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Hundreds of Thousands Prevented from Returning to Japan

An historic court hearing is set to begin next week in Tokyo as five North Korean escapees in Japan seek compensation for human rights abuses they suffered in North Korea after joining a resettlement program based on the false premise that North Korea…
Escapees from North Korea and their supporters march to the Tokyo District Court to file a lawsuit against the North Korean government for violating their human rights, August 20, 2018. 
News

Expands Demands of Work to Shore Up Flagging Economy

North Korea’s economy has taken a hit as the country’s borders remain sealed during the Covid-19 pandemic. This week, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un expressed appreciation to the country’s youth for “volunteering” to do hard labor to compensate for “…
2021년 5월 25일 평양의 락랑구역에서 농부들이 벼를 심고 있다. ©2021 전철진/AP
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At Least 1,170 North Koreans Face Torture, Sexual Abuse if Sent Back

For months, North Koreans living in South Korea who have relatives detained in China have been imploring government officials, foreign diplomats, United Nations agencies, and others for help. They hope international pressure can dissuade Chinese…
Photos of the North Korean refugees helped by the North Korea Refugees Human Rights Association of Korea are displayed in Seoul, South Korea on June 11, 2019.
News

Pyongyang Blames Problems on Everything but Own Abusive Policies

  Hypocrisy is commonplace at the United Nations. Delegates routinely stand at UN podiums and blame everyone and everything but their own governments for their countries’ problems. North Korea took this practice to new level on Tuesday at a…
Visitors pay homage to the late North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il ahead of the 27th anniversary of the death of Kim Il Sung, in Pyongyang, North Korea, on July 7, 2021. 
News

Border to Remain Closed, Blocking Essential Trade and Food

Kim Jong Un made an extraordinary admission this week about North Korea’s food crisis, warning the situation is “getting tense,” in part as a result of damage from typhoons and floods last year. Kim’s surprising admission follows his call in April…
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during a Workers' Party meeting in Pyongyang, North Korea, Tuesday, June 15, 2021. 
News

Kim Jong Un May Be Tightening Already Firm Grip on Power

Speaking at a ruling Workers’ Party of Korea conference on Thursday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was surprisingly candid about the country’s dire economic situation, calling on the country to “wage another more difficult ‘Arduous March’” – a…
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un delivers a closing speech at the Sixth Conference of Cell Secretaries of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang, North Korea, April 8, 2021. 
News

UN Human Rights Council Should Press for Accountability

Last week, the United Nations published a new report concluding that the North Korean government continues to commit rights violations that may amount to crimes against humanity. The report, by the UN Office of the High…
A North Korean soldier stands guard at the entrance of a women’s prison near Chongsong, North Korea, May 31, 2009.
News

Lethal Force at Border Needs to Comply with Human Rights Law

Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, North Korea has locked down and created buffer zones on its borders, preventing citizens from transiting without tightly regulated permission from the government. North Korea-focused media outlets have…
A North Korean flag flutters in the wind at a military guard post seen from the South Korean city of Paju, at the border with North Korea, May 3, 2020. 
News

Government Mandates Reporting HIV Status, Deports People Living with HIV

In Jordan, medical professionals and health facilities are mandated to report an individual’s HIV status to the government. Foreign nationals found to be HIV-positive are summarily deported regardless of the consequences to their health and safety and…
Silhouettes are cast on a Jordanian national flag in Amman, Jordan, November 30, 2016. 
News

Kim Jong Un Announces Rare Workers’ Party Congress

On August 20, Kim Jong Un offered a rare public acknowledgement of several crises North Korea is currently facing. Citing “severe internal and external situations” and “unexpected … challenges,” he conceded government failures to improve the country’s…
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during a plenary meeting of the Workers’ Party in Pyongyang, North Korea, August 19, 2020. 
News

Legal Amendment May Threaten Livelihoods and Living Standards

Like many governments around the world, Jordan has been forced to take urgent economic measures amid the Covid-19 pandemic. In April, it used emergency decrees to alter labor and social security laws, and on May 31, it further loosened labor…
 People shop for vegetables at the main market in Karak, Jordan, after a curfew was lifted for some southern cities, amid concerns about the coronavirus Wednesday, April 22, 2020.
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Leaders Should Renew Commitment to Addressing North Korea’s Rights Violations

The world has lost a champion of compassion and perseverance. Shigeru Yogota died on June 5 at the age of 87. Along with his wife Sakie, Shigeru worked tirelessly for decades for the return of their daughter Megumi, whom North Korean agents…
An April, 2005 photo shows Shigeru Yokota and his wife Sakie at a meeting in Tokyo to demand North Korean abductees' return.
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Information Lockdown a Reminder of Continuing Abuses

The rumor mill around North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s health has been churning for weeks. Speculation first began on April 15, when Kim was absent during celebrations of his grandfather’s birthday, North Korea’s biggest holiday. The…
202001Asia_NorthKorea_WR
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Trump Administration Again Blocks UN Meeting on Abuses

For the second year in a row, the United States has prevented the United Nations Security Council from scrutinizing North Korea’s abysmal human rights record, sending a clear message to Pyongyang and other abusive governments that the…
The UN Security Council holds a meeting on November 20, 2019, at United Nations headquarters in New York.
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UN Security Council Should Confront Atrocious Rights Record

The United Nations Security Council has an opportunity this month to refocus attention on North Korea’s abysmal human rights record after giving it a pass last year. If all goes according to plan, on December 10 – Human…
Kim Jong-Un watches a performance in Pyongyang, North Korea, on February 23, 2017.
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UN Security Council Misses Key Opportunity to Confront Atrocious Rights Record

It is a bitter irony that on the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Security Council will give North Korea’s atrocious human rights record a free pass. In 2014, a blistering UN…
Kim Jong-Un watches a performance in Pyongyang, North Korea, on February 23, 2017.
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Communique Ignores Gulags, Human Rights Horrors

US President Donald Trump shook hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un today and called him a “terrific leader” who loves his country. The dictator from Pyongyang certainly has a strange way of showing it, keeping over 100,000 of his fellow…
U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un before their bilateral meeting at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore June 12, 2018.
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Like it or Not, US Must Confront North Korea’s Atrocious Record

US President Donald Trump is set to meet tomorrow with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in Singapore in one of the stranger diplomatic détentes in post-Cold War history. Those of us who work on North Korea are used to the weirdness…
A combination photo shows U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un in Washignton, DC, U.S. May 17, 2018 and in Panmunjom, South Korea, April 27, 2018 respectively.
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Forced Return Threatens Torture, Sexual Abuse, and Mistreatment

All day, Park anxiously checked her cell phone, awaiting news of her sister, who was being transported along with six other North Koreans from China’s northern Liaoning province to southern Yunnan province. Then came the news she…
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, as he paid an unofficial visit to China, in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang March 28, 2018.
News

Eastern Caribbean LGBT Activists Seek Protection, Not Marriage

After Human Rights Watch released a report on discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and buggery laws in the Eastern Caribbean, a government minister from Barbados warned against “an attempt to transpose and to…
An unknown man on the Eastern Caribbean island of Barbados.