after@ 7r Kang *then = years old+ )as arrested and ta;en@ )ithout indictment or trial@ to Political Prison Camp :o. .$. 8nly his mother )as spared@ because she accepted a forced di orce from 7r Kang’s father. After ha ing sur i ed ten years of star ation and forced labour in the Camp@ he )as released )ithout any e>planation. 7r Kang described to the Commission that an entire section at Political Prison Camp :o. .$ )as
..04 ..0$ ..0% ..02 ..01

Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ afternoon. T?"002. Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ morning. T?"0.=. Bee also section 5C.4.. f+.



occupied by ethnic Koreans from ?apan )ho had been detained@ apparently because they ;ne) too much about capitalist culture...0= ^ 7r Ahn 7yong/chol@ )ho ser ed as a guard in Political Prison Camp :o. ## at the time@ described a large inflo) of ne) prisoners )ho )ere arrested in relation to )hat he termed I the collapse of the So"iet 3locJ. The prisoners )ere brought to the camps in train )agons originally designed to transport animals. <[*]here )ere li e siD )agons that )ere filled )ith people: And that train came to the camps for siD days consecuti"ely# so thousands came inJ 7r Ahn testified. 2$.. People continue to be sent to political prison camps. Although there has been some reorganiEation@ there is no indication that the system of e>tra/legal secret political prison camps as such is being phased out. 7any among those )ho disappeared into prison camps in more recent years are persons )ho fled the DPRK and others )ho had unauthoriEed contact )ith officials or citiEens of the Republic of Korea *R8K+ or )ho e>pressed their Christian religion. ^ 7r ?eong K)ang/il )as also detained in the re olutioniEing Eone of Political Prison Camp :o. .$ at Oodo; from #000/#00&. Coming from a pri ileged family@ he had the opportunity to engage in trading in China. 5n order to increase the profit margins for his company@ he began selling goods directly to buyers from the R8K@ instead of going through Chinese intermediaries. Ahen such prohibited contacts )ere reported by informants to the Btate Becurity Department@ 7r ?eong )as arrested. "e )as interrogated under torture for si> months until he agreed to confess falsely to ha ing engaged in espionage for the R8K. After sur i ing three years of star ation and forced labour@ in Political Prison Camp :o. .$@ 7r ?eong )as released. ^ 7r A testified that in #002@ his older sister )as sent to Political Prison Camp :o. .$ at Oodo; after being forcibly repatriated from China. The Btate Becurity Department *BBD+ considered her case particularly gra e@ because she had been arrested )hile trying to reach 7ongolia and from there the Republic of Korea. The fact that she had practised Christianity )as a further aggra ating factor. 9eing an elderly )oman@ the sister suffered a stro;e )hen the BBD sub(ected her to torture. :e ertheless she )as sent to the political prison camp )ithout any medical care. I7r AJ fears that his sister must ha e died in the camp as a consequence of her dire medical condition and the li ing conditions in the camp. ^ 8ne )itness described ho) his son had adopted the Christian religion and repeatedly tra elled to China@ )here he recei ed religious instruction from a Korean/American pastor. ...0 At the end of #001@ the son’s contacts )ith the pastor )ere disco ered@ because BBD agents in China had the pastor under sur eillance. The son )as arrested by the Btate Becurity Department. After interrogation@ the son )as sent to a political prison camp and has not been seen since. ^ 5n ?uly #00=@ the )itness and three other persons )ere engaged in an operation to help t)o elderly citiEens from the R8K@ prisoners of )ar from the Korean Aar@ escape the DPRK across the border to China..... The operation )as disco ered. The )itness managed to flee across the border@ but the other persons )ere arrested and e entually sent to Political Prison Camp :o. .$ at Oodo;. 2$#. The imprisonment of entire families on the principle of guilt by association has been a defining feature of the DPRK’s political prison camps. The principle has been particularly effecti e in oppressing dissent@ because anyone )illing to oppose the current political system in the DPRK )ould ha e to be prepared not only to sacrifice his or her o)n life but also that of close family members. 9ased on its e>tensi e archi e of inter ie)s )ith persons )ho fled the DPRK@ the non/go ernmental Database Center for "uman Rights in :orth Korea *:KD9+ re/construed the reasons for the incarceration of 1&# political prison camp inmates. The largest number disappeared to the prison camps for political reasons directly lin;ed to them personally *41.& per cent+. A smaller number of prisoners )ere held
..0= ...0 ....

Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ afternoon. T?"0.1. T?"00=. ##&


for economic@ administrati e and ordinary crimes *2.. per cent+ or for ha ing fled to China *1.0 per cent+. Oet@ more than a third of all inmates *&$.2 per cent+ )ere incarcerated for no other reason than an assumed guilt by association....# 2$&. The Commission finds that@ in recent years@ there are some indications that fe)er people are being sent to political prison camps on grounds of guilt by association. ...& :e ertheless@ there are still instances )here families ha e been sent to prison camps for )rongs committed by a family member. Buch collecti e punishment is often meted out in high/profile cases@ )here the authorities consider that a particularly harsh reaction is needed to ser e as a )arning to the general public or to a special segment of society. - en )here families are spared prison camps@ they often remain sub(ect to harsh official reprisals@ including by being remo ed from their (obs or uni ersities. ^ 5n #002@ the )itness escaped from the DPRK. Bubsequently@ the )itness’s parents )ere arrested@ interrogated and e entually sent to Camp :o. .$@ e en though they )ere not in ol ed in the escape of )itness. Prior to the escape@ the family had already been classified as politically suspect since they )ere ethnic Koreans )ho had migrated from ?apan. ...4 ^ 5n #0.#@ the Btate Becurity Department carried out a ma(or operation in "oeryoung *:orth "amgyong Pro ince+ against a group in ol ed in smuggling mobile phones@ cameras and small radios into the DPRK....$ The group )as falsely framed as planning sabotage acti ities in the DPRK. Btate media presented one of the alleged smugglers@ 7r ?on Oong/chol@ )ho )as seen confessing that he formed a society to destroy statues of Kim 5l/sung and Kim ?ong/il and indicating that he Icould not dieJ before implicating the ,o ernment of the Republic of Korea. ...% An estimated =0 people@ including family members of the suspected smugglers@ )ere arrested and are belie ed to ha e been sent to political prison camps. 7r ?on )as reportedly e>ecuted. ^ 5n the aftermath of the December #0.& e>ecution of ?ang Bong/thae;@ the uncle/in/ marriage to Kim ?ong/un@ allegations ha e emerged indicating that security officials arrested members of his e>tended family and transferred them to political prison camps. ...2 <c= Total control> torture and e:ecutions

2$4. Political prison camp inmates are considered to ha e lost their rights as DPRK citiEens. They are sub(ect to the total control of the camp authorities. As elaborated by former camp guard Ahn 7yong/chol3 I2n the )anliso# the inmates are no longer registered citiFens# so you do not need a la) to decide the sentences: *he bo)ibu [SS&] agent is the person )ho decides )hether you are sa"ed or you are eDecuted: *here are no other criteria other than his )ords: [*he inmates] are already eliminated from society.J...1
...# ...&

...4 ...$ ...%



:KD9@ Political Prison Camps in :orth Korea Today@ p..#1. 8ne obser er has claimed that from the mid/ or late/.==0s@ after Kim ?ong/il became Bupreme <eader@ instructions )ere gi en to the security agencies to only send the family of a political )rongdoer to a political prison camp in special circumstances. Bee Andrei <an;o @ *he Real North Korea@ p. 42. Bee also Andrei <an;o @ I"o) "uman Rights in :orth Korea are gradually impro ingJ@ NK Ne)s@ .# Beptember #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).n;ne)s.org!#0.&!0=!ho)/ human/rights/in/north/;orea/are/gradually/impro ing!. T?"0.=. T<C004. Bee IArrested Terrorist 5nter ie)edJ@ KCNA@.= ?uly #0.#. A ailable from http3!!))).;cna.co.(p!item!#0.#!#0.#02!ne)s.=!#0.#02.=/01ee.html. 4ootage of 7r ?on’s alleged confession@ produced by KC:A@ is a ailable from http3!!))).youtube.com!)atchD _Pl#g/h#E7y7. Bee also I?angTs 4amily "it )ith Prison Camp TransferJ@ &aily NK@ #0 December #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).dailyn;.com!english!read.phpDnum_..#=%Mcata5d_n;0.$00. Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ afternoon *003$1340+.



2$$. The Commission finds that the ma(ority of prisoners )ho remain in the camps ha e no prospect of e er being released. They are held in total control Eones and are incarcerated until they die. 8nly prisoners held for relati ely minor )rongs )ho are ;ept in the re olutioniEing Eone of Political Prison Camp :o. .$ could hope to be reinstated as citiEens and achie e their release after a number of years in the prison camp. 5t is uncertain )hether this remains the case. Bince #002@ there are no ;no)n cases of people being released from Political Prison Camp :o. .$. Bome obser ers therefore fear that the entire Political Prison Camp :o. .$ has been turned into a total control Eone to preclude the possibility of further )itnesses emerging from the prison camp....= 2$%. The physical set/up of the camps ma;es escape irtually impossible. The camps are surrounded by high perimeter fences that are electrified at a deadly oltage and further secured by barbed )ire. Pit traps and minefields are also placed around the perimeter fence. -ach camp is surrounded by numerous guard posts and chec;points@ manned by guards armed )ith automatic rifles. 5nmates are sub(ect to strict mo ement restrictions )ithin the camp. They are under strict orders to stay clear of the perimeter fence unless authoriEed to approach it by the guards. ^ 7r Bhin Dong/hyu;@ the only person ;no)n to ha e successfully escaped a total control Eone@ o)es his escape to a tragic coincidence. As nightfall approached on the day of his escape@ a friend and he )ere assigned to collect fire)ood in the icinity of the perimeter fence. They decided to seiEe the opportunity to escape. "is friend reached the fence first and )as electrocuted as he attempted to climb through a hole in the fence. Dangling on the )ire@ the friend’s body created a sufficiently insulated breach for 7r Bhin to climb through and run a)ay. 7r Bhin e>plained the moti ation underlying his ris;y decision3 <2 heard from this ne) inmate# that the people outside could eat the same food as the guards# freely: 2 could ha"e been electrocuted# 2 could ha"e been shot but 2 ;ust )anted to ha"e one day for )hich 2 could eat all the food that the people outside [the camp] ate:?--78 2$2. Camp guards are under firm orders to shoot to ;ill anyone trying to escape and they are re)arded if they do. ,uards and prisoners are also instructed that any attempt to escape )ill be punished by immediate summary e>ecution. This rule is systematically implemented. Bummary e>ecutions for attempted escape can be based on ague indicators li;e the inmate separating from his assigned group or approaching the perimeter fence )ithout authoriEation. ^ 7r Ahn 7yong/chol testified that a fello) guard ;illed fi e prisoners and then@ in an attempt to be re)arded@ he falsely reported that they had tried to escape. Ahen an in estigation disco ered the man’s action@ he )as transferred to another camp@ but not se erely punished I in order to maintain high spirits [among the guards] )ithin the camp.J..#. ^ 7r ?eong K)ang/il described t)o e>ecutions lin;ed to a suspected escape attempt. 5n August #00.@ a male inmate had left his group to loo; for food because he )as so hungry. "e then )ent into hiding@ because lea ing oneTs group is considered an escape attempt@ )hich is punishable by death. Ahen the guards found him after three days@ they publicly e>ecuted him. ^ 5n 7arch #00&@ another man left his )or; unit to ta;e some potatoes from the storage@ because he )as e>tremely hungry. 4earing that the guards )ould try to consider this an attempted escape@ he tried to hide. The guards chased trac;er dogs after him. The dogs found and mauled the man until he )as half dead. Then the guards shot the ictim dead on the spot. ..##
...= ..#0 ..#. ..##

Bee 7r Da id "a);@ Aashington Public "earing@ &. 8ctober #0.&@ afternoon. Beoul Public "earing@ #0 August #0.&@ afternoon *0.3..340+. Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ afternoon *003.43&$+. Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ morning. ##'


2$1. The Commission finds that summary e>ecutions and other cruel e>tra(udicial punishments are meted out for iolations of the camps’ strict rules@ disobedience of orders or any other conduct considered )orth punishing. The punishment process is entirely in the hands of a special in estigation unit of BBD agents. - en a decision to impose the death penalty is not sub(ect to appeal or (udicial re ie) of any ;ind. 9efore a IsentenceJ is pronounced@ the ictim is often sub(ect to lengthy interrogation under torture conducted by the BBD in estigation unit in the camp. 2$=. ->ecutions are generally carried out in front of all inmates to pro ide a )arning for the rest of the inmates. - en family members of the ictims and children of all ages are usually forced to attend. An BBD agent usually pronounces the reasons for the e>ecutions@ before a firing squad@ normally composed of regular camp guards@ carries out the e>ecution. 2%0. 8ther types of punishment can ta;e a )ide ariety of forms ranging from ration cuts and additional forced labour to solitary confinement@ beatings and mutilation. Physical punishments are usually carried out in special punishment bloc;s@ )hich are also used for the interrogation of prisoners under torture. At times@ indi idual guards )ill also impose torture and cruel@ inhuman and degrading punishments on the spot )ithout any formal in estigatory process. Children are not spared from e en the cruelest punishments. ^ Ahen he )as .4 years old@ 7r Bhin Dong/hyu; )as interrogated under torture for si> months in the punishment bloc; of Political Prison Camp :o. .4 to establish )hether he ;ne) about escape plans discussed bet)een his mother and brother. Among other methods@ he )as strung o er a lit fire until his bac; )as burned. "e sur i ed only because of the help of an older cellmate )ho nursed his in(uries. ..#& 8n another occasion@ 7r Bhin accidentally dropped a se)ing machine at the factory he )as forced to )or; at. The middle finger of his right hand )as cut off as punishment3 <*he guard told the floor manager to cut off my finger# so got on my nees and 2 begged not to do so but that didn5t )or ob"iously: And# 2 thought my )hole hand )as going to cut off# but it )as ;ust a finger: So# at that time 2 )as grateful# really grateful to the guard because 2 )as only losing a finger instead of a hand:?..#4 ^ 7r Ahn 7yong/chol recalled an incident in Political Prison Camp :o. ##@ )hen his superior officer used a blo)torch to bludgeon a sic; prisoner to death@ because the man had not )or;ed fast enough. After an in estigation of the incident@ the officer )as not punished but re)arded )ith the right to attend uni ersity...#$ ^ 7r Kang Chol/h)an indicated that the Is)eatbo>J )as used to punish prisoners in Political Prison Camp :o. .$ at Oodo;. <ocated near the guards barrac;s at the main entrance@ the Is)eatbo>J )as a )ooden bo> so small that a person could not fully stand up or lie do)n )ithin it. The prisoner is forced to ;neel in a crouched position. The prisoner’s rear end pressed into the heels constantly until the buttoc;s )ere solid blac; )ith bruising. This cuts off the circulation so that@ if left in the s)eatbo> long enough@ a prisoner )ill die. 7oreo er@ prisoners in the s)eatbo> )ere gi en almost no food. They often sur i ed only by eating insects that cra)l into the bo>. ..#% ^ According to one )itness@ )ho )as detained in the re olutioniEing Eone of Political Prison Camp :o. .$@ anyone )ho )as reported to ha e criticiEed the camp authorities )as ta;en a)ay into the punishment bloc;. 7any ne er returned and may ha e been sent to the total control Eone for life imprisonment. Those )ho made it bac; )ere in a terrible physical and psychological condition. The
..#& ..#4 ..#$ ..#%

Beoul Public "earing@ #0 August #0.&@ afternoon. Beoul Public "earing@ #0 August #0.&@ afternoon *003$23$0+. Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ afternoon. Kang Chol/h)an@ *he AEuariums of Pyongyang@ pp. =$/=%. The contents of the boo; )ere authenticated by 7r Kang in the Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ afternoon.



)itness remembers one inmate )ho returned from the punishment bloc; in such a pitiful state of health that he could not fulfil his )or; quota. The guards beat him so sa agely that he died t)o days later. ..#2 2%.. ,uards are taught that inmates are enemies of the people and must be approached )ith hostility. They also realiEe that indi idual cruelties to)ards inmates )ill generally not result in any punishment. ^ Describing his training@ 7r Ahn 7yong/chol indicated that I )e had "ery intensi"e ideology training for siD months# and that training is to@ 2 guess in"o e hostility against the inmates and to imprint in our minds that the inmates are enemies .J..#1 "e also described ho) he and other guards sometimes felt sympathy for the prisoners@ but could ne er sho) it@ because such signs of sympathy )ould ha e resulted in punishment of the guard concerned. ^ The intensi e ideology training that guard recruits li;e 7r Ahn recei ed aimed at in o;ing hostility against the inmates and imprinting in their minds that the inmates are enemies. 5n order to reemphasiEe this point@ he and other guards )ere made to use prisoners as Zhuman punching bags’ during their martial arts training3 <Sometimes the instructors )ould summon inmates )ho )ere )or ing in the field: *hey )ere summoned so that )e could practise our [martial arts] s ills on them: *he reason for actually practising our s ills on these inmates )as to @ ma e these inmates stay on alert and to instruct us that those are our enemies: @ ,e did not ha"e people to practise on# so they summoned the inmates so that )e could practise our ic s and hits on them@ ,e really don5t care if )e are going to ill them or let them li"e:?..#= 7r Ahn also spo;e about ho) ferocious dogs )ere ;ept in one the camps to catch inmates )ho attempted to escape. 8n one occasion@ the dogs mauled and ;illed three children at a school for child inmates. The commanding officer initially berated the dog trainer for letting the dogs loose. <ater@ ho)e er@ he praised the trainer in front of the other guards for ha ing trained dogs that could effecti ely ;ill political prisoners. ^ 7s Kim "ye/soo; endured her most humiliating moments in Political Prison Camp :o. .1 )hen some of the guards randomly stopped her and ordered her to ;neel do)n and open her mouth. The guards spat in her mouth and tell her to s)allo) it. 5f she had sho)n any sign of disgust she ;ne) that she )ould ha e been se erely beaten...&0 2%#. The Commission finds that@ in addition to its guards@ the political prison camps employ selected prisoners to control and monitor other prisoners. Prisoners are organiEed into )or; units. The prisoners appointed to head these units are responsible for enforcing discipline and@ to do so@ they may use iolence at their o)n discretion. 5n addition@ the camp administration runs a system of informants )ho cooperate in the hope of recei ing larger food rations or more lenient treatment from the guards. 5ndi idual prisoners are instructed that failure to report any percei ed )rongdoing of other inmates could result in se ere punishment. 4rom their first moments in the camp@ this principle is also instilled in child inmates@ )ho are e en e>pected to denounce their o)n parents. ^ 7r Bhin Dong/hyu; )as .& years old )hen he reported a con ersation he o erheard bet)een his mother and brother in )hich they tal;ed about escaping from the camp. As a result@ his mother and brother )ere both e>ecuted. 7r Bhin had to )atch the public e>ecution of his mother and his brother@ along )ith all other inmates. 7r Bhin described the thought process leading to him denouncing his o)n mother as follo)s3
..#2 ..#1 ..#= ..&0

T<C001. Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ afternoon *0.30=342+. Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ afternoon *003.0340+. Confidential inter ie) by ideo/conference. ##$


<2 first reported about their plan [to escape]# because 2 )as obliged to report e"ery detail to the guards::: *hat )as the rule of the prison5s camp# so that5s )hy ob"iously 2 thought it )as my ;ob to report about their plan to the guard at that time: At my age# 2 )as really proud of that: @ 2 as ed the super"isor to re)ard me# to gi"e full portion of coo ed# dried rice so fill my stomach: And# 2 )as promised that re)ard and that5s )hy 2 reported about their plan:?..&. <d= @e:ual 4iolence and denial of family and reproducti4e rights

2%&. Although policies appear to ary bet)een camps@ families sent to the camps on the basis of guilt by association are often allo)ed to stay together. The Commission finds@ ho)e er@ that inmates of the e>isting prison camps are generally not allo)ed to form ne) families or ha e children...&# This policy is consistent )ith the stated ob(ecti e of eliminating the seed of class enemies. 8nly on rare occasions do the camp authorities arrange ImarriagesJ bet)een model prisoners )ho distinguished themsel es through hard )or; and absolute obedience. The prisoners selected ha e no say in the choice of partner. I7arriedJ couples are not allo)ed to li e together@ but are brought together for se eral nights per year for the purpose of intimate contact. 5n some cases@ this results in the birth of children. Children born from such relations themsel es become prisoners. 2%4. Aomen )ho are not in authoriEed relationships and become pregnant are sub(ected to forced abortion and additional punishment@ including e>ecution or torture. ^ 7r Bhin Dong/hyu;’s parents )ere designated by the guards to ImarryJ each other since they had been model prisoners of Camp :o. .4. 7r Bhin li ed alone )ith his mother until age .. but then had to mo e into separate barrac;s. "is father li ed separately )ithin the camp@ seeing him rarely. 7r Bhin felt there )as no concept of family in the camp3 <,e )ere all inmates and there )as nothing that 2 could do to them @ And# they had nothing they can do as parents# so 2 guess 2 did not feel any attachment or feeling for my parents:?..&& ^ 7r Ahn 7yong/chol indicated that Kim 5l/sung had instructed that three generations of inmates should be annihilated. This is )hy pregnancies )ere strictly forbidden3 "e elaborated that Ithe camp is there in order to ma e sure that there are no future generations of the political prisoners:J The camp authorities sometimes allo)ed marriages to moti ate the )or;ers. "o)e er@ if an unmarried )oman ga e birth to the child of another inmate@ harsh punishment ine itably follo)ed3 <[2]f the father is an inmate# the guy )ould be shot to death and the )oman )ill be sent to the harshest coal mines to )or :?..&4 ^ A former political prisoner@ )ho )as detained from #002 to #0.0 in the re olutioniEing Eone of Political Prison Camp :o. .$ at Oodo;@ )itnessed t)o cases@ in )hich )omen )ho became pregnant )ithout authoriEation )ere forced to ha e an abortion. The ictim’s term of imprisonment at Oodo; )as also e>tended. 8ne of the cases )as a late term abortion@ carried out through an in(ection that induced premature labour. The )itness herself )as forced to help the ictim deli er the dead foetus...&$ ^ The )itness )as sent to Political Prison Camp :o. .1 )hilst pregnant. To)ards the end of her pregnancy@ she )as ;ic;ed by a guard triggering premature labour. Ahen the child )as born@
..&. ..&#

..&& ..&4 ..&$

Beoul Public "earing@ #0 August #0.&@ afternoon *0034.300+. Camp .1@ )hich )as run by the 7inistry of People’s Becurity@ mar;ed an e>ception to this practice. 5n that camp@ prisoners of a certain age *&0 years for men@ #1 years for )omen+ )ere allo)ed to choose a partner and marry@ pro ided that they had a good record of )or; and obedience. Beoul Public "earing@ #0 August #0.&@ afternoon *0034%3&%+. Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ afternoon *003&.34$+. T<C0.1.



guards beat her until they could pull a)ay the crying baby from her. Bhe lost consciousness because of her ordeal. Ahen she )o;e up she found her baby dead. The body )as gathered )ith other corpses in a storeroom until enough corpses had accumulated to merit thro)ing them into a single gra e site. Btill in pain and bleeding@ the )itness )as forced to )or; the ne>t day and beaten because she could not ;eep up )ith her )or; quota...&% 2%$. The Commission finds that the conditions of sub(ugation of inmates@ coupled )ith the general climate of impunity@ creates an en ironment@ in )hich rape perpetrated by guards and prisoners in pri ileged positions is common. 5n some cases@ female inmates are raped using physical force. 5n other cases@ )omen are pressed into se>ual relations to a oid harsh labour assignments@ or to recei e additional food. ..&2 Buch cases generally amount to rape as )ell@ because they are not consensual as the perpetrators ta;e ad antage of the coerci e ad antages of the camp en ironment...&1 2%%. Fnli;e other types of torture@ rape as such is not condoned by camp rules. 5nstead@ BBD agents and guards are under strict orders not to fraterniEe )ith the inmates and in particular not to ha e any se>ual engagement )ith them. "o)e er@ if cases of rape come to light@ the perpetrator often escapes )ith a mere dismissal or no punishment at all. The ictim@ ho)e er@ is frequently reassigned to harsh labour or secretly e>ecuted@ especially if she becomes pregnant...&= Aithout e>ception@ pregnant ictims are sub(ect to abortion or their child is ;illed at birth. ^ 7r Ahn 7yong/chol ga e testimony that@ unli;e ordinary guards@ higher/ran;ing BBD agents could get a)ay )ith se>ually abusing female inmates@ as long as the )omen did not become pregnant. 5n cases of pregnancy@ the official )as dismissed and the )omen sent to harsh mining )or; or secretly e>ecuted. 8n one occasion@ the commander of his unit raped a )oman@ )ho became pregnant and ga e birth to a baby. The mother and her child )ere ta;en to the detention and punishment bloc;@ )here the baby )as thro)n in the feeding bo)l for the dogs. 7r Ahn 7yong/Chol also recalled the case of a young girl@ )ho )as sent to the torture and punishment bloc; in Camp :o. ## after she )as raped by a guard. Bhe )as tortured by pressing a burning hot sto e hoo; on her breast. Bubsequently@ she )as reassigned to harsh labour in the coal mine@ )here she lost both legs in an accident. 7r Ahn further testified that some of the guards played sadistic and se>ually abusi e games )ith the hungry prisoners. 8n one occasion@ an BBD agent at Political Prison Camp :o. ## sat on a chair and used a fishing rod@ baited )ith por; fat to entice a nude female prisoner to cra)l li;e a dog and (ump after the meat. The BBD officer too; ob ious pleasure in this game@ pulling up the fishing rod (ust high enough to ;eep the prisoner from catching the meat and lo)ering it again to gi e her another chance...40
..&% ..&2 ..&1

..&= ..40

TB"0.=. :KD9@ Political Prison Camps in North Korea *oday@ p. 4=#. Ta;ing ad antage of coerci e circumstances as a type of coercion gi ing raise to rape has been recogniEed inter alia by the (urisprudence of the 5CTO Appeals Chamber and the official interpretation of rape under the 5CC Btatute. Bee Kunarac@ Ko ac@ and Co;o ic@ 5T/=%/#&M 5T/=%/ #&!./A K5CTO Appeals ChamberL@ ?udgment of .# ?une #00#@ para. .#= Kfinding that the lac; of consent on the part of ictim characteristic of rape also e>ists )here the perpetrator is Ita;ing ad antage of coerci e circumstances )ithout relying on physical forceJL. Bee also -lements of Crime@ Assembly of Btates Parties to the Rome Btatute of the 5nternational Criminal Court@ .st Bession@ Bept. &6.0@ #00#@ article 2*.+*g+/.@ article 1*#+*b+*>>ii+/.@ article 1*#+*e+* i+/.. :KD9@ Political Prison Camps in North Korea *oday@ pp. 412/11. Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ afternoon. The last t)o incidents )ere described by 7r Ahn in a follo)/up inter ie) conducted by the Commission after the public hearing. 7r Ahn pro ides the same testimony in :KD9@ Political Prison Camps in :orth Korea Today@ pp. #&%@ #1=. ##.


^ 7s Kim "ye/soo; described ho) the )omen )ho )or;ed in the mines of Political Prison Camp :o. .1 feared assignment to the nightshift@ because guards and prisoners preyed on them on their )ay to and from )or; and rape them. :one of the ictims tal;ed about their e>perience openly for fear of being punished. "o)e er@ a number of female prisoners recounted their traumatic e>periences to her in confidence. ..4. Another )itness reported that the guards of Camp :o. .1 )ere especially targeting teenage girls. ..4# ^ A former guard in Camp :o. .. described ho) the camp authorities made female inmates a ailable for se>ual abuse to a ery senior official )ho regularly isited the camp. After the official raped the )omen@ the ictims )ere ;illed...4& <e= @tar4ation> forced labour and diseases

2%2. ->cept for the minority of prisoners ;ept in the re olutioniEing Eone of Political Prison Camp :o. .$@ camp prisoners are considered ideologically irredeemable. They ha e no prospect of securing release. 5nstead@ they are sub(ect to gradual e>termination through star ation and sla e labour in harsh conditions@ )ith the apparent intent to e>tract a ma>imum of economic benefit at a minimum of cost. 4ormer political prison camp guard 7r Ahn 7yong/chol e>plained3 <2nmates in the [political prison camps] are not treated li e human beings: *hey are ne"er meant to be released:::] their record is permanently erased: *hey are supposed to die in the camp from hard labour: And )e )ere trained to thin that those inmates are enemies: So )e didn5t percei"e them as human beings:?..44 2%1. 4ormer inmate 7r Bhin Dong/hyu; came to the same conclusion. 5n his testimony before the Commission@ he said3 <[*]he dictators in North Korea thought that )e should die# )e )ere not )orth li"ing# they )ere ;ust eDtending our li"es# and they ;ust let us li"e so that )e )ould produce for them and )e could die in the process )or ing:?..4$ 2%=. 5nmates of political prison camps e>perience unspea;able atrocities and hardships. "o)e er@ the feature that former inmates emphasiEed as most painful most )as their se ere hunger and their daily struggle against star ing to death. ..4% 5nmates are pro ided )ith rations that are so insufficient in quantity@ quality and di ersity that any prisoner )ho solely relies on the ration )ould quic;ly star es to death. The star ation diet gi es the emaciated political prisoners a distinctly s;eletal physical appearance. - ery year@ large numbers of prisoners die from star ation or nutritional deficiency diseases li;e pellagra@ )hich is characteriEed by s;in eruptions@ brea;do)n of the mental and digesti e system and mental deterioration. Prisoners are only be able to sur i e o er longer periods of time by hunting and gathering insects@ rodents and )ild plants or finding )ays to di ert food meant for the guards and farm animals. 220. The Commission finds that the star ation of prisoners is based on deliberate policy@ rather than being a mere reflection of the o erall situation of food insecurity pre ailing in the DPRK. 5t has been a constant feature of the camps that e>isted e en )hen the o erall food situation in the DPRK )as more stable. 4ormer guards and other security officials inter ie)ed by the Commission indicated that star ation )as a deliberate measure to ;eep prisoners )ea; and easy to control and to augment their suffering.
..4. ..4# ..4& ..44 ..4$ ..4%

Confidential inter ie) )ith 7s Kim "ye/soo;. TB"0#=. T?"04.. Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ afternoon *003.%340+. Beoul Public "earing@ #0 August #0.&@ afternoon *0.3&=30$+. 4or more details on the star ation of prisoners@ see also section 5C.D.=.



^ 7s Kim Ooung/soon described ho) her family )as only pro ided )ith corn and salt@ )hen they )ere incarcerated at Political Prison Camp :o. .$ at Oodo; in the .=20s. "er father star ed to death. Kim Ooung/soon said she al)ays ran to her )or; because if she )as late her food rations )ere cut. - en if she had bro;en bones she still needed to run to her )or; to a oid ha ing her rations cut. Their rations )ere so little of it that the families hunted sna;es and rodents to secure the sur i al of their young children. 7s Kim recalled3 <[*he] babies [had] bloated stomachs: [,e] coo ed sna es and mice to feed these babies and if there )as a day that )e )ere able to ha"e a mouse# this )as a special diet for us: ,e had to eat e"erything ali"e# e"ery type of meat that )e could findH anything that fle)# that cra)led on the ground: Any grass that gre) in the field# )e had to eat: *hat5s the reality of the prison camp:?..42 ^ 7r Kang Chol/h)an testified that@ during his ten years at Political Prison Camp :o. .$@ he buried the bodies of more than &00 people )ho had died of star ation or malnutrition. 4ood rations )ere pro ided once a month and usually consisted of corn ;ernels that lasted no longer than half the month@ e en though the food situation in the remainder of the DPRK )as good at the time of his incarceration in the .=10s. <At that time# the economic situation )as pretty stable# so 2 thin the food [situation in the country] )as o ay: 3ut for political criminals# they ga"e us a fistful of corn ernels once a month::: after -0 days# )e )ould run out of food# so )e had to cut grass to coo porridge# to stay ali"e: E"en fit men# healthy people# after three months# )ould suffer from malnutrition: 2n order to o"ercome malnutrition# )e ate things li e mice# sna es# frogs# )orms# anything that came into our sight# in order to get protein: @*he first three months after you enter the prison camp# those three months are critical: @ 2 de"eloped malnutrition in those three months and 2 came "ery close to dying: 3ut ids )ho )ere there before me# they caught mice in the field for me and they sa"ed me: @ *he elites# the intellectuals# the people )ho used to be in higher positions# they are the first ones to die because they don5t dare to eat [mice and rats]: 3ut those )ho had a difficult life outside the camp# and ids# )ho leaned to their instincts# they had higher sur"i"al rates:?..41 ^ 7r Bhin Dong/hyu;@ born in .=1# in Camp :o. .4@ testified that he )as al)ays hungry during his detention@ because there )as ne er enough food. Although camp inmates raised animals and also farmed rice@ they )ere not gi en permission to eat this food and only had access to the meagre rations allotted to them. 7r Bhin recalls that he )as gi en only 400 grams of corn porridge per day@ so that to sur i e he had to find other sources of food such as grass and mice. ..4= ^ - en before the famine of the .==0s@ 7s Kim "ye/soo;’s family of se en only recei ed 4.$ ;ilograms of dried corn per month@ so that they had to augment their diet to sur i e Political Prison Camp :o. .1...$0 During the famine@ food rations )ere further cut do)n to a point )here only adults engaged in full time forced labour )ould recei e rations. "er grandmother died from star ation and her e>hausted mother fell from a steep cliff as she tried to forage for edible )ild plants. ^ 7r ?eong K)ang/il and 7r Kim -un/chol@ detained from #00& in Camp :o. .$@ said that prisoners )ere only gi en .#0 grams of corn porridge three times a day. 8n special days@ they recei ed a piece of por; in their soup. Rations )ere hal ed if )or;ers did not perform )ell...$. 22.. As a matter of camp policy@ the food rations of disobedient prisoners are cut to a le el )here death by star ation results in a short period of time. 4ormer prisoners
..42 ..41 ..4= ..$0 ..$.

Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ morning *003&.3$0+. Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ afternoon *0&3&.3&0+. Beoul Public "earing@ #0 August #0.&@ afternoon. Confidential inter ie). Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ morning. ##2


inter ie)ed by the Commission attested to the fact that rations in the prison camps )ere frequently hal ed as a punishment for not )or;ing )ell@ for being too un)ell or in(ured to )or; or as a punishment for not follo)ing the rules of the camp. 4ormer officials indicated that such ration cuts )ere meticulously outlined in the )ritten instructions that the guards recei ed as part of their training. 22#. Ahere prisoners are caught circum enting the star ation rations@ for e>ample@ by ta;ing lefto er food from the guards’ entitlements@ animal feed or food produced in the camp@ this can result in e>tremely harsh punishment@ including summary e>ecution. ^ 7r Bhin Dong/hyu; described ho) a girl of around 2 years of age had slipped a fe) grains into her poc;et. A guard caught her and beat her so badly )ith a )ooden stic; that she died from her in(uries3 <[A]bout t)ice a )ee # [the guards] )ould choose one id and do the inspection to see if this person is stealing something or hiding something# but she )as so unluc y that she )as chosen as the id to be inspected: And# in her poc et there )ere some grains and then the guard as ed )here she got it: *hen# she told the guard that she pic ed them up on the street: *here )as a )ooden stic that the guards used: And# the guard says that5s not the )ay 2 taught you# so you )ent against my teaching: So# she )as beaten so badly that she fainted# and )e had to ta e her to her mom: ,hen she didn5t come to school the neDt day# )e learned that she had died:?..$# 7r Bhin also described ho) inmates had to eat grass or food crumbs that had fallen on the floor clandestinely so that the guards )ould not see them3 <,e had to ma e sure that the guards did not loo at us )hen )e did that: And sometimes )e had to as the guards if )e )ere allo)ed to eat he crumbs that had fallen on the floor: *here )ere lots of mice# lots and lots of them @ the inmates )ould rush to)ards them# catch them# but if )e sa) any of the guards present# the best performing )or er among us )ould as the guard if )e could catch and eat one of the mice: And# sometimes if the guard )as in a good mood# he )ould gi"e permission# but sometimes he )ould not gi"e us permission to catch the mice: @ Sometimes# )hen )e caught mice )ithout the no)ledge of the guard )e )ould hide it in our pants:? ^ 7r Kim -un/chol recalled ho) a fello) inmate at Political Prison Camp :o. .$ )as e>ecuted in front of the other inmates@ because he had stolen potatoes from one of the fields. 7r Kim also testified that people caught stealing lefto er food )ere sub(ect to solitary confinement and e>treme star ation rations in the punishment bloc; of Political Prison Camp :o. .$ at Oodo;. 7r Kim elaborated on the e>perience of solitary confinement3 <+nce you are in there# not a lot of people ma e it out: +nce you are in the solitary cell# you are beaten up and they gi"e you =8 grams per meal and you get cold# so that leads to an immediate )ea ness: Somebody )ho )eighs 08 ilograms [)hen they go in]# their )eight is reduced to 78 ilograms [)hen they eDit solitary confinement]:?..$& ^ The )itness@ )ho )as detained at Political Prison Camp :o. .1@ pic;ed through co) dung to find undigested grains. Ahen a guard caught her@ he ;ic;ed her in the head. Bhe suffered a gashing )ound and lost se eral teeth. The )itness also described ho) a fello) prisoner )as beaten to

..$# ..$&

Beoul Public "earing@ #0 August #0.&@ afternoon *003&03#=+. Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ morning *0.3413.0+.



death )hen he tried to hide stolen corn in his mouth. Ahen another inmate tried to pry open the corpse’s mouth to ta;e the corn@ he )as also sa agely beaten...$4 22&. The Commission finds that@ in addition to enduring deliberate star ation@ inmates are also depri ed of other basic needs of sur i al. - en though temperatures can reach minus #0 degrees Celsius in )inter@ they are housed in huts or basic barrac;s that often lac; )indo) panes and effecti e heating. 9lan;ets@ soap@ sanitary pads for )omen and other hygiene items as )ell as coo;ing utensils are pro ided infrequently or not at all. 224. The camps offer only the most rudimentary health care facilities@ )hich lac; medical supplies and qualified personnel and offer the seriously ill little more than a place to die. The pre ailing lac; of hygiene and medical care facilities the outbrea; of epidemic diseases that ;ill large numbers of the star ing and e>hausted prisoners. ^ 7r Ahn 7yong/chol described ho) an epidemic bro;e out and ;illed #00 prisoners in one camp because hungry prisoners )ere catching and eating a type of rat that carried the disease. A lot of deaths also occurred in )inter and early spring *)hen the cold )as the harshest and food stoc;s )ere depleted+...$$ ^ 7r Bhin Dong/hyu; endured freeEing )inters in a small house that had one )indo) opening )ithout glass3 IThere )ere a lot of )inds gusting in@ and 5 remember being really cold in the )inter times.J..$% ^ 7r K described that the prisoners of Camp .. )ere li ing in stra) thatched mud shac;s that )ere dug into the ground and placed right ne>t to the pigsties of the camp...$2 ^ 7s Kim "ye/soo; had t)o children in the camp )ithout recei ing any pre/natal or other medical care in relation to her pregnancies. Bhe )as alone in the mountains foraging for edible herbs@ )hen she ga e birth to her first child and had to drag herself bac; to her li ing area@ co ering the ne)/born baby )ith clothing rags and lea es...$1 ^ According to a former inmate@ Political Prison Camp :o. .1 lac;ed medicine and doctors. Prisoners )ho )ere seriously ill )ere gathered in a special I)or; unitJ and (ust left to die. Ahen prisoners died@ they )ere not buried right a)ay. The dead bodies )ere stored in a )arehouse until there )ere enough bodies for a mass burial. Rats often gna)ed the flesh off these bodies. ..$= 22$. The political prison camps run their o)n factories@ farms@ mines and logging operations@ producing among other things@ coal@ clothing for the military and consumer goods. They also produce more food than is being used by the inmates. 5n particular@ high quality foods such as meat are reser ed for the guards or sale. Roads and train connection ensure that the goods produced reach the general economy. The production facilities are administered to generate a ma>imum of economic output at minimal cost@ )ithout proper regard for the )ell/being and sur i al of the inmates. All inmates are sub(ected to forced labour. They generally )or; .# hours or more e ery day of the )ee;@ e en if they are ery sic;. They are only e>empted from forced labour *or ha e to perform only reduced shifts+ on important public holidays and days reser ed for maintenance acti ities. 22%. The assignments most feared by inmates are in the mines and logging sites that are located on the premises of some of the camps. There@ inmates ha e to toil )ith only basic tools in particularly dangerous conditions. Deadly )or; accidents frequently occur as a result of the combination of the prisoners’ dire physical condition and the lac; of safety measures.
..$4 ..$$ ..$% ..$2 ..$1 ..$=

TB"0#=. Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ afternoon. Beoul Public "earing@ #0 August #0.&@ afternoon *003&43$0+. To;yo Public "earing@ &0 August #0.&@ afternoon. Confidential inter ie). TB"0#=. #'&


222. Prisoners are sub(ect to beatings@ e>tended hours and food ration cuts@ if they do not fulfil their assigned daily )or; quota. Cery often@ an entire )or; unit of prisoners is collecti ely punished. This gi es the )or; unit leaders among the prisoners a strong incenti e to dri e fello) prisoners to the point of complete e>haustion. They often beat those fello) prisoners )ho lag behind. 221. 5n the re olutioniEing Eone of Political Prison Camp :o. .$@ elderly prisoners no longer ha e to )or;@ but recei e only reduced food rations. "o)e er@ in the total control Eone prisoners apparently ha e to )or; until they die. 22=. 4rom the age of fi e@ children are forced to engage in forced labour such as farming or cleaning. 5n addition@ they recei e a fe) hours of rudimentary education that is pro ided by BBD agents. 4rom age .$ or .%@ children )or; full/time the forced labour system and are not spared from e en the most bac;brea;ing assignments such as mining. ^ 9orn as a prisoner of Camp :o. .4@ 7r Bhin Dong/hyu; described ho) children recei ed only ery little education )hile spending most of their time farming or doing other chores. "e felt that the camp authorities I )ere thin ing that )e )ere same as [ploughing] animals that5s )hy they felt that they didn5t need to teach us anythingJ...%0 At age .$@ he )as assigned to help build a hydropo)er dam on the Taedong Ri er. 8n one occasion@ three adults and fi e children )ere crushed by a falling concrete )all. The )or; cre) had to continue )or;ing and could only dispose of the bodies at the end of the shift. 4rom age .%@ 7r Bhin had the fortune to be assigned to )or; in a pigsty@ a much co eted position because of the possibility of access to clandestinely obtain animal feed. ..%. ^ 7r K found small sic;les used in farming as he dismantled Political Prison Camp :o. ... "e )as shoc;ed and saddened to hear from the BBD agents remaining on the site that these tools )ere used by children as young as $ years )ho )ere forced to )or; in the fields@ )hile only recei ing a bare minimum of education...%# ^ 7s Kim "ye/soo; had to )or; in a coal mine at Political Prison Camp :o. .1 from age .$. Although there )as nominally a system of three shifts@ they ended up ha ing to )or; .%/.1 hours a day to ma>imiEe output. The men dug up the coal )ith pic;s and sho els. The )omen then had to manually transport the coal to the surface using sac;s@ buc;ets or coal trolleys. 9oth her husband and her brother died in mining accidents. <i;e many others forced to )or; in the mines@ 7s Kim still suffers from blac; lung disease...%& ^ Another )itness@ )ho had to )or; in the same mine@ said that e ery prisoner had to dig up or carry a quota of one ton of coal per day. Bome people ended up )or;ing #0 hours until they filled their quota. The )itness estimated that #00 people died e ery year in that mine alone. ..%4 <f= Deaths in custody and lac1 of respect for the dignity of the dead

210. Political prisoners are considered to ha e been erased from the citiEenry. 5f they die their bodies are ne er returned to the family outside the camp@ but are disposed of )ith no respect for cultural tradition and the dignity of the dead. 5f they ha e family outside the camp@ they )ill generally recei e no notification about the death. ^ 7r Ahn 7yong/chol e>plained that there is no designated burial spot for inmates or a Korean/style tomb. 5nstead@ they )ere simply placed in shallo) holes in collecti e burial sites3 <*hey sometimes buried bodies o"er other bodies: As )e are digging the ground and )e sometimes found the bones# and so if there is a [prison] mine#
..%0 ..%.

..%# ..%& ..%4

Beoul Public "earing@ #0 August #0.&@ afternoon *0.3&=3$0+. 9laine "arden )ith Bhin Dong/hyu;@ Escape from Camp No: -/ *:e) Oor;@ Penguin 9oo;s@ #0.#+@ p. 22. To;yo Public "earing@ &0 August #0.&@ afternoon. Confidential interi e). TAP0.#.



then surrounding hills# and mountains )ould be something li e a cemetery: *here is no actual cemetery for political prisoners:::?..%$ ^ 7r Kang Chol/h)an remembered that he buried o er &00 bodies during his .0 years in Political Prison Camp :o. .$ at Oodo;...%% 5nmates assigned to bury the bodies stripped them of their clothes so as reuse or barter them. ..%2 - entually@ the camp authorities simply bulldoEed the hill used for burials to turn it into a corn field3 <As the machines tore up the soil# scraps of human flesh reemerged from the final resting placeH arms and legs and feet# some still some still stoc inged# rolled in )a"es before the bulldoFer: 2 )as terrified: +ne of friends "omited: @: *he guards then hollo)ed out a ditch and ordered a fe) detainees to toss in all the corpses and body parts that )ere "isible on the surface:? ..%1 21.. 4ormer prisoners and guards inter ie)ed by the Commission all concurred that death )as an e er present feature of camp life. 5n light of the o erall secrecy surrounding the camp@ it is ery difficult to estimate ho) many camp inmates ha e been e>ecuted@ )ere )or;ed to death or died from star ation and epidemics. "o)e er@ based on the little the outside )orld ;no)s about the horrors of the prison camps@ e en a conser ati e estimate leads the Commission to find that hundreds of thousands of people ha e perished in the prison camps since their establishment more than $$ years ago. ..%= (% Dross 4iolations in the ordinary prison system

21#. 5n addition to the political prison camps operated by the BBD@ the DPRK maintains an e>tensi e system of ordinary prisons. The e>istence of these prisons is ac;no)ledged and they ha e a legal basis in the Criminal Code...20 21&. 8rdinary prisons are for the most part operated by the Prisons 9ureau of the 7inistry of People’s Becurity. They are sub(ect to the o ersight of the 8ffice of the Prosecutor. Perpetrators of more serious crimes are sentenced to imprisonment in ordinary prison camps *called yoh)aso@ )hich literally translates to IReform and -dification CentreJ+. <ess serious crimes are supposed to be punished through imprisonment of a fe) months to t)o years in Ilabour training campsJ * rodongdanryundae+. 5n addition@ there are arious types of detention and closed facilities for (u enile offenders and street children. ..2.
..%$ ..%% ..%2 ..%1 ..%=



Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ afternoon *0.3.1300+. Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ afternoon. Kang Chol/h)an@ *he AEuariums of Pyongyang@ p. .0.. Kang Chol/h)an# *he AEuariums of Pyongyang@ p. .0#. Considering the particularly dismal li ing conditions in the political prison camps and also ta;en into account the death rates of sometimes #0 per cent or more reported from ordinary prison camps *see belo)@ section C5.D.4.a+ @ it can be conser ati ely assumed that the a erage annual death rate among political prison camp inmates is at least .0 per cent. This )ould be a death rate ten times higher than the crude death rate for the general population in the DPRK. According to the latest figures a ailable to the Aorld "ealth 8rganiEation@ this mortality rate stands at . per cent *.0 per .000 persons+. Bee Aorld "ealth 8rganiEation@ IBouth -astern Asia Region3 Democratic PeopleTs Republic of Korea statistics summary *#00# / present+J. A ailable from http3!!apps.)ho.int!gho!data! ie).country.2400+. 5f this estimated annual death rate of .0 per cent is applied to the reported estimates of .0$@000 prisoners for the period of .=1#/.==0 and .$0@000 for the period .==./#00$ and .00@000 for the period #00%/#0.&@ the estimated number of deaths )ould be &=$@$00 for the last &. years alone. This figure corresponds )ith the estimate of at least 400@000 dead o er the course of three decades@ )hich has been put for)ard by the Committee for "uman Rights in :orth Korea *"R:K+. Bee "R:K@ I4ounding DocumentJ. A ailable from http3!!))).hrn;.org!publications!founding/document.php. 8nly the usage of police holding centres *;ip yulso+ as places of punishment has no apparent basis in the Criminal Code. Bee section 5C.C. #''


214. According to information pro ided by the DPRK to the Fnited :ations "uman Rights Committee in #00.@ there )ere three prison facilities@ )hich housed .@.$& inmates at the end of .==1@ &@04= at the end of .=== and .@4#% at the end of #000. ..2# 5n #00$@ the DPRK reported to the Committee on the -limination of All 4orms of Discrimination against Aomen *C-DAA+ that in 7arch #00$@ only 40 )omen )ere imprisoned in reform institutions follo)ing con iction...2& 21$. 8n the basis of testimony and other information recei ed@ the Commission finds that these numbers are grossly understated and do not constitute a complete description of the prison system. 5nformation gathered about the number of different prisons in e>istence and reported inmate figures for some of the facilities@ suggest that the number of inmates in the ordinary prison system could be 20@000 or more. ..24 21%. The DPRK contends that its prisons are reform institutions that pro ide reform of prisoners through labour...2$ 5t also stated that in strict application of rele ant regulations@ its prisons are equipped )ith bedrooms@ bathrooms@ dining/rooms@ )or;shops@ education rooms@ libraries@ infirmaries and other facilities@ as )ell as )ith natural and electric lighting@ entilation and heating. The inmates )ere pro ided )ith meals@ drin;ing )ater@ clothing@ bedding and health care. Doctors chec;ed their physical condition and pro ided appropriate medical treatment free of charge. Reform institution officials recei ed special training and )ere prohibited from torturing or insulting inmates. There )as an eight/hour )or;ing day and inmates )ere paid according to the quantity and quality of their )or;. They had access to boo;s@ magaEines and ne)spapers@ could )atch films and tele ision@ listen to the radio@ play games@ engage in sport and could recei e isits from and correspond )ith their family...2% The DPRK also insists that female inmates are assigned appropriate light labour according to their physiological state...22 212. To a certain degree@ the model prisons occasionally sho)n to outside isitors may li e up to these standards. "o)e er@ testimony the Commission gathered from doEens of former inmates and former officials )ho ha e seen other prisons first/hand leads the Commission to find that the ast ma(ority of prisoners e>perience a ery different reality. Patterns of deliberate star ation@ forced labour@ inhumane li ing conditions@ torture and summary e>ecutions e>ist that are in many respects similar to the patterns e>isting in political prison camps@ although the le el of iolations is less intense. <a= +rdinary prison camps <kyohwaso=

211. 7any inmates of the ordinary prisons camps * yoh)aso+ are perpetrators of common crimes@ including iolent and economic crimes. Bentences can in ol e disproportionally long terms of imprisonment for relati ely minor offences. "o)e er@ the harsh sentencing practice is to some degree offset by partial amnesties decreed on
..2# ..2&



..2% ..22

CCPR!C!BR..=44@ para. #%. Responses of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the list of issues and questions for consideration of the initial report@ Committee on the -limination of Discrimination Against Aomen *C-DAA+ Aor;ing ,roup &&rd session@ C-DAA!PBA,!#00$!55!CRP.#!add.&@ p. 1. Bee belo)@ sub/section a+ for a listing of ;no)n ordinary prison camps and sub/ section b+ for figures on short/term forced labour detention facilities. "uman Rights Council@ Report of the Aor;ing ,roup on the Fni ersal Periodic Re ie)3 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea@ A!"RC!.&!.& *#00=+@ para. 4$. This principle is also anchored in article &. of the DPRK Criminal Code. CCPR!C!BR..=44@ para. #1. DPRK responses to the list of issues and questions for consideration of the initial report@ Committee on the -limination of Discrimination against Aomen *C-DAA+ Aor;ing ,roup &&rd session@ C-DAA!PBA,!#00$!55!CRP.#!add.&@ p. 2.



politically important anni ersaries. These allo) many inmates to secure an early release and commit them to gratitude to their go ernment for its generosity. 21=. A considerable number among the yoh)aso inmates are incarcerated for ha ing e>ercised their human rights. Persons )ho try to cross the border into China )ithout authoriEation may be imprisoned in a yoh)aso@ in particular if they are repeat offenders or come from families )ith bad songbun social class. As Christianity is spread in the DPRK@ ordinary follo)ers of the Christian religion )ith good songbun are increasingly sentenced to imprisonment in ordinary prison camps. Church leaders@ acti e missionaries and other high/profile offenders continue to be sent to political prison camps...21 *i+ SiFe and location of ordinary prison camps

2=0. The name@ location and set up of a number ordinary prison camps * yoh)aso+ is relati ely )ell ;no)n. <i;e the political prison camps@ the authorities ha e assigned them numbers3 / 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. .# at ?onggo/ri *:orth "amgyong Pro ince+ is one of the biggest and perhaps the best/documented ordinary prison camp. 7any of its inmates )ere forcibly repatriated from nearby China or had contact )ith the Christian churches operating in the border region. The prison has an estimated &@000/4@000 inmates@ including about .@000 female prisoners )ho ha e been housed in a separate building since #00=. Kyoh)aso :o. .# operates a copper mine@ as )ell as logging and farming enterprises. / 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. . is located in Kaechon City *Bouth Pyongan Pro ince+ and has about #@000 male and female prisoners. The prison has a factory that produces clothing and te>tiles@ some of )hich is apparently being e>ported to countries in the region. / 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. 4 ser es mainly as a place of detention for residents of Pyongyang and some members of the military. 5ts main site )ith an estimated 4@000 prisoners is located in Bamdung/ri@ Kangdong County *Bouth Pyongan Pro ince+. The prison also has se eral outposts in Pyongyang. The "yongsan outpost ser es as a model prison occasionally sho)n to outside isitors. "o)e er@ the rest of the prison comple> is grossly o ercro)ded. 5n #001@ the entire prison comple> reportedly housed around .#@000 male and female prisoners@ four times as many as its intended capacity. The prison camp operates a coal mine and arious factories. / 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. % in Bari)on City *:orth ")anghae Pro ince+ consists of three sites. 8ne of the sites at Dorim has been sho)n to foreign isitors. The prison has &@000/ 4@000 prisoners )ho are forced to engage in farming and the production of clothing and shoes. / 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. = in "amheung *Bouth "amgyong Pro ince+ )as already built during the ?apanese colonial period. The Kyoh)aso consists of a men’s prison *estimated .@$00 inmates+ and a )omen’s prison *$00 inmates+. The prison operates a coal mine and also produces se)ing machines and li estoc;. / 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. .. in Cheungsan *Bouth Pyongan Pro ince+ is located in a mountainous area. 5t consists of smaller housing structures and focuses its economic acti ities on farming@ li estoc; and salt manufacture. According to reports@ it has &@000/$@000 male and female inmates. / 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. ## at 8ro@ Oong;)ang County *Bouth "amgyong Pro ince+ is a smaller facility that )as upgraded from a labour training facility to a regular prison camp in #00%. 5ts male and female inmates are mostly forced to )or; in farming. ..2=
..21 ..2=

Bee abo e@ section 5C.A. The Commission could confirm the e>istence of these prisons based on testimony from former inmates and!or admission of their e>istence by the DPRK. Additional information on the prisons is based on :KD9@ Prisoners in North Korea *oday@ pp. $= ff. Bee also the list of ;no)n ;yoh)aso in Da id "a);@ *he 4idden Aulag@ pp. .= and 1& ff. #'$


2=.. <ess information is a ailable on some of the other yoh)aso that reportedly e>ist@ including3 / 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. 11@ located in Chu;san Cillage@ Aonsan City *Kang)on Pro ince+@ is said to ha e about #@000 prisoners. Bince #002@ it also houses female inmates. / 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. # in Dongrim County *:orth Pyongan Pro ince+ / 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. & in Binui(u *:orth Pyongan Pro ince+ / 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. 2 in Kanggye City *Chagang Pro ince+ / Chonma 8rdinary Prison Camp in Chonma County *:orth Pyongan Pro ince+ / Oongdam 8rdinary Prison Camp in Chonnae County *Kang)on Pro ince+...10 2=#. The Commission cannot e>clude the possibility that there are other ordinary prison camps * yoh)aso+@ )hich are not yet ;no)n to the outside )orld. *ii+ !nfair trials preceding imprisonment

2=&. 8ccasional cases of security officials committing a person )ithout trial to ordinary prison camps ha e been reported. Oet@ most inmates of ordinary prison camps * yoh)aso+ ha e been sentenced to a defined prison term follo)ing con iction at trial. "o)e er@ such trials fall short to such an e>tent of the most basic fair trial guarantees@ that many con icted inmates must be considered ictims of arbitrary detention. The lac; of independence and impartiality of the (udicial system manifests itself in a (udicial process that appears commonly to ta;e the guilt of the accused for granted. ..1. 2=4. Article .%4 of the DPRK Constitution prescribes that the accused is guaranteed the right of defence. 5n practice@ trials often do not in ol e an actual e identiary disco ery process. The defendants are e>pected to confess their crime and sho) repentance. 2=$. A senior la) officer )or;ing at the Bupreme Court of the DPRK@ )hen spea;ing to a isiting foreign delegation@ reportedly summed up the presumption against innocence pre ailing in the DPRK as follo)s3 <Cost defendants are those )hose crime has already been re"ealed# before indictment# through in"estigation by the police: ,hen a person comes to court# )e do not thin of them as innocent:?..1# 2=%. The Code of Criminal Procedure pro ides a right to defence counsel@ )hich is usually state/assigned. Oet@ a number of )itnesses testified before the Commission ho) their o)n state/assigned defence counsel either said nothing or e en (oined the (udge and the prosecutor in berating them for their conduct. At most@ defence counsel pleaded for leniency@ commonly based on the defendant’s good songbun. 2=2. The DPRK Constitution requires trials to be open. "o)e er@ article #2. of the Code of Criminal Procedure sets out broad e>ceptions@ including by allo)ing for closed proceedings Iin case of negati e impactJ. 5n practice@ out of fear of attracting the suspicion of the authorities@ hardly anyone dared to )atch a trial unless officially summoned. ^ 7r Kim ,)ang/il )as con icted to imprisonment in a yoh)aso by the People’s Court in "oeryoung City *:orth "amgyong Pro ince+. The trial too; place in a small room in the Court@
..10 ..1.

:KD9@ Prisoners in North Korea *oday@ pp. $= ff. 8n the lac; of independence and impartiality of the (udicial system@ see also section 555.-. Fnited Kingdom All Party Parliamentary ,roup for :orth Korea@ I9uilding 9ridges not Aalls3 The Case for Constructi e@ Critical -ngagement )ith :orth KoreaJ@ 8ctober #0.0@ p. #&. A ailable from http3!!))).(ubileecampaign.org!9uild9ridges:otAalls.pdf.




)ith one (udge@ one prosecutor@ one defence attorney and t)o citiEen (ury members present. The (udge ne er bothered to as; )hether he )as guilty3 <2n North Korea# it5s ;ust unimaginable: *he ;udge )ill not as [)hether you are guilty or not] and the ;udge )ill ;ust simply ma e decisions: So let5s ;ust get this person this many years and that many years: And the ;udge )ill ne"er as if )e are guilty or not:?..1& 7r Kim had no opportunity to spea; to his state assigned attorney before the trial. The attorney also did not as; him any substanti e questions during the proceedings or attempt to argue a defence. 5nstead@ he merely as;ed 7r Kim if he had any pilots or military officers in the family@ )hich )ould ha e helped achie e a more lenient sentence. ^ 7r Kim "yu; described the trial leading to his con iction to three years imprisonment for illegally crossing the border into China. 7r Kim recei ed )hat he called an I unofficial trialJ at the police station. There )as a (udge@ a prosecutor@ a defence attorney and a (udge present. The defence attorney did not confer )ith 7r Kim nor ma;e any substanti e representation. At the ery end of the proceedings@ he merely as;ed the (udge for leniency because 7r Kim )as young and an orphan. ..14 ^ 5n the trial that led to her being sentenced to three years of imprisonment in 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. ..@ the )itness had to ;eep her head do)n the entire time and )as only allo)ed to say yes as her alleged crimes )ere being read out to her. ..1$ ^ Another man )as con icted and sentenced to nine years of imprisonment in 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. .# for hitting a prosecutor during the course of an interrogation. During the trial@ his o)n defence counsel harshly criticiEed him for his conduct...1% 2=1. The abo ementioned #0.# sur ey of persons )ho fled the DPRK@ )hich )as carried out by the Korean 9ar Association in the Republic of Korea@ found that only .= per cent of the respondents )ho under)ent a criminal trial met their la)yer before the trial. 8nly $ per cent belie ed their la)yer )as of any help. 5n only $2 per cent of trials both the prosecutor and the defence attorney )ere in attendance. 5n 1. per cent of cases@ the courts called no )itnesses in fa our of the defendant. 8nly $4 per cent )ere allo)ed to ma;e a final statement in line )ith article &&0 of the DPRK Code of Criminal Procedure. Almost half of all respondents *4% per cent+ )ere sub(ect to a closed trial...12 *iii+ 2nhumane conditions of detention

2==. 5n accordance )ith article &0 of the DPRK Criminal Code@ the ci il rights of yoh)aso inmates are considered to ha e been partially suspended. "o)e er@ compared to political prison camp inmates@ they deri e a modest measure of protection from the fact that ordinary prison camps are sub(ect to o ersight by the 8ffice of the Prosecutor. 5n addition@ inmates are entitled to recei e a family isit once a month@ although in practice the family usually has to bribe the prison authorities to be able to see the prisoner and to pro ide him or her )ith food and other necessities of sur i al. 100. The Commission finds that prisons in the DPRK are generally se erely o ercro)ded. Toilets are shared and rarely cleaned. There are no sho)ers and prisoners can only )ash themsel es on irregular occasions. They are often not gi en any soap or other hygiene materials. 7any prisons are poorly heated during the harsh Korean )inters.

..1& ..14 ..1$ ..1% ..12

Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ morning *003#&341+. Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ morning. T9,0... T?"00=. Bee K9A@ 78-7 ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.&+@ pp. #.0 ff. #'.


5nmates are e>pected to bring their o)n clothes and blan;ets. 8ther)ise they are pro ided un)ashed second/hand materials@ )hich are infested )ith lice@ bed bugs and other ermin. ^ 7r Kim ,)ang/il described ho) in 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. .# at ?onggo/ri up to %0 or 20 people )ere ;ept in a cell designed for .4 to .2 people. At night@ people had to ta;e turns lying do)n@ )hile others in the cell )ere standing. This led to e>treme e>haustion among the prisoners. ..11 Another )itness@ )ho )as incarcerated in the same prison until #0..@ added that inmates )ho did not recei e blan;ets from their families had to ma;e their o)n from their o)n clothes. The cells )ere infested )ith bugs and lice and infectious diseases spread easily. ..1= ^ According to another former inmate of Kyoh)aso :o. .#@ the ne)ly constructed female )ard )as equally o ercro)ded. There )ere .#00 )omen in a facility constructed for #00 inmates. The hygienic conditions )ere abysmal and lice and coc;roaches abounded. - en in )inter@ the female inmates could only )ash themsel es in the ri er under the eyes of male guards. 8nly their family members pro ided them )ith soap and sanitary nap;ins@ )hich they often had to )ash out and reuse. ..=0 ^ A former female inmate of 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. .. at Cheungson described ho) she )as held )ith 40 to $0 inmates in a cell of appro>imately 40 square metres in the female section. People could not lie do)n straight and fights about space )ere frequent. 5n )inter@ it )as e>tremely cold in the cellbloc;. 5nmates could only )ash themsel es once a month@ and e eryone had lice. - ery month@ at least t)o people from her cell died...=. 10.. <i;e the political prison camps@ the ordinary prison camps also operate mines@ factories@ farms and logging camps by e>tracting forced labour from their inmates. The profits of these entures do not seem to be rein ested in the prisons. Prisoners produce more food in quantity and ariety than is pro ided to them. Ahile international la) does not outla) all forms of in oluntary prison labour for purposes of reforming duly con icted criminals@ the type of labour that ordinary prison camp inmates are forced to do amounts in almost all cases to a form of illegal forced labour as defined by international standards. ..=# Prisoners are typically not duly con icted in a proper court of la)@ but usually sentenced to imprisonment in trials that fail to respect the most basic guarantees of fairness. The forced labour of prisoners must also be regarded as a form of political coercion@ since it is systematically coupled )ith compulsory daily indoctrination sessions focusing on the achie ements and teachings of the ruling Kim family. 5n this regard@ the Commission finds that the prison system does not see; to reform prisoners in a human rights/compliant sense@ but ser es to subdue them and re/establish their absolute obedience to the political system and its leadership. 10#. This finding is reinforced by the fact that )or; conditions are so inhumane that the )or; cannot be said to ser e any legitimate@ rehabilitati e purpose. Bur i ing on star ation food rations@ the prisoners are forced to )or; )ithout pay for =/.# hours e ery day of the )ee;. Aor; that )as normally be underta;en by machines or beasts of burden *e.g. ploughing or coal e>traction+ must be carried out manually in the DPRK’s prisons@ using
..11 ..1= ..=0 ..=. ..=#

Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ morning. TAP0.%. T9,0.&. T9,0.0. 5n application of the standards set out by 5nternational <abour 8rganiEation *5<8+ Con entions :o. #= and :o. .0$ on 4orced <abour@ the 5<8 considers that any of the follo)ing types of in oluntary prison labour amounts to forced labour 3 in oluntary )or; performed by prisoners )ho ha e not been duly con icted in a court of la) N in oluntary )or; performed by a prisoner for the benefit of a pri ate underta;ing N any in oluntary labour that ser es the purposes of political coercion or education@ or as a punishment for holding or e>pressing political ie)sN )or;force mobiliEation for purposes of economic de elopmentN labour disciplineN punishment for ha ing participated in stri;esN or racial@ social@ national or religious discrimination. Bee 5<8@ ICombatting 4orced <abour3 A "andboo; for -mployers and 9usinessJ@ #001@ pp. .0 and .$.



rudimentary tools. 5f prisoners fail to fulfil their onerous daily )or; quotas or accidentally damage prison property@ they are sub(ect to torture and inhuman punishment@ including beatings@ solitary confinement and cuts to their already meagre food rations. Deadly )or; accidents are ery frequent because little consideration is gi en to )or; safety. ^ 8ne former inmate )or;ed in the limestone quarry and the gold mine of 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o 4 in Kandong County@ Bouth Pyongan Pro ince. The inmates )ere so tired and e>hausted that )or; accidents )ere ery frequent. 8n one occasion@ he suffered an open fracture of his foot in a mining accident. The s;in )as se)n together )ithout anaesthesia and he )as ordered to report bac; to the mine the same day. "e only sur i ed@ because the head of his )or; unit reassigned him to lighter duties. "e )itnessed se eral )or;ers being crushed to death after their hands or clothing got caught in the limestone crushing machine. The air )as so dusty that they could not see ery )ell. They (ust heard a scream and )hen they rushed to the machine they find a mangled body hanging from the crusher. ..=& Cery similar types of deadly crushing accidents )ere related by another )itness@ )ho )or;ed in the copper mine of Kyoh)aso :o. .# of ?onggo/ri...=4 ^ A former inmate of 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. ## at 8ro had to farm )ithout proper tools and e en had to spread fertiliEer consisting of human faeces )ith their bare hands. ..=$ 10&. 5n a #00$ submission to the Committee on the -limination of all 4orms of Discrimination against Aomen@ the DPRK contended that female inmates only )or; in )or;shops that produce such items as clothes@ shoes or bags@ for )hich they are remunerated...=% Ahile the Commission has not recei ed any information about )omen ha ing to engage in mining in the ordinary prison system@ it recei ed numerous credible accounts from female inmates that they had to engage@ )ithout pay@ in bac;brea;ing )or; in forestry and farming. ^ A former female inmate of 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. .# at ?onggo/ri@ had to rise e ery morning at $ a.m. Bhe collected )ood until .0p.m. e ery day. 5nmates )ho )or;ed too slo)ly )ere beaten. 5nmates only recei ed used clothes and she could hardly )al; in the ill/fitting shoes gi en to her. Ahen she could not ;eep up )ith the rest of her unit marching to )or;@ the guard put a rope around her nec; and dragged her along...=2 ^ A female inmate@ )ho )as detained at Kyoh)aso :o. .# until #0..@ had to do hard farming )or;. "o)e er@ the food produced in the farms )as used to feed the guards. The small rations left her so hungry that she ate different types of grass@ )ild mushrooms and tree bar; to sur i e. A number of times@ she sa) other inmates being beaten for stealing food. ..=1 ^ Bimilar hard farming )or; )as also forced on another )oman@ )ho )as detained at Kyoh)aso :o. .# until the end of #0.0. The guards al)ays )atched the hungry prisoner to ma;e sure that they did not ta;e any of the corn they had to gro). Ahen the female prisoners concluded their )or; at around 2 p.m. in the e ening@ they still had to sit through long indoctrination sessions emphasiEing the greatness of Kim ?ong/il and Kim 5l/sung...== 104. Ahen they enter the ordinary prison camps@ most ne) arri als are already )ea; and star ing follo)ing )ee;s or months of star ation rations in interrogation detention centres and temporary police holding facilities. At the yoh)aso they continue to be e>posed to
..=& ..=4 ..=$ ..=% ..=2 ..=1 ..==

TB"0&$. TAP0.%. T9,0.1. C-DAA!PBA,!#00$!55!CRP.#!add.&@ p. 1. T9,00&. T<C0#&. TB"0.1. #'2


star ation. 4ood rations pro ided in the ordinary prison camp ary depending on the forced labour a prisoner is assigned to do and the prisoner’s conduct. Despite ha ing to engage in strenuous types of forced labour@ the a erage prisoner only recei e about &00 grams of rough corn porridge or coo;ed rice )ith beans per day. This amount of food pro ides only a fraction of the minimum dietary energy requirement for adults in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea@ as calculated by the Fnited :ations. .#00 Therefore@ those )ho do not find additional sources of food are effecti ely condemned to star ing to death. 7any inmates of ordinary prison camps sur i e only than;s to e>tra food that their families bring during monthly isits. 8thers feed themsel es by hunting rodents and other ermin@ eating grass and )ild plants or finding )ays to di ert animal feed for their o)n use. 10$. 4ormer officials confirmed that the policy of star ation rations is deliberate@ so as to ;eep prisoners )ea; and easy to control. This is also e idenced by the fact that the surplus food and other resources generated by the prisons’ forced labour do not appear to be applied to)ards pro iding prisoners )ith adequate food and other necessities of sur i al. ^ 7r Kim ,)ang/il@ a former inmate of 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. .# at ?onggo/ri testified that the prisoners star ed as they only recei ed 10 grams of bad quality food per meal3 Cost people became "ery )ea : *he food they ga"e us )as less than G8 grams per meal but if you did something )rong# if you slipped up# they )ould gi"e you less: @ *hey fed us some things that not e"en the pigs )ould eat# li e for eDample# rotten cucumber: 3oiled rotten cucumber )as gi"en to eat: And if )e refused to eat that )e )ould be punished: Sometimes )e )ould be punished by being gi"en less than 08 grams [of food]:.#0. ^ 7r Kim added that prisoners became so desperate that they hunted and ate the sna;es that li ed on the prison’s premises. ^ 7r Kim "yu;@ another former inmate of Kyoh)aso :o. .#@ indicated that most prisoners only sur i ed than;s to the food their families bring them. Bome inmates )aited in ain for their family and )ould die. Bince he )as an orphan@ 7r Kim could not rely on any help from outside3 <2 ne) 2 had to sur"i"e on my o)n: So 2 )ould eat anything# and 2 ate liFards# sna es# rats# )hether it )as reptiles# )hate"er:@ in the springtime# 2 )ould eat grass# but if you eat the )rong grass# then you )ould get poisoned and you )ould get all the s)elling and bloated: 2 )ould eat different types of grass and the roots:?.#0# ^ According to another inmate of 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. .#@ inmates only recei ed fi e small potatoes in the morning and a small cup of corn porridge and salted soup )ith some cabbage lea es for lunch and dinner. - eryone )as ery hungry and rapidly lost )eight. Those )ho did not ha e family to bring food them food died quic;ly. 8n one occasion an inmate consumed e erything his family sent him at once because he )as so hungry. "e )as not used to ta;ing in so much food and omited. "e s)ept the omit into a bag to ;eep it for )hen he got hungry again. 8n another occasion@ the )itness’s )or; unit had to plant seeds into little pots that )ere later planted as seedlings onto the field. 4earing the hungry inmates )ould eat the seeds@ the guards soa;ed them in urine and manure. The inmates still tried to eat

.#0. .#0#

The 4ood and Agriculture 8rganiEation *4A8+ has established a 7inimum Dietary -nergy Requirement of .120 calories per day for the a erage adult in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. A ailable from http3!!))).fao.org!fileadmin!templates!ess!documents!foodWsecurityWstatistics!7inimumDietary-ner gyRequirementWen.>ls. Thre hundred grams of good quality corn porridge pro ide only about &00 calories. The same amount of coo;ed rice and beans pro ide about &$0 calories. Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ morning *003$&3.0+. Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ morning *003&234#+.



them. Therefore@ the guards made them call their prisoner numbers@ going round and around bet)een the prisoners@ so that none of them had a free moment to che) and s)allo) any seeds. 5f prisoners did not say their number@ the guards put a )alnut siEed roc; in their mouth to pre ent them from eating..#0& ^ According to a former inmate of 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. = in "amhung@ the inmates )ere so malnourished that they loo;ed li;e s;inny stic;s )ith big heads. Prisoners tried to catch rats to sur i e. "o)e er many )ere no longer fast enough@ gi en that they )ere forced to )or; outside e ery day from 1 a.m. until late in the e ening@ regardless of the )eather. Bome prisoners from more pri ileged bac;grounds bribed the guards to be assigned better rations and easier forced labour. Buch prisoners )ere nic;named the Idining classJ. .#04 *i + *orture and eDecutions

10%. 5nmates of ordinary prison camps are sub(ect to strict rules and must demonstrate absolute obedience to the guards. 4ailure to obey an order is punished in a ariety of )ays@ ranging from food ration cuts and depri ation of sleep to reassignment to harsher labour@ beatings and solitary confinement in tiny cells. 4ormer inmates of different ordinary prison camps indicated that solitary confinement meant imprisonment in cells so small that the ictim could not lie do)n or stand up. During time ser ed in solitary confinement@ the food ration is reduced to less than .00 grams of rice or corn porridge per day. 102. ,uards often impose punishments on prisoners on the spot. - en serious cases of physical abuse by the guards or prison unit leaders@ acting on their behalf@ do not result in any accountability. Prisoners incarcerated for politically sensiti e crimes are often singled out for particular punishment. ^ 7r Kim ,)ang/il described ho) guards at 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. .# at ?onggo/ri had the right to beat or other)ise torture them at any point@ including for tri ial matters such as snoring )hile sleeping. The guards also assigned inmates to the )orst forced labour or cut their rations based on reports of misconduct they recei ed from informers among the prisoners. .#0$ ^ A former inmate of 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. . at Kaechon@ )ho )as sent to prison for e>pressing her Christian religion@ )as punished .0 times )ith solitary confinement during her se en years of detention. Bhe )as also assigned to pull the cart used to remo e e>crement from the prison latrines. Be eral times the guards made her lic; off e>crement that had spilled o er in order to humiliate and discipline her..#0% ^ Another former prisoner recounted ho) he and other prisoners of 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. .# at ?onggo/ri )ere ordered to protect the stems of corn from hea y rains by placing earth around it. Ahen inmates used the occasion to eat corn and the guards caught them@ they made them ;eep a corn stal; in their mouth all day. Any inmate dropping the stal; recei ed a hea y beating..#02 ^ A man )ho had been con icted in relation to illegal tra el and smuggling across the Chinese border tal;ed o a fello) inmate in his cell at Kyoh)aso :o. .#@ e en though that )as not allo)ed. The guard punished him by ramming a metal rod in his mouth@ causing him to lose se eral teeth..#01

.#0& .#04 .#0$ .#0% .#02 .#01

T?"00=. TB"0.=. Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ morning. T9,0.4. T?"00=. T?"0.0. #(&


^ Another former inmate of Kyoh)aso :o. .# bro;e the rule of ne er loo;ing a prison official in the eye. According to his testimony@ he )as beaten )ith a club and ;ic;ed until he bled and his arm )as bro;en..#0= 101. 8rdinary prison camps in the DPRK are usually secured by high )alls topped )ith barbed )ire and electrified fences )ith a deadly oltage. Closed circuit tele ision *CCTC+ cameras ha e also recently been installed to monitor the interior of the prison. ,uards ha e the right to shoot to ;ill escaping prisoners. Those )ho are caught ali e are sub(ect to e>tremely harsh punishment. Fntil a fe) years ago@ inmates )ho tried to escape )ere summarily e>ecuted on a regular basis. 5t is uncertain )hether such e>ecutions remain the practice today. ^ 7r Kim "yu; )itnessed the e>ecution of a prisoner of 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. .# )ho attempted to escape. 7r Kim himself narro)ly escaped e>ecution@ )hen on one occasion he )as separated from his )or; unit@ )hile in the mountains. "e )as in estigated for attempted escape and the guards beat him )ith their rifle butts in the head to force him to confess. - entually he )as able to con ince them that he had only become lost..#.0 ^ 5n .==2@ another inmate of 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. .# )as forced to )atch the e>ecution of a man )ho attempted to escape. After the e>ecution )as o er@ the prison’s director had his dri er tie a rope around the nec; of the dead prisoner. The other end of the rope )as tied to the bac; of a car. The car dro e four times around the prison court yard@ dragging the body behind it. All inmates had to )atch this brutal spectacle@ )hich )as meant to ser e as a )arning against future escape attempts. ^ Another )itness@ imprisoned at 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. .. in Cheungsan from #004 to #002@ recounted that it )as established prison policy to summarily e>ecute anyone caught trying to escape. The )itness sa) se eral e>ecutions of such prisoners. .#.. ^ According to another man )ho )as detained at 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. .# until #0..@ prisoners )ho tried to run a)ay )ere shot to death )hile trying to escape. The )itness did not see any summary e>ecutions of those caught ali e. Buch inmates )ere reassigned to harsh )or; that li;ely caused them to die. -ach prisoner )as also partnered up )ith another prisoner and ordered to )atch the other. 5n case one attempted to escape@ the other prisoner )as also punished..#.# * + Rape and forced abortion

10=. There is an increasing number of female prisoners@ not least since many of those )ho flee to China and are subsequently repatriated are )omen. 7ale and female inmates are generally ;ept separate@ in line )ith international standards. "o)e er@ male guards are often assigned to guard female prisoners. Ahile se>ual contact bet)een guards and prisoners is not condoned by the prison authorities@ the po)er differential bet)een guards and inmates ma;es it easy for guards to abuse and rape prisoners )ith impunity. The instances of rape include cases )here guards demand se> in e>change for food or other essential goods that prisoners require to sur i e the ordinary prison camp@ thus ta;ing ad antage of the coerci e circumstances of the prison en ironment..#.& 5t is difficult to quantify the number of rapes ta;ing place in the DPRK’s ordinary prison system@ since many ictims )ill not re eal such abuse in light of the social stigma attached to rape.

.#0= .#.0 .#.. .#.# .#.&

TAP0.%. Confidential inter ie). T9,00%. TAP0.%. Be>ual contact by ta;ing ad antage of coerci e circumstances amounts to rape. Bee the references pro ided in section 5C.-.& d+.



^ 7r Kim "yu; )itnessed ho) the hospital chief raped a )oman at Kyoh)aso :. .#. 8n another occasion@ he sa) a guard raping a )oman..#.4 ^ According to a former female inmate of the same prison@ the guards had the prettier among the female inmates sit close to the bars@ so that they could grope their breasts. The same )itness also ;ne) se eral )omen )ho agreed to se>ual contacts )ith the guards to recei e more than the usual star ation rations or other benefits that allo)ed them to sur i e. 8n one occasion@ one female inmate spo;e about such a se>ual contact )ith others. The guards made her ;neel outside co ered from head to toe in thic; layers of sno)@ so that she appeared li;e a grotesque human sno)man..#.$ 5n the past@ )omen )ho entered the prison already pregnant or become pregnant in prison regularly had to undergo a forced abortion@ including at the late stages of the pregnancy )hen the foetus is already iable to sur i e on its o)n. Bome prisons systematically administered blood tests to ne) female inmates to chec; for pregnancies. 5n more recent years@ more cases ha e been reported of )omen being allo)ed to lea e the prison to ha e the child and then return )hile the child remains in the custody of family members. .#.% ^ The authorities at 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. = forced the )itness@ )ho ser ed as a medical assistant@ to administer a fello) inmate )ho )as three months into her pregnancy )ith a de)orming medicine so as to trigger an abortion. Ahen this medication failed to ha e the desired effect@ the ictim )as forced to drin; an opium concoction and aborted the child. The foetus )as fed to the pigs ;ept in the prison. .#.2 ^ Another )itness related the case of a fello) inmate forced to ha e an abortion )hile the )itness )as imprisoned at 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. .# from #004/#0....#.1 * i+ %ac of medical care# deaths in custody and lac of respect for the dead

1.0. The Commission finds that@ e ery year@ thousands of people die in the ordinary prison camps in the DPRK. They die from deliberately imposed star ation@ disease@ e>ecutions and in(uries sustained as a result of )or; accidents and beatings. 1... Btar ation and related diseases constitute the primary cause of death. 5n many prisons@ the authorities ha e de ised regular star ation chec;/ups to systematically identify those )ho are e>pected to die soon. Despite methodically ;eeping trac; of star ation in prisons in this manner@ the authorities are not changing the underlying policies that lead to such star ation. 5nstead@ those )ho are found to be in a critical stage are ta;en out of their )or; units. :o meaningful medical inter entions are pro ided to pre ent prisoners in a critical state of star ation from dying. 8n some occasions@ prisoners )ho are deemed to be terminally ill are released and handed o er to their families in the e>pectation that their death is highly li;ely to occur quic;ly. ^ During his imprisonment at 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. = at "amhung@ the )itness )as assigned to )or; as a Imedical apprenticeJ. 5n this role he came to ;no) that 410 out of .#00 inmates )ho )ere held there in the )inter of .===!#000 died o er the course of si> months. 7edical staff regularly measured the space bet)een a prisoner’s buttoc;s to gauge his or her le el of star ation. Those classified to be in a critical stage )ere ta;en out of their forced labour units and brought to a dying room. They )ere pro ided )ith the usual food@ but no medicine or any treatment to pre ent death from star ation. The prisoners assigned to help them )ere themsel es so hungry that they tried to steal the


.#.$ .#.% .#.2 .#.1

5nformation pro ided during a confidential inter ie) preceding 7r. Kim’s participation in the Beoul Public "earing. T9,00&. Bee also :KD9@ Prisoners in North Korea *oday@ p. 4&%. TB"0.=. TAP0.%. #('


dying prisoners’ food. The bodies of those )ho died )ere collected in a storeroom@ )here rats often gna)ed on their bodies@ before being burned in large numbers in a furnace on the prison grounds. .#.= ^ 7r Kim ,)ang/il indicated that similar star ation chec;/ups )ere performed at Kyoh)aso :o. .# to find those )ho )ere li;ely going to die from star ation3 <E"erybody suffers from malnutrition: 2n the ;ail# they determine )hether you are physically )ea or not by stripping you na ed and they see ho) your butt chee s are: 2f your butt chee s are apart and loose# the guards see if their fists can fit in bet)een the butt chee s: And that5s ho) they determine )hether if you are )ea or not: *he person standing up recei"ed Mclass -st )ea ness5# the one standing to his side)ays is M7nd class5# and the third person is M=rd class5: So if you are determined to be )ea li e them# you )ill ne"er ma e it out of this camp:?.##0 ^ The Commission also recei ed testimony from a man@ )ho ser ed as a medical assistant during his imprisonment in 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. .# at ?onggo/ri. During the .# months he spent there@ e eryone suffered from malnutrition and he personally ;ne) of .21 cases of prisoners )ho died. "e )as required to )a;e people up during the night and see if they )ere lucid. Those )ho )ere not@ )ere gi en a drip for fi e minutes@ but no other inter ention. Bome prisoners )ho )ere close to dying )ere sent bac; to their family to die there..##. 1.#. A large number of the )ea; prisoners die from infectious diseases. The dismal hygienic conditions in the o ercro)ded cells pro ide an ideal breeding ground for infectious diseases. -pidemics regularly ra age the ordinary prison camps. Prisons usually ha e a military doctor )ho is assisted by unlearned prisoners. "o)e er@ the medical facilities lac; the equipment and medicine necessary to pro ide effecti e medical assistance. 5nmates )ho get seriously ill often sur i e only because of medicine supplied by their families. 1.&. The bodies of those )ho die in prison are ne er returned to their families. 5nstead@ they are often tossed into mass gra es or collecti ely burnt )ithout respect for the dignity of the dead. The families are often not notified about the death@ although many come to find out )hen they arri e to isit a relati e and are told that the inmate has died. ^ 7s ?ee "eon A described ho)@ in one day alone@ a disease causing se ere diarrhoea ;illed about #0 inmates at Kyoh)aso :o. .. at Cheungsan. They did not ha e any medicine@ e>cept for burnt corn stal;s that had been ground into a po)der. The bodies )ere buried in a mass gra e ;no)n as Iflo)er hillJ. Among the ictims )as a close friend of 7s ?ee3 <She began to lose a lot of )eight to the point that she could not get up# and eat )ith her o)n hand @ there )as nothing 2 could do: 2 could not gi"e her any medicine: And )hen she died# she couldn5t e"en close her eyes: She died )ith her eyes open: 2 cried my heart out:? 7s ?ee tied a bottle around her dead friend’s body )ith a piece of paper noting her name@ date of birth and date of death so that she may be recogniEed one day. .### ^ Another former inmate of 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. .. described ho) she hunted frogs and rats and ate grass to sur i e. -specially in )inter@ lots of inmates )ere dying of star ation. 7any people also died from diseases including diarrhoea@ since no medicine other than a fe) medical herbs )as a ailable. "er (ob )as to carry the bodies to the Iflo)er hillJ mass gra e )hich )as said to already be the burying ground for $000 bodies. They had to dig holes for the dead that )ere so
.#.= .##0 .##. .###

TB"0.=. Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ morning *003$03#0+. TB"0&%. Beoul Public "earing@ #0 August #0.&@ afternoon *0#3$$3.0+.



small and shallo) that the bodies had to be bent to fit. 8n some occasions the deceased person’s ;nees stuc; out of the ground. .##& ^ According to 7r Kim ,)ang/il@ there )ere hundreds of deaths during his t)o years and fi e months at 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. .#. 7r Kim )as himself in ol ed in the disposal of the bodies of o er .00 prisoners. The bodies )ere collected in a storeroom@ )here they )ere often eaten by rodents or rot in the summer heat. Ahen enough bodies had piled up@ they )ould be hea ed on a large cart and dri en up to the mountains@ )here they )ere burnt. 5nmates )ho )ere strong enough )ere forced to assist in the disposal of the bodies. 7r Kim described ho) the bodies )ere I burnt li e rubbish?@ )ith the mortal remains sometimes being used as fertiliEer for the prison fields. .##4 ^ A former male inmate confirmed that the practice of burning the dead collecti ely and using their ashes as fertiliEer carried on at 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. .# )as still ongoing )hen he )as released in #0... 8n one occasion@ he )as forced to bring a pile of bodies up the mountain and sa) that rats had already gna)ed of the flesh from their faces. The )itness estimates that at least 100 prisoners died e ery year from malnourishment@ infectious diseases and accidents at )or;. .##$ ^ A former prisoner remembered that in .==2 and .==1@ around $00 inmates died from a typhoid epidemic in Kyoh)aso :o. .# at ?onggo/ri. Another former inmate e>perienced a second typhoid epidemic that ra aged in that prison in the )inter of #00=!#0.0. .##% Bo many people died that entire )or; units ceased to function. Bhe contracted typhoid herself and got so )ea; that the guards dumped her in the room assigned for inmates )ho )ere considered close to death. Bhe thin;s she sur i ed only because she lic;ed the icy )ater from the )indo)s to bring do)n her fe er. Ahen it )as disco ered she )as still ali e she )as sent bac; to her cell. 8nly later )as she pro ided )ith medication that helped her sur i e..##2 ^ A )oman )ho )as imprisoned at 8rdinary Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. ## at 8ro recalls that lots of people died from star ation and beatings in the prison. Their bodies )ere collected in one of the corn barns and then dumped into a mass gra e..##1 ^ A former 7PB official sa) numerous star ing prisoners )ho )ere left to die during a isit to Kyoh)aso :o. 4 in Kandong County. .##= Bhoc;ed by )hat the )itness sa)@ the )itness made an enquiry )ith the 7PB Corrections 9ureau in #0.0 and )as informed that more than 100 inmates per year )ere dying in Kyoh)aso :o. 4. The death toll )as aggra ated by the fact that many inmates )ere from nearby Pyongyang. 5n consequence of them ha ing committed crimes@ their families had been banished from Pyongyang to remote pro inces. .#&0 This meant that the families could not regularly isit them and bring food. <b= @hort-term forced labour detention camps

1.4. Persons )ho are found to ha e committed smaller crimes may be sent to short/term prison camps@ )here they are usually imprisoned for periods ranging from one month to one year. 4or e>ample@ persons repatriated from China@ )ho con ince the BBD that they spent a relati ely short time there and a oided contact )ith churches or R8K citiEens@ are typically sent to such prison facilities. People of good songbun )ho are caught using a Chinese mobile phone or )atching foreign mo ies might get a)ay )ith a stint in such facilities.

.##& .##4 .##$ .##% .##2 .##1 .##= .#&0

T9,0.0. Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ morning. TAP0.%. TB"0.1. T?"00=. T9,0.1. T,C004. Bee also section 5C.C.. a+ *i+. #($


1.$. 7en and )omen are ;ept separate in line )ith international standards. Among the inmates of some facilities are also children. "o)e er@ they are generally assigned lighter forms of labour. 1.%. The ast ma(ority of short/term forced labour camps are administered by the 7PB and local authorities. A ery small number of the ;no)n short/term forced labour detention camps are run by the BBD and the KPA 7ilitary Becurity Command. 1.2. The most common among the short/term prisons are called Ilabour training campsJ *rodongdanryundae+. They started being set up from the .==0s@ in accordance )ith an order from Kim ?ong/il that correctional facilities for misdemeanours should be established by local authorities at the county le el..#&. Today@ article &. of the Criminal Code@ )hich foresees the punishment of labour training@ pro ides the legal basis for such camps. 1.1. 5n a comprehensi e #0.# study@ the Database Center for "uman Rights in :orth Korea identified 4= labour training camps administered by the 7PB and t)o by the KPA 7ilitary Becurity Command..#&# The true number might be a lot higher considering that such facilities )ere to be established at the le el of e ery county. 1.=. 5n addition@ the 7PB operates facilities referred to as labour reform centres * yoyangso+ in pro inces and ma(or cities..#&& Perpetrators of crimes of medium se erity@ including less gra e forms of Ianti/socialist beha iourJ@ are often assigned to forced labour in these prisons. The 7PB and BBD holding centres * ;ip yulso+ are also effecti ely used as places of punishment in the DPRK@ although there appears to be no legal basis for that. .#&4 1#0. 5nmates of all three categories of short/term prisons ha e in common that their punishment resulting in loss of liberty is not based on criminal con iction by a court of la)@ as )ould be required by international la). 5nstead@ their guilt and punishment )as determined by the 7PB or the BBD@ )hich form part of the e>ecuti e branch of go ernment. 8nly in a minority of cases@ inmates of labour reform centres and labour training camps ha e gone through a trial@ and if they did it so it )as the type of grossly unfair (udicial trial described abo e. .#&$ Therefore@ hardly any of the inmates can considered to be duly con icted by a court of la)N they are ictims of arbitrary detention and illegal forced labour as defined under international la). ^ After her interrogation under torture )as concluded@ the )itness )as IsentencedJ by an BBD agent to si> months at a labour training camp for ha ing illegally crossed into China. The agent too; into account as a mitigating circumstance that she had only spent a ery short time in China and had gone there )ith the intent to support her family. Bhe had to sign *by finger print+ a document pledging ne er to go to China again and not to disclose )hat happened to her during her interrogation by the BBD..#&% ^ Another )oman recounted ho) BBD agents committed her@ )ithout any form of trial@ to a labour training camp in Bouth "amgyong Pro ince@ because she had been illegally in China. Bhe )as ne er told ho) long her punishment )ould be and ended up being ;ept for four months. The )itness ascribes her sur i al only to the fortunate coincidence that the camp’s manager )as an old friend of her father’s..#&2

.#&. .#&# .#&&

.#&4 .#&$ .#&% .#&2

:KD9@ Prisoners in North Korea *oday# p. &&. :KD9@ Prisoners in North Korea *oday@ p. $.. A more accurate literal translation of the Korean )ord yoyangso )ould be Ireform through teaching centreJ. Bee section 5C.C.#.d+ iii on the treatment in the police holding centres J;ip yulso+. Bee section 5C.-.. b+. T?"0#1. T9,0.0.



^ 5n #00=@ the )itness@ a young )oman from "yesan *Ryanggang Pro ince+@ )as denounced by her friend@ because she had secretly )atched mo ies produced in the R8K. 4our 7PB officers interrogated her until & a.m. in the morning and slapped her face until she admitted to her IcrimeJ. Thereafter@ she )as detained incommunicado and forced to )rite a confession statement. After nine days of detention@ she )as brought before a gathering of police officers. "er ItrialJ before these police officers consisted of an announcement )hat crime she committed and that she had to ser e si> months of imprisonment..#&1 1#.. Bhort/term forced labour detention camps positi ely distinguish themsel es from the ordinary prison camps because prisoners can recei e family isits on a more frequent basis. Becurity measures also tend to be less strict. There are only fe) reported cases of escape attempts from such prisons that resulted in summary e>ecutions..#&= 1##. 5n other respects@ ho)e er@ the inmates of short/term prisons suffer iolations similar to those in ordinary prison camps * yoh)aso+. Kept in inhumane hygienic conditions@ they ha e to engage in forced labour )hile recei ing so little food that they face star ation. Prisoners )ho do not perform their )or; )ell or )ho disobey the guards are beaten@ often se erely. 4e)@ if any medical ser ices are pro ided in the short/term camps. Prisoners )ho become ery sic; are ta;en to local hospitals. 7any prisoners die from star ation@ disease or in(uries sustained during beatings and )or; accidents. 5n a considerable number of cases@ prisoners )ho are e>pected to die soon are handed o er to their families@ so that the detention camp is not saddled )ith the responsibility and the burden to handle the dead body. Aitnessed also relayed a number of cases of forced abortion carried out in labour training camps. ^ Detained in a labour training camp in "amhung *Bouth "amgyong Pro ince+ after his repatriation from China@ 7r Timothy only recei ed fi e spoons of unspiced rice and bean porridge per meal. The malnourished inmates@ )ho loo;ed li;e Is;eletons barely co ered )ith s;inJ@ had to be up from $ a.m. until .0 p.m. e ery day. 5n addition to ha ing to perform hard labour@ they also recei ed ideology instruction. Those )ho failed to memoriEe the teachings of Kim 5l/sung correctly had their prison term e>tended. After a month or t)o of imprisonment@ a lot of inmates died3 <9ou see so many bodies# dead bodies# coming out of the detention centres: People )ho try to escape [the &PRK] are the first ones to go out dead:?.#40 ^ 7s P )as forced to carry logs of )ood and cut grass during her imprisonment in a labour training camp in :orth "amgyong Pro ince. The prisoners )ere star ing3 <,e )ere gi"en @ corn-based food# ;ust enough to eep us ali"e: (or young male inmates# [the food pro"ided] )as "ery insufficient# so male inmates )ould find )orms or sna es in the field )hen they )ere )or ing there: *hey )ould eat them ali"e to feel that feeling in the stomach:? .#4. ^ Another )oman@ )ho had also been forced to )or; in logging during her detention in a labour training camp@ described ho) a lot of inmates )ere crushed by tree trun;s as they tried to carry the large logs do)n the mountain slopes on their bac;s..#4# ^ 5n #004@ the )itness )as imprisoned in a labour training facility follo)ing her interrogation by the BBD in Binui(u. Bhe )as forced to do farming and logging )or; starting at $a.m. Bhe
.#&1 .#&=

.#40 .#4. .#4#

TAP0.0. TAP0.% )as a )itness to three e>ecutions of persons )ho attempted to escape an BBD holding centre in :orth "amgyong. Bee also :KD9@ Prisoners in North Korea *oday@ pp. #1&@ &$#@ )hich finds no cases of e>ecutions in police holding centres and only one e>ample of a labour training camp@ )here those )ho try to escape are e>ecuted. Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ afternoon *0.3$2300+. Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ afternoon *0.3423.0+. T?"0#1. #(.


recei ed a lump of maiEe and fi e pieces of pic;led radish per day. Bhe in(ured herself and )as limping so that she could not )or; as fast as the others. A guard punched her face@ causing her to lose a tooth and pass out. After regaining consciousness@ she immediately had to return to the field despite the fact that she could hardly stand on her o)n. As she )as not able to do any )or; the guards started beating her again. Bhe )as e entually e>amined by a doctor@ but not pro ided any medicine. The )itness also recalled an incident@ )here a )oman )as caught eating ra) rice grains she too; from the field. Bhe )as ta;en to the cell bloc; and beaten up. Ahen the )itness tried to help her@ she )as beaten up as )ell. Cases of diarrhea )ere quite common and one inmate in her cell died because she recei ed no treatment. The ictim’s body )as so emaciated that the guards could simply fold it o er to carry it a)ay )ith great ease. .#4& ^ 5n #000@ the )itness spent si> months of imprisonment in an all/female labour training camp in :orth "amgyong. There )ere &0 to 40 inmates crammed into a #1square metres cell. They had to sleep on the stra) co ered floor. The prison only supplied ra) corn and salted soup. "o)e er@ family members )ere allo)ed to isit and bring food. Bhe had to carry sandbags and roc;s. At night@ inmates )ere also forced to march and run. Those )ho did not do )ell )ere beaten. .#44 ^ A former labour training camp inmate )itnessed a 2 month pregnant )oman in her #0s being ;ic;ed many times in the stomach at a short term labour camp in "yesan. During the night@ the ictim miscarried and the )omen in her room helped to deli er the baby. The baby )as born ali e@ but after about . minute died. The )itness )rapped the baby’s body in a cloth and left it in the corridor. The body stayed there for a )ee; until the guards too; it a)ay. .#4$ ^ A )oman detained in another labour camp described a similar case. A hea ily pregnant )oman@ )ho had been repatriated from China@ )as being ;ic;ed in the stomach until she started bleeding. The guards too; her to the hospital. Ahen she returned@ her belly )as no longer s)ollen and her eyes )ere s)ollen from crying. This led the )itness to conclude that the )oman lost the child. .#4% $% 5:ecutions

1#&. The DPRK continues to impose the death penalty. Capital punishment is pro ided for by article #2 of the DPRK Criminal Code. Ahile the DPRK does not pro ide any comprehensi e statistics@ first/hand testimony collected by the Commission and other obser ers leads the Commission to find that a large number of persons are e>ecuted e ery year in the DPRK. 5n the ast ma(ority of cases@ the strict conditions and safeguards that article % of the 5CCPR requires in relation to the death penalty are not obser ed. 1#4. The #004 reform of the DPRK Criminal Code reduced the number of crimes that are sub(ect to the death penalty in the DPRK. "o)e er@ the Criminal Code’s remaining death penalty pro isions still co er a )ide range of conduct that e>tends far beyond the Zmost serious crimes’ to )hich article % 5CCPR limits the application of the death penalty. 7oreo er@ some death penalty pro isions are so broad and aguely defined that they can easily be abused to suppress the e>ercise of human rights. Article $= of the DPRK Criminal Code@ for instance@ allo)s the death penalty to be imposed inter alia for gra e cases of participating in a demonstration )ith anti/state purposes. 5n gra e cases@ the death penalty may also be imposed on a IKorean national@ )ho@ under the control of imperialists@ suppresses the people’s struggle for national liberation or the struggle for the reunification of the country or betrays the nation by selling national interests to imperialists.J.#42
.#4& .#44 .#4$ .#4% .#42

T,C00.. T9,0.2. TB"0&=. TAP00&. Bee DPRK Criminal Code@ article %2.



1#$. Bince #002@ the scope of crimes sub(ect to the death penalty has been once again e>panded. 5n Beptember #002@ the Btanding Committee of the Bupreme People’s Assembly adopted an ordinance that contains an anne> to the Criminal Code )ith ne) offences. Bi>teen of the ne) offences are sub(ect to the death penalty. 5n accordance )ith the decree@ economic crimes such as Ie>tremely gra eJ cases of smuggling precious metals or intentionally destroying state property are no) sub(ect to the death penalty. 7ost disturbingly@ the #002 decree contains a Icatch allJ clause@ allo)ing for the sentence of death )here a perpetrator commits multiple particularly gra e crimes and the court considers that the perpetrator cannot be rehabilitated. 1#%. 5n #00=@ the 7inistry of People’s Becurity issued a proclamation on behalf of the ,o ernment of the DPRK that prohibits arious types of illegal trading in foreign currency. The proclamation en isages harsh criminal sanctions@ including the death penalty. The same year@ the death penalty )as also e>tended to the crime of Idisloyal destruction for anti/state purposesJ under article %4 of the Criminal Code. <a= Public e:ecutions in central places

1#2. Almost e ery citiEen of the DPRK has become a )itness to an e>ecution@ because they are often performed publicly in central places. 5n many cases@ the entire population li ing in the area )here the e>ecution ta;es place must attend@ including children. 5n other cases@ e>ecutions are conducted in stadiums or large halls in front of a more selected audience. 1#1. The DPRK generally does not pro ide statistics on the number of e>ecutions carried out. 5n response to a question of the Fnited :ations "uman Rights Committee@ the DPRK stated in 8ctober #00. that only .& e>ecutions )ere carried out bet)een .==1 and #00. and that the last public e>ecution dated bac; to 8ctober .==#..#41 1#=. The Korea 5nstitute for :ational Fnification documented $.0 public e>ecutions that it found to ha e ta;en place bet)een #00$ and #0.# by gathering testimony from persons )ho fled the DPRK..#4= The real number is probably e en higher considering that relati ely fe) people manage to depart from the pro inces located farther from the Chinese border. 1&0. ->ecutions are usually carried out in the DPRK by firing squads shooting multiple times at the condemned person. 5n more e>ceptional cases@ the ictim is hanged. 8 er the last couple of years@ the authorities ha e increasingly resorted to ;illing the ictims )ith automatic machine gunsN presumably to ma>imiEe the terroriEing effect of the e>ecutions. -specially for young children and relati es of the ictim@ the e>perience of )atching such ;illings is often so horrifying@ that the )itnesses must themsel es also be considered ictims of inhuman and cruel treatment in contra ention of article 2 of the 5CCPR. ^ 7r Choi Ooung/h)a and 7r Kim ?oo/il sa) their first e>ecutions )hen they )ere .0 years old. 5n both cases@ their teacher interrupted class to ta;e the children to )atch the e>ecutions. ^ 7r Choi Ooung/h)a sa) another e>ecution at the age of .%. The manager of a factory )as e>ecuted on grounds of espionage after his factory sho)ed a dismal economic performance. "e remembered being afraid and thin;ing that anyone could become a ictim of such e>ecutions..#$0 ^ At the age of nine@ 7r Kim "yu; )itnessed his first public e>ecution )hich )as carried out in the icinity of Political Prison Camp :o. #$ near Chong(in. "e recalled ho) he and the other children played )ith stray bullets they later found..#$.
.#41 .#4= .#$0 .#$.

CCPR!C!BR..=44@ para. #4. K5:F@ ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.&+@ pp. .0$/.0%. <ondon Public "earing@ #& 8ctober #0.&@ sessions & and 4. Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ morning. #(2


^ 7r <ee ?ae/geun )itnessed at least .0 public e>ecutions during his &0 years in the DPRK. "is )hole )or; unit )as required to tra el to the e>ecution site@ )here about .@000 people in total )ere gathered. "e recalled the case of one man@ )ho )as e>ecuted for criticiEing Aor;ers’ Party of Korea leaders. 7r <ee described the purpose of forcing people to )atch e>ecutions as follo)s3 <*hey )ould ta e us to these public eDecutions li e a field trip# so that nobody dares thin about disobeying the Party and disobeying the ideology of Kim 2l-sung:?.#$# 1&.. Public e>ecutions )ere particularly common in the DPRK during the .==0s in line )ith orders from Kim ?ong/il aimed at halting the brea;do)n of social order and state control. 7any ictims )ere e>ecuted for economic crimes such as embeEEling goods from state factories or stealing food in order to sur i e. 5n many cases@ the accused )ere summarily e>ecuted )ithout trial. 5t )as common that the ictim’s body )as left at the e>ecution site for a time@ as a )arning. The famine )as a time of much arbitrary punishment in the DPRK. ^ During the famine@ 7s ?eon ?in/h)a sa) se eral public e>ecutions in her hometo)n "amhung *Bouth "amgyong Pro ince+3 <People )ho stole property that )as considered belonging to the state and those )ho )ere caught stealing other people5s property )ere publicly eDecuted: 3ecause of this# )e didn5t feel li e )e had control of our o)n life: ,e did not e"en ha"e the right to end our o)n life:?.#$& ^ Another )itness from "amhung remembered that people )ere e>ecuted for petty sur i al crimes such as stealing )ires from factories or public installations..#$4 ^ A man described ho) the )ay in )hich public e>ecutions )ere carried out@ became more brutal in the late .==0s. Ahen he sa) his first e>ecution as a nine/year old boy in 9u;chang@ Bouth "amgyong in the .=10s@ the ictim )as placed in )ooden frame co ered )ith cloth. That )ay only the silhouette of the slumping body could be seen. During the famine@ this practice )as abandoned. Cictims )ere simply tied to a pole and shot@ so that e eryone could see the bloodied body of the ictim..#$$ ^ A )oman testified that she sa) fi e public e>ecutions in her home illage in :orth "amgyong Pro ince@ including the e>ecution of se eral farmers )ho had secretly slaughtered a co) to feed themsel es. :o trials preceded the ;illings. An official simply announced the crimes and then the ictims )ere shot in the head..#$% ^ According to the )itness@ up to #0 people )ere e>ecuted each )ee; for Ianti/ socialistJ beha iour in "yesan@ Ryanggang Pro ince. 8n se eral occasions@ the military used tan;s to bloc; the streets@ forcing people to congregate around the e>ecution sites. After ;illing the ictim )ith the initial shots@ the firing squad aimed to shoot through the ropes that tied the ictims at the nec;@ )aist and feet to a )ooden pole. As a result@ pieces of body tissue fle) e ery)here. .#$2 ^ 8n one single occasion in ?uly .===@ another )itness recalled@ KPA 7ilitary Becurity e>ecuted .# persons in "yesan for alleged anti/state acti ities@ including the head of the city’s management department. The entire population of "yesan )as required to gather and )itness the public e>ecution..#$1

.#$# .#$& .#$4 .#$$ .#$% .#$2 .#$1

Beoul Public "earing@ #& August #0.&@ morning. Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ afternoon *003&034.+. T9,0.2. T?"0&1. T9,00.. TB"0&1. TAP00%.



1&#. 4rom #000@ after the social situation had some)hat impro ed and the state could ease the le el of repression@ fe)er public e>ecutions )ere reported. "o)e er@ the practice of public e>ecutions )as ne er abolished. During the course of its Fni ersal Periodic Re ie) in December #00=@ the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea admitted itself that public e>ecutions )ere still being carried out in ery e>ceptional cases in ol ing ery brutal crimes..#$= 5nformation recei ed by the Commission indicates that more public e>ecutions ha e been carried out since then. 5n a number of cases@ the ictims )ere publicly e>ecuted for murder@ drug traffic;ing@ theft of state property and Ihuman traffic;ingJ *a charge )hich is at times also )rongly le elled against those )ho help others to oluntarily escape from the DPRK+. Bmugglers of foreign mo ies and other politically sensiti e goods are also among the ictims. Bhortly before this report )as finaliEed@ the Commission recei ed allegations about a string of e>ecutions that seem to ha e political purposes. These de elopments appear to be lin;ed to the accession of Kim ?ong/un to the office of the Bupreme <eader and his consolidation of po)er. They raise questions as to his part in them. 5n December #0.&@ the authorities e>ecuted 7r. ?ang Bong/thae;@ the uncle by marriage to the Bupreme <eader Kim ?ong/un. Fntil shortly before his death@ ?ang Bong/thae; )as the head of the Administration Department of the Central Committee of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea. Ahile the e>ecution )as not carried out in front of the general public@ information about it )as )idely disseminated by DPRK state 7edia@ both )ithin and outside the DPRK. 5n addition@ large parts of the population reportedly had to attend compulsory information e ents in order to be informed about the e>ecution and the underlying reasons@ as described by the go ernment. According to the DPRK’s o)n account@ a special military court of the Btate Becurity Department con icted 7r ?ang on charges of Istate sub ersion attempted by the accused ?ang )ith an aim to o erthro) the peopleTs po)er of the DPRK by ideologically aligning himself )ith enemiesJ. .#%0 The (udgment reportedly I ehemently condemned him as a )ic;ed political careerist@ tric;ster and traitor for all agesJ..#%. The death sentence )as handed do)n only three days after 7r ?ang’s arrest. 4ootage of his arrest at a meeting of the Political 9ureau of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea )as broadcast on DPRK tele ision. The fairness of the procedure obser ed in this case is called in question by a report of the enlarged meeting of the Political 9ureau@ )hich is chaired by Bupreme <eader Kim ?ong/un. This report )as made public three days before the (udgment. 5t already concluded that 7r ?ang Icommitted criminal acts baffling imaginationJ and that he had done Itremendous harm to our party and re olutionJ..#%# 5n iolation of the right to see; pardon or commutation of the sentence under article % *4+ of the 5CCPR and the right to ha e the con iction and sentence re ie)ed by a higher tribunal according to la) under article .4 *$+ of the 5CCPR@ the death sentence )as e>ecuted immediately after the special military court handed do)n its (udgment. .#%& The Commission finds that the circumstances of the trial and e>ecution of ?ang Bong/thae;@ as per the DPRK’s o)n account of it@ in ol ed many elements that contra ened international human rights la). 5f such iolations could affect one of the highest officials in the land@ it is not difficult to appreciate the standards of la) and (ustice that are afforded to ordinary citiEens.
.#$= .#%0

.#%. .#%#


A!"RC!.&!.&@ para. 11. Bee ITraitor ?ang Bong Thae; ->ecutedJ@ KCNA@ .& December #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).;cna.co.(p!item!#0.&!#0.&.#!ne)s.&!#0.&.#.&/0$ee.html. 5bid. Bee IReport on -nlarged 7eeting of Political 9ureau of Central Committee of APKJ@ KCNA@ = December #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).;cna.co.(p!item!#0.&!#0.&.#!ne)s0=!#0.&.#0=/0$ee.html. Bee ITraitor ?ang Bong Thae; ->ecutedJ@ KCNA@ .& December #0.&. A ailable from http3!!))).;cna.co.(p!item!#0.&!#0.&.#!ne)s.&!#0.&.#.&/0$ee.html. #$&


The Commission also recei ed reports of e>ecutions and disappearances of close associates of ?ang Bong/thae; in the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea and the 7inistry of Public Becurity..#%4 Among the ictims of public e>ecutions are the most senior officials of the Administration Department of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea@ )hich used to be headed by ?ang Bong/thae;. 5n :o ember #0.&@ 7r Ri Riong/ha@ 4irst Deputy Director of the Administration Department and 7r ?ang Bu/gil@ Deputy Director of the Administration Department )ere reportedly e>ecuted on the basis of a (udgment of the Bpecial 7ilitary Court of the Btate Becurity Department. The reports are consistent )ith the pronouncement of the enlarged meeting of the Political 9ureau of the Central Committee of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea that the Party had Ieliminated ?ang and purged his group@ unable to remain an onloo;er to its acts any longer@ dealing telling blo)s at sectarian acts manifested )ithin the partyJ..#%$ The (udgment sentencing ?ang Bong/thae; to death specifically names Ri Riyong/ha as ?ang’s Itrusted stoogeJ. .#%%.5n the same direction points the #0.4 :e) Oear’s statement of Bupreme <eader Kim ?ong/un@ in )hich he indicated that the Party Itoo; the resolute measure of remo ing the factionalists lur;ing in the PartyJ. The Commission recei ed reports about a series of public e>ecutions conducted in August@ 8ctober and :o ember #0.& in arious locations across the country. 7any of the ictims )ere reportedly e>ecuted for ha ing been in ol ed in the distribution of foreign mo ies and pornographic material. 7ost of the reported e>ecutions occurred after unconfirmed rumours )ere )idely published in international media@ )hich sought to lin; Kim ?ong/un’s )ife Ri Bol/(u to a pornography/related scandal. 5n response to these rumours@ the DPRK authorities reportedly issued stern )arnings to its population not to trade in rumours and intensified a crac;do)n on Zanti/socialist materials’@ including pornographic material and foreign films. 5n early #0.0@ a number of officials in ol ed in the disastreous #00= currency reform )ere e>ecuted..#%2 At the time that the e>ecutions )ere carried out@ Kim ?ong/un had already started gradually assuming affairs of state from his ailing father Kim ?ong/il. According to testimony recei ed@ including from the Korea 5nstitute for :ational Fnification@ one of the ictims )as 7r Pa; :am/gi@ )ho )as the Director of the 4inance and Planning Department of the Central Committee of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea@ at the time that the currency reform )as implemented. .#%1 7r Pa; has not been seen since his reported e>ecution and has been publicly described by an enlarged meeting of the Political 9ureau of the Central Committee of the Aor;ersT Party of Korea@ )hich )as chaired by Kim ?ong/un@ as a Itraitor for all agesJ..#%= This lends credence to the accuracy of the reports recei ed. 1&&. 5n confidential inter ie)s@ eye)itnesses testified about the other recent cases of public e>ecutions to the Commission3.#20 ^ 5n 7arch #0.&@ the inhabitants of Bongpyeong area of Chong(in City *:orth "amgyong Pro ince+ )ere ordered to )atch the e>ecution of a man and a )oman. 9oth adults and children had to attend@ )ithout e>ception. After an official announced to the cro)d that the ictims had produced and sold large amounts of methamphetamine@ the ictims )ere beaten and tied to a pole. Then a
.#%4 .#%$

Rele ant information )as submitted by arious credible sources. Bee IReport on -nlarged 7eeting of Political 9ureau of Central Committee of APKJ@ KCNA Bee ITraitor ?ang Bong Thae; ->ecutedJ@ KCNA. 8n the currency reform@ see also section 5C.D. K5:F@ Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ afternoon. Bee ITraitor ?ang Bong Thae; ->ecutedJ@ KCNA. The same term )as used to describe recent public e>ecution ictim ?ang Bong/thae; T9,0#1@ T9,0&0@ T9,0&#@ T<C0&=@ T<C04#.

.#%% .#%2 .#%1 .#%=




firing squad of si> officials e>ecuted them using machine guns. 8ther public e>ecutions )ere conducted in the same place in #002 *for human traffic;ing+@ #001 *for theft from a state factory+ and #00= *for murder+. ^ 5n the spring of #0.#@ a )oman )as publicly e>ecuting for ha ing ;illed her lo er in 9u;chang County@ Bouth Pyongan Pro ince. ^ 5n :o ember #0..@ four persons )ere publicly e>ecuted for ha ing produced and sold drugs in Kyonghung County@ :orth "amgyong Pro ince. ^ 5n ?une #0..@ people )ere forced to )atch the public e>ecution of a )oman for murder in Kumya County@ Bouth "amgyong Pro ince. ^ 5n #0.0@ a )oman )ho had sold mo ies and soap operas produced in the R8K )as publicly e>ecuted in "amhung@ also Bouth "amgyong. ^ 5n 8ctober #00=@ a man )as publicly e>ecuted in "oeryoung@ :orth "amgyong Pro ince for ha ing been in contact )ith R8K authorities. <b= 5:ecutions in places of detention

1&4. The Commission also finds that a large number of e>ecutions are carried out in places of detention in the DPRK. 5n some cases@ the e>ecution is based on a (udicial sentence. 5n other cases@ summary e>ecution is imposed )ithout any ;no)n trial or (udicial order@ apparently to uphold discipline and institutional rules. The entire population of the detention facility is usually obliged to attend and )atch such e>ecutions. This appears to be done to instil fear and to promote the sub(ugation of the prisoners. ^ 4ormer political prison camp guard@ 7r Ahn 7yong/chol testified that the camp authorities carried out e>ecutions@ )hen someone tried to escape@ destroyed camp property or )hen things )ere out of control3 I,e )ould ill or )ould eDecute @ one inmate to set an eDample for the rest of the inmates:J The decision to e>ecute )as al)ays ta;en by the in estigation bureau that the Btate Becurity Department maintained in the camp@ )ithout any in ol ement of a court of la). The entire camp population had to )atch. The number of e>ecutions per camp fluctuated@ in some years as many as #0 people )ere publicly e>ecuted..#2. ^ 7s Kim "ye/soo; )itnessed numerous e>ecutions in Political Prison Camp :o. .1. Prisoners )ere e>ecuted for disobeying guards orders@ tying to escape or enturing into the guards’ li ing quarters to sca enge for lefto er food..#2# ^ 5n #002@ t)o men )ere e>ecuted in Political Prison Camp :o. .$ at Oodo; according to a former inmate. The men had left their li ing areas@ because they )ere star ing and )anted to find food in the mountains. After a large search operation )as mounted by the camp authorities@ the men )ere found and summarily e>ecuted in front of the other inmates..#2& ^ 7r Kim "yu; )itnessed four public e>ecutions during the span of only three months he spent at Kyoh)aso :o. .# at ?onggo/ri *:orth "amgyong Pro ince+. 8ne ictim )as summarily e>ecuted for stealing food from the prison’s storage and another had tried to escape. T)o others had been sentenced by a court to e>ecution@ because they had committed se eral serious crimes. .#24 1&$. 5nmates of political and ordinary prison camps are particularly ulnerable to secret e>ecutions. They are considered to ha e lost their basic rights@ and@ in the case of political prison camp inmates@ ha e no contact )ith the outside )orld. The ;illing of prisoners can also be easily concealed because the bodies of prison camp inmates are ne er returned to
.#2. .#2# .#2& .#24

Beoul Public "earing@ #. August #0.&@ afternoon *003#%3&0+. 5nter ie) by ideo/conference. T<C001. 5nformation pro ided in a more detailed confidential inter ie) preceding 7r. Kim’s public hearing testimony. #$'


their family. The Commission recei ed credible first/hand information about instances of secret summary e>ecutions carried out in prison camps and interrogation detention facilities. ^ 4rom .==1@ a large number of prisoners of Political Prison Camp * yoh)aso+ :o. .# at ?onggo/ri )ere secretly e>ecuted. The ictims )ere mostly people )ho had bad songbun and!or had been imprisoned for politically sensiti e crimes. Bome ictims may also ha e been targeted because they complained about prison conditions or disobeyed orders. According to eye)itness testimony@ the ictims )ere ta;en out of their cell at night and brought one after the other to a room@ )here prison camp officials and an 7PB officer from Pyongyang presented the ictim )ith false accusations. 5mmediately thereafter@ prison guards strangled the ictim to death using a metal )ire. Aor; unit leaders from among the prisoners )ere assigned to remo e the bodies and ta;e them to a furnace located a fe) ;ilometres a)ay from the main prison bloc;. Buch ;illings occurred at regular inter als@ and e ery time se eral prisoners )ere ;illed..#2$ 5n .==2@ secret e>ecutions targeting perpetrators of politically sensiti e crimes appear to ha e been carried out in an ordinary prison camp that )as located in Taehun@ Bouth Pyongan Pro ince and )as closed later that year. Three to fi e ictims per )ee; )ere shot during the night or early morning at a site located about ..$ ;m from the main prison bloc;..#2% 9oth sets of secret e>ecutions could be lin;ed to a directi e that )as allegedly issued by Kim ?ong/il in .==2 and instructed the security apparatus to eliminate all elements )ho are Idiseased in mindJ..#22 ^ 9et)een 4ebruary .==& and .==1@ around #$0 military officers )ho had studied at the 4runEe 7ilitary Academy in the Bo iet Fnion )ere reportedly e>ecuted. Bome among them had apparently hatched plans to carry out a coup d’Gtat. The purge )as led by the KPA 7ilitary Becurity Command. The ictims )ere e>ecuted )ithout trial@ after a determination of their guilt )as made by security officials. The families of some ictims )ere sent to political prison camps. 8ther families )ere apparently spared from collecti e punishment@ because they represented some of the country’s most influential families. .#21 ^ 4ormer guards ha e presented information indicating that inmates of Political Prison Camp :o. .& ha e been secretly e>ecuted. A former guard in Camp :o. .& described that he had to transport political prisoners to secret e>ecutions sites in the mountains. The ictims had to sho el their o)n gra es before other security officials ;illed them by a hammer blo) to the bac; of the s;ull. .#2= Ahn 7yong/chol indicated that a mountain near the camp )as used for secret e>ecutions and that shots from

.#2% .#22



These ;illings are also reflected in a boo; recei ed as ->hibit B#= during the testimony of 7r Kim ,)ang/il at the Beoul Public "earing@ #4 August #0.&@ morning. Bee *he *hird ,ay# Prima (acie E"idence$ Chon o-ri Prison *#0.#+@ pp. 2% ff. TB"0&$. The reported )ording of the directi e@ allegedly issued on .= Beptember .==2 and ;no)n as the =.= Directi e@ is restated in *he *hird ,ay# Prima (acie E"idence$ Chon o-ri Prison@ p. 2$. This directi e )as also referred to by 7r Ooon :am/geun of the :ational "uman Rights Commission of Korea KRepublic of KoreaL at the Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ afternoon. 4ormer DPRK military officers pro ided detailed information to the Commission in confidential inter ie)s. 5n his memoirs@ 4)ang 'ang-yop 4oegoro *")ang ?ang/yop’s memoirs+ *Published in Korean by Ueitgeist@ #00%@ translated by Daily :K+@ ")ang ?ang/yop@ the highest/ ran;ing official to flee the DPRK@ also recalled that DPRK officers )ho had studied in Russia )ere being shot by the KPA 7ilitary Becurity Command for ha ing plotted against Kim 5l/sung. 8ne of 7r ")ang’s interpreters )as arrested and disappeared in relation to the 4runEe purge. Additional testimony from former DPRK officials is reflected in Ken -. ,ause@ ICoercion@ Control@ Bur eillance@ and PunishmentJ@ pp. .#.@ .##. Bee also Ralph "assig and Kongdan 8h@ *he 4idden People of North Korea$ E"eryday %ife in the 4ermit Kingdom *Ro)man M <ittlefield Publishers@ #00=+@ p. .2%. T?"04..



that area could sometimes be heard at night. "e also noted that he )itnessed corpses being found )hen construction )as conducted in the area..#10 -% *edical e:periments

1&%. The Commission has in estigated allegations brought to its attention@ )hich suggest that political prisoners )ere deliberately ;illed in medical e>periments conducted by state authorities to test the impact of chemical and biological )eapons. .#1. Bimilar allegations ha e been recei ed regarding medical e>periments performed in closed hospitals for persons )ith disabilities. 1&2. The Commission considers that particular care is called for in erifying the accuracy of such serious allegations. 8n the basis of the information a ailable )hen this report )as finaliEed@ the Commission is not in a position to confirm )hether any such medical e>periments )ere conducted. 4urther proof )ould be required to meet the rigorous standard of proof applied by the Commission. :e ertheless@ the Commission records the allegations for future in estigation and consideration. .% Principal findings of the commission 1&1. The Commission finds that the police and security forces of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea systematically employ iolence and punishment that amount to gross human rights iolations in order to create a climate of fear that pre/empts any challenges to the current system of go ernment and to the ideology underpinning it. 4ear is the ;eystone that ultimately holds up the edifice of the current state structure in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The institutions and officials in ol ed are not held accountable. 5mpunity reigns. 1&=. ,ross human rights iolations in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in respect of detention@ e>ecution and disappearances are characteriEed by a high degree of centraliEed coordination bet)een different parts of the e>tensi e security apparatus. The Btate Becurity Department@ 7inistry of People’s Becurity and the Korean People’s Army 7ilitary Becurity Command regularly sub(ect persons accused of political crimes to arbitrary arrest. This falls short of the legal requirements set out by international la) and e en under the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s o)n la)s. Bubsequently@ those so arrested are typically held incommunicado for prolonged periods of time. Their families are not informed about their fate and )hereabouts. Persons accused of political crimes therefore become ictims of enforced disappearance. 7a;ing the suspect disappear is a deliberate feature of the system that ser es to instil fear in the population that anyone )ho does not sho) absolute obedience can disappear at any time for reasons solely determined by@ and ;no)n to@ the authorities. 140. The use of torture is an established feature of the interrogation process in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea@ especially in cases in ol ing political crimes. Btar ation and other inhumane conditions of detention are deliberately imposed on suspects to increase the pressure on them to confess and to incriminate other persons. 14.. Persons )ho are found to ha e engaged in ma(or political crimes disappear@ )ithout trial or (udicial order@ to political prison camps * )anliso+. There@ they )ill be incarcerated and held incommunicado. Their families )ill not be informed of their fate e en if they die. 5n the past@ it )as common that the authorities sent entire families to political prison camps for political crimes committed by close relati es *including forebears to the third
.#10 .#1.

Confidential inter ie) )ith 7r Ahn. Buch allegations )ere@ inter alia@ con eyed in the public hearing testimony pro ided by 7r. Btuart Aindsor *<ondon Public "earing@ session $+ and 7r. ?oseph B.9ermudeE ?r. *Aashington Public "earing@ &. 8ctober #0.&@ afternoon+. #$$


generation+ on the basis of the principle of guilt by association. Buch cases still occur@ but appear no) to be less frequent than in past decades. 14#. The unspea;able atrocities committed against the inmates of the )anliso political prison camps of the DPRK resemble the horrors of camps that totalitarian states established during the t)entiethh century. 5n the political prison camps of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea@ the inmate population is gradually eliminated through deliberate star ation@ forced labour@ e>ecutions@ torture@ se>ual iolence including rape and a denial of reproducti e rights enforced through punishment@ forced abortion and infanticide. The Commission estimates that hundreds of thousands of political prisoners ha e perished in these political prison camps o er the course of more than fi e decades. 14&. Although the authorities in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea claim that the camps ha e ne er e>isted and do not e>ist and ha e denied outsiders access to the areas )here they are situated@ this claim is sho)n to be false by the testimony of former guards@ inmates and neighbours. Batellite imagery pro es that the camp system continues to be in operation. Ahile the number of political prison camps and inmates has decreased due to deaths and some releases@ an estimated 10@000 to .#0@000 political prisoners are currently detained in four large political prison camps and a residual detention comple> that remains from a fifth earlier camp. 144. ,ross iolations are also being committed in the ordinary prison system@ )hich consists of ordinary prison camps * yoh)aso+ and arious types of short/term forced labour detention camps. The ast ma(ority of inmates are ictims of arbitrary detention@ since they are imprisoned )ithout trial or on the basis of a trial that grossly fails to respect the due process and fair trial guarantees set out in international la). 4urthermore@ many ordinary prisoners are@ in fact@ political prisoners@ )ho are detained )ithout a substanti e reason compatible )ith international la). Prisoners in the ordinary prison system are systematically sub(ected to deliberate star ation and illegal forced labour. Torture@ rape and other arbitrary cruelties at the hands of guards and fello) prisoners are )idespread and committed )ith impunity. 14$. As a matter of Btate policy@ the authorities carry out e>ecutions 6 )ith or )ithout trialN publicly or secretly 6 to punish political and other crimes that are often not among the most serious crimes. The policy of regularly carrying out public e>ecutions ser es to instil fear in the general population. Public e>ecutions )ere most common in the .==0s. They became less common after #000. "o)e er@ they continue to be carried out today. Bhortly before this report )as finaliEed@ there )as an apparent spi;e in the number of politically moti ated public e>ecutions.

9% 5nforced disappearance of persons from other countries> including through abduction
14%. -nforced disappearances occur )hen persons are arrested@ detained or abducted against their )ill or other)ise depri ed of their liberty by officials of different branches or le els of go ernment or by organiEed groups of pri ate indi iduals acting on behalf of@ or )ith the support@ direct or indirect@ consent or acquiescence of the go ernment@ follo)ed by a refusal to disclose the fate or )hereabouts of the persons concerned or a refusal to ac;no)ledge the depri ation of their liberty@ )hich places such persons outside the protection of the la)..#1# 142. Article . the Declaration for the Protection of All Persons from -nforced Disappearances states that3

&eclaration for the Protection of All Persons (rom Enforced &isappearances @ adopted by ,eneral Assembly resolution 42!.&& of .1 December .==#.




Any act of enforced disappearance is an offence to human dignity. 5t is condemned as a denial of the purposes of the Charter of the Fnited :ations and as a gra e and flagrant iolation of the human rights and fundamental freedoms proclaimed in the Fni ersal Declaration of "uman Rights and reaffirmed and de eloped in international instruments in this field. Any act of enforced disappearance places the persons sub(ected thereto outside the protection of the la) and inflicts se ere suffering on them and their families. 5t constitutes a iolation of the rules of international la) guaranteeing@ inter alia@ the right to recognition as a person before the la)@ the right to liberty and security of the person and the right not to be sub(ected to torture and other cruel@ inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. 5t also iolates or constitutes a gra e threat to the right to life.


&% Periods and types of abductions and other enforced and in4oluntary disappearances <a= &2$3-&2$'E abduction of Republic of Korea ci4ilians during the Korean ?ar

141. During the Korean Aar@ DPRK forces too; thousands of people from their homes or places near their homes in the Bouth of Korea to the :orth. The ;idnapping and relocation to the :orth of non/military persons residing south of the &1th parallel during the Korean Aar from #$ ?une .=$0 to the signing of the Armistice on #2 ?uly .=$&@ constitute abductions of ci ilians. These ictims are often referred to as Korean Aar abductees. 14=. The number of R8K ci ilians captured and forcedly remo ed to the :orth during the Korean Aar is not precisely ;no)n. "o)e er@ estimates range bet)een 10@000 and .00@000..#1& After se eral years of intense study on the matter@ the Korean Aar Abductees’ 4amily Fnion *KAA4F+@ a ci il society organiEation dedicated to ascertaining the )hereabouts and current status of R8K citiEens abducted during the )ar@ on the basis of in estigations conducted by its research institute@ the Korean Aar Abductees Research 5nstitute *KAAR5+@ compiled records of =%@0.& Korean Aar abductees. .#14 These records are based on detailed lists of abducted persons compiled by the ,o ernment of the Republic of Korea and a ictims’ family association in the immediate aftermath of the abductions. The list )as supplemented by other sources and testimony from family members and other )itnesses. 1$0. The abductions )ere )idespread and organiEed@ indicating that they )ere planned and conducted in line )ith Btate policy. 4rom the list of =%@0.& submitted by KAA4F@ the statistics point to the abductions being a planned operation to recruit young men@ )ith e>perience in the culti ation of farmland@ construction and other technical tas;s beneficial to the building and maintenance of the socialist state infrastructure of the DPRK. .#1$ The information pro ided to the Commission re eals the follo)ing statistics about the composition of the abducted indi iduals3.#1%


.#14 .#1$ .#1%

Bubmission to the Commission3 "R:K dated . :o ember #0.&@ p. 2=N K5:F@ ,hite Paper on 4uman Rights in North Korea *#0.#+@ p. 411N :"RCK@ Beoul Public "earing@ ## August #0.&@ afternoon. Bubmission to the Commission3 Korean Aar Abductees 4amily Fnion *KAA4F+. Bubmission to the Commission3 KAA4F. Korean Aar Abduction Research 5nstitute *KAAR5+@ People of No Return$ Korean ,ar Abduction Pictorial 4istory *#0.#+@ pp. .%/.1. #$.


1$.. The abductions )ere carried out by soldiers of the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea. Boldiers too; citiEens from their homes and )or;places@ generally on the understanding of detaining them for questioning@ but did not allo) them to return to their homes. ^ At the Beoul Public "earing@ 7r Kim :am/(oo told the Commission of the abduction of his father )ho )as an electrician in Chungmu Ro. T)o men posing as ci ilians entered the electrical store of 7r Kim’s father as;ing for him. Ahen 7r Kim’s father appeared@ he )as ta;en by three Korean People’s Army *KPA+ officers and )as not seen again. DPRK officers later isited 7r Kim’s home in search of 7r Kim’s elder brothers though they )ere able to e ade capture. 7r Kim told the Commission3 ISo once a happy family# )e )ere bro en: @ *he pain that 2 eDperienced in the past still persists after >8 years: ,e still li"e in that pain: 2 still cry from the memories .J.#12 1$#. 5n addition to the large numbers of young men targeted for their practical s;ills and e>pertise@ there )ere also targeted abductions of s;illed professionals@ including persons )ith training in medicine@ la) and go ernance. Persons )ho ser ed in the security and intelligence agencies of the R8K )ere also targeted. According to KAA4F #@=.= ci il ser ants@ .@%.& police@ .=0 (udicial officers and la)yers@ 4#4 medical practitioners )ere among the abductees. ^ The son of an abducted police officer@ 7r Choi ,)ang/seo; told the Commission that his father hid his uniforms and anything that identified him as a police officer for fear of being targeted. "o)e er@ despite his best efforts he )as captured and )as ne er seen by his family again. .#11 <[C]y father# as you no)# )as a member of the Security &epartment# )hich )as li e a police: Cy father as ed me to hide his police uniform and rele"ant documents in the basement: @ 2 )as in the basement# hiding the documents and the uniform and 2 )as able to hear the con"ersation that )as going on bet)een my dad and the communists )ho came loo ing for him: And they )ere as ing my father to go )ith them: *hey too my father a)ay: *he last time that 2 heard my father# my father )as

.#12 .#11

Beoul Public "earing@ #& August #0.&@ afternoon *0#3$$300+. Beoul Public "earing@ #& August #0.&@ afternoon *0&30.300+.



saying good-bye to his mother# )ho )as my grandmother: *hat )as the last time 2 heard my father5s "oice:?-7G. ^ 7s Par; 7yung/(a@ perhaps the last remaining sur i ing abductee outside the DPRK@ recounted her e>perience of being ta;en to the :orth along )ith half of the medical staff at the hospital )here she had been )or;ing during the Korean Aar. 7s Par; told the Commission of the capture of the Beoul :ational Fni ersity "ospital by DPRK forces and the abduction of half the staff for the purpose of establishing a hospital in "amhung@ Bouth "amgyong Pro ince3 <,e )ere passing through a mountainous area: ,e )ere "ery eDhausted L doctors# nurses and the administrati"e staff: +ur legs )ere eDhausted and they said anybody )ho )as eDhausted should come out: *hose )ho held [up] their hands came out and they )ere illed: ,e )ere so scared that )e had no choice but to follo) them: +ur legs )ere )ea : *hey ept beating us up so that )e )ould eep )al ing:?-7.8 1$&. "istorical documents pro ided to the Commission by KAA4F sho) that the abductions )ere not spontaneous iolations@ but follo)ed specific ob(ecti es to gain labour and s;ills set by central/le el institutions of the DPRK. Documents from the DPRK contain arious demands for persons )ith particular s;ills and e>pertise. .#=. 4or e>ample@ in an urgent request issued by the 7inistry of :ational Protection to the Aor;ers’ Party of Korea on % ?une .=$0@ shortly before the DPRK made incursions into the R8K@ categories of personnel such as engineers@ pharmacists@ and doctors )ere requested. .#=# Additional documents from the R8K go ernment and )artime telegrams of foreign go ernments that ha e since been disclosed detail information ;no)n to these go ernments about the abduction of ci ilians during the )ar. .#=& 4or e>ample@ a declassified Russian document re eals that the Russian Ambassador to the DPRK sent a translation to Russia on .2 August .=$0 of a DPRK document dated .2 ?uly .=$0@ outlining the decision to transfer Beoul citiEens to farms in the :orth..#=4 1$4. The underlying ob(ecti es of the )artime abductions are belie ed to be the recruitment of labour and e>pertise@ )hile simultaneously draining the capacity of the Bouth. The need for labour and e>pertise in the :orth gre) as a result of the depletion of its o)n population as a result of the )ar@ and from the e>odus of nationals persecuted by the go ernment of the DPRK in the early days of independence. .#=$ After the establishment of the DPRK north of the &1th parallel@ after the independence from the ?apanese@ the ne)ly created socialist state appropriated pri ate property and too; harsh action against persons )ho may ha e posed a threat to the ne) state such as lando)ners@ intellectuals and religious people. As a result@ large numbers of these people fled to the Bouth causing sudden labour shortages. The abductions also ser ed to cause chaos and confusion in the Bouth@ to ma;e post/)ar rehabilitation more difficult due to the shortages of s;illed professionals and youth@ and to propagate the socialist dream by portraying the abductions
.#1= .#=0 .#=.