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February 15, 2021 Human Rights Watch Submission to the Ministry of Unification Regarding the Interpretation Guidelines of the Amendments of the Development of Inter-Korean Relations Act We are writing in response to your call for comments regarding…
China: Don’t Force 8 Refugees Back to North Korea PHOTO
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Kim Jong Un Uses Pandemic to Further Isolate Population

(New York, January 13, 2021) – North Korea’s government used unnecessary and opaque Covid-19 restrictions in 2020 to reinforce its standing as one of the world’s most repressive countries, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2021. Under…
Kim Song Ju Primary school students have their temperatures checked before entering the school in Pyongyang, North Korea. 
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Law Would Block South Koreans from Sending Materials North

(New York) – The South Korean National Assembly should reject a proposed law that would criminalize sending leaflets, information, money, and other items to North Korea, Human Rights Watch said today. If enacted, the law would violate South Koreans’…
People watch a news program showing an image of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, right, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020. 
Report
Summary In late 2014, police officers entered the home of Lim Ok Kyung, a smuggler in her forties from North Korea’s South Hwanghae province. The police were looking for, and found, home appliances smuggled from China. Lim Ok Kyung was detained at a…
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Torture, Lack of Due Process, Arbitrary Punishment, Corruption Rampant

(Seoul) – The North Korean pretrial detention and investigation system is arbitrary and lacks any semblance of due process, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Former detainees described systematic torture, dangerous and unhygienic…
An overhead illustration of people in a crowded jail cell
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Political Crackdown with Targeted Reviews, Inspections Prompts Fears

(New York) – The South Korean government is targeting activist organizations that focus on North Korea’s human rights problems for special review in an apparent effort to intimidate them, Human Rights Watch said today. Tensions between the South…
Activist Park Sang-hak holds a leaflet depicting the death of Kim Jong Nam, half-brother to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, during a press conference in Seoul on July 6, 2020. © 2020 Photo by ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images
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Coalition Urges President Moon to Toughen Position on Human Rights

(Seoul) – The South Korean government should re-engage on promoting accountability for human rights abuses in North Korea, said a coalition of rights-oriented groups said today. The International Coalition to Stop Crimes Against Humanity…
South Korean President Moon Jae In delivers a speech in Seoul on March 1, 2020, in a ceremony to mark the 101st anniversary of the founding of a Korean independence movement against Japanese colonial rule.
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June 6, 2018   Kim Jong Un Chairman, State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Building of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, Pyongyang  Democratic People’s Republic of…
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Press North Korea to Engage With UN Special Rapporteur, Allow Country Visit

(Seoul) – South Korea should raise the dire human rights situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) during the April 27 summit between South Korean president Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Human Rights…
South Korean President Moon Jae-in delivers a speech during a ceremony celebrating the 99th anniversary of the March First Independence Movement against Japanese colonial rule, at Seodaemun Prison History Hall in Seoul, South Korea, March 1, 2018. REUTERS
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Repression Intensifies as Crimes Against Humanity Continue

(Seoul) – Kim Jong-Un intensified repressive measures against his own people even while grabbing world attention through aggressive weapons testing throughout the year. The government tightened travel restrictions, hunted down fleeing…
201801wr_northkorea_human_rights   North Korean leader Kim Jong-un participates in the opening of the 5th Conference of Cell Chairpersons of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) in Pyongyang, in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central New
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February 2017

Around the world, religious freedom is under a sustained attack. In the Asia-Pacific region, there are governments that restrict the freedom to choose and practice a religion, that discriminate in law and policy against certain religious groups, that…
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Demand Accountability on Occasion of Kim Jong-Un’s Birthday

(Seoul) – January 8 celebrations planned for the 33rd birthday of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un only spotlight the daily reality of terrible human rights abuses North Koreans face, Human Rights Watch said today. The annual celebrations are filled with…
Kim Jong-Un Korean Central News Agency
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North Korea is one of the most repressive countries in the world. But that didn't faze the British YouTube celebrity Louis Cole, a 33-year-old travel blogger with nearly two million subscribers, from jumping onto a guided government tour to try and find…
YouTube screenshot from FunForLouis.
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Oversaw Famine, Executions, Forced Labor Camps

  (Bangkok) – Governments should mark North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il’s death with a clear demand that the new leader choose a path of reforming the country’s abysmal human rights situation, Human Rights Watch said today.  Kim Jong-Il exercised total…
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Interactive Dialogue with Marzuki Darusman, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

Mr. President, we would like to thank the Special Rapporteur for his report on the DPRK and call for the extension of the mandate. We are concerned the DPRK has both refused to acknowledge the mandate established by this Council and continuously failed…
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Testimony by Tom Malinowski before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

Thank you Mr. Chairman for giving me the opportunity to testify today, and for ensuring that North Korea's appalling human rights record remains part of the picture as we consider the way forward with Pyongyang.   All of us here agree that North Korea…