Human Rights in North Korea

Human Rights in North Korea

In the world we’re living in, a lot of things that we’re able to do and access may seem like normal things to us. Some of which is being able to browse the internet, watching the local and international news, and disagreeing with certain beliefs. These may all seem a standard way of living to most people, but not to North Korea.

With the recent escalating clash and unsettled differences between Kim Jong-un and President Trump, some citizens might not even be aware of what is the real deal between the two leaders since it is one of the few countries that are still under communism. Almost everything is banned and restricted especially the news that they show. After World War 2, North Korea has emerged as a country in 1948. It has been dominated by three leaders all coming from the Kim dynasty. All basic human rights of people living in the country are immensely restricted under the Kim family’s political dynasty.

Anyone who would disobey the laws stated in the country would be subjected to imprisonment, torture, and even murder. Some may say fear is the main hindrance for some North Koreans to vocalize what they truly perceive. While this may be true, how is it really like to live in a country wherein human rights are something so uncommon and peculiar?

The type of government in North Korea is considered as a dictatorship. The country’s current leader, Kim Jong-un, is pertained to as their “dear leader” which is considered as a higher being. Such beliefs are imposed ever since the first generation leader Kim Il-sung. This means having utmost respect not only for the person itself but to all statue and pictures that are seen by the eyes. As for the loyalty of the country’s citizens, they are divided into three groups: core, wavering, and hostile. The ones among the “core” are where most wealth is distributed. The “hostile”, on the other hand, are those considered with minority faith.

Thus, people in that category are subjected to starvation and denied employment. Patriotism is very much exercised in the country. The Ministry of People’s Security requires all citizens to spy on one another and that does not exclude family members. Anyone known or heard to be saying anything against the government will be sanctioned to varying punishments. One of the fatal ones is being imprisoned in one of North Korea’s concentration camps. Inhumane treatment in these prison cells is evident. This includes torture and sexual assault by guards, extreme hunger, and public execution.

Access to information is strictly monitored by the government. Both domestic and foreign news are controlled as tightly as possible. Some don’t even have access to the internet as this is heavily monitored. This prevents people in the country from knowing what is truly happening globally. Thus, people living in North Korea might not be able to see the whole picture of what is occurring especially with the ever-present and threatening issue between the country and the United States. News about Trump has been aggravated given the inappropriate remarks of both leaders to one another. This then closes the doors for reconciliation even to the country’s citizens. Majority of the flow of information seen and read are focused on praises and adoration towards their leader.

This, in turn, feeds the minds of the citizens on what the government wants them to believe. For those who are against or who attempt to flee from the country’s imposed norms, they find an attempt to escape going to China as it is the closest border separating both countries. That’s why the present administration increased their efforts in tightening the border between North Korea and China to stop North Koreans from escaping.

Despite several restrictions on human rights, the closest thing North Korea considers as such is the disability rights. Through the years, non-profit organizations have been working extremely hard with Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, to improve situations with people with disabilities in the country. North Korea has cooperated with the United Nations in terms of bringing their disability policies in line with the international standards.

Although UN human rights officials are not allowed to visit North Korea countless times, a significant highlight was seen when Devandas Aguilar was permitted to go. They work hand in hand with the Korean Federation for the Protection of the Disabled (KFPD). Some NGO’s would even provide assessment training to intellectually challenged children in North Korea by exposing them to various services outside of the country.

Through these activities, many changes have been seen in the outlook of North Korea. This might be a tremendous change, but this certainly sparks the start of what might be a better nation in the years to come.

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