These are the North Korean human rights violations Trump doesn't seem to be talking about

These are the North Korean human rights violations Trump doesn't seem to be talking about

The leaders of North Korea and America just made history.

Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump signed an agreement in Singapore committing to working towards complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.

It was the first time the leaders of the two countries shook hands since the Korean War.

During the meeting, both leaders reiterated their new relationship.

“We will have a terrific relationship,” President Trump said as he sat for the cameras with Kim, whom he previously called a "little rocket man".

"[I feel] really great, we’re gonna have a great discussion and a terrific relationship." He added that it was an "honour".

Mr Kim said in response: "It was not easy to get here...There were obstacles but we overcame them to be here."

The agreement did not yet provide details on how denuclearisation will be achieved, and made no mention of the crippling international sanctions levied against North Korea.

However, one thing yet to be addressed is the serious human rights abuses reported by the United Nations and Amnesty International to have allegedly been committed by North Korea.

A UN inquiry into the country’s human rights abuses said it resembles those of the Nazis, and the UN commission once called it a “land of unspeakable atrocities”.

A year-long UN investigation resulted in a 400-page report detailing five decades of atrocities.

[The crimes] entail extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence, persecution on political, religious, racial and gender grounds, the forcible transfer of populations, the enforced disappearance of persons and the inhumane act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation. 

Crimes against humanity are ongoing in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea because of the policies, institutions and patterns of impunity that lie at their heart remain in place.

Lest the world forget, here are a number of crimes alleged to take place in the state:

1. Violence against prisoners.

According to a UN report that collected accounts from people who fled from DPRK prison camps, North Korean prison officers ‘cooked a prisoner’s baby and fed it to their dogs’.

The account read:

Ahn Myong Chul, a former guard at Prison Camp 22, spoke of guards routinely raping prisoners. In one case, in which a victim became pregnant and gave birth, the former guard reported, prison officials cooked her baby and fed it to their dogs.

Pyongyang has dismissed such accounts as fabricated.

2. Violence against women.

According to the Human Rights Watch (HRW) World Report 2018:

Women in North Korea face a range of sexual or gender-based abuses, as well as violations of other rights in common with the rest of the population.

These include punishment for acts of their husband or other relatives, torture, rape and other sexual abuses in detention facilities, sexual exploitation, or forced marriages of North Korean women in China, and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence and discrimination.

3. Prison camps.

According to recent estimates, some 130,000 people were being held in four large camps for alleged “political crimes”, the Washington Post writes. People can be detained in these camps for something as minor as criticising the Kim family. Conditions of these camps are abysmal, with thousands of political prisoners having died in the camps over the past 50 years.

The HWR report adds that:

Prisoners face torture, sexual violence, forced labour, and other inhuman treatment.

4. North Korea's treatment of foreign nationals.

According to an Amnesty International report:

US national Otto Warmbier, imprisoned in 2016 for stealing a propaganda poster, died on 19 June, six days after he was returned to the USA in a coma. North Korean authorities failed to adequately explain the cause of his poor state of health. A coroner’s report released on 27 September in his home state of Ohio noted no evidence of torture or other ill-treatment, but also did not rule out its possibility.

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