The Koreas at Night

Source: NASA

Announcements
Congressional Hearings
[10/24/2023] From Bait to Plate - How Forced Labor Taints America's Seafood Supply Chain
Forced labor in China taints the world’s seafood supply chain. PRC-based companies that use the forced labor of Uyghurs and North Koreans process a large amount of seafood for the U.S. market. From fish sticks to calamari—these products end up in the supply chains of major restaurants and wholesalers and in the lunches served at American schools and military bases. Recently published reports by The Outlaw Ocean Project detail how forced labor is rampant in China’s seafood industry, including modern slavery on China’s illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing fleet, and in processing plants located in Shandong province of China—where Uyghurs are employed in labor transfer projects. There is also emerging evidence that North Koreans are also working in the fish processing industry in Liaoning province. Squid, pollack, baby clams, and crab are just some of the imports that make it onto the plates of American consumers. U.S. imports of seafood caught or processe
[06/13/2023] North Korean Refugees and the Imminent Danger of Forced Repatriation from China
On June 13, 2023, the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) held a hearing on the subject of "North Korean Refugees and the Imminent Danger of Forced Repatriation from China." You can find details about the hearing on the CECC's website at this link, and watch the YouTube recording of the hearing at this link. Ambassador Robert King (former U.S. Special Envoy for N. Korean Human Rights Issues) and Ambassador Jung-Hoon Lee (former ROK Ambassador-at-Large for N. Korean Human Rights), both members of HRNK's Board of Directors, provided live testimony. Suzanne Scholte
[12/12/2017] Protecting North Korean Refugees: Statement by Greg Scarlatoiu, HRNK Executive Director
"PROTECTING NORTH KOREAN REFUGEES" House Foreign Affairs Committee Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations Statement of Greg Scarlatoiu, Executive Director, Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK), on “Protecting North Korean Refugees” at the Hearing of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, December 12, 2017  Good afternoon Chairman Smith, Ranking Member Bass, and members of the Subcommittee. Thank you for the invitation to testify before you today. It is a true honor and a privilege.   My name is Greg Scarlatoiu. I am the executive director of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK). We are a nonpartisan research organization headquartered in Washington, DC that conducts original research on North Korean human rights issues. Over t
Podcasts
Events
[05/17/2024] Slaves to the Bomb: The Role and Fate of North Korea's Nuclear Scientists
Dear Friends and Colleagues, The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) cordially invites you to the rollout of its latest report, Slaves to the Bomb: The Role and Fate of North Korea's Nuclear Scientists by Robert Collins. The report can be viewed online at this link. This event will be held on 
[04/22/2024] \"Beyond Utopia\" Screening & Discussion
The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) is delighted to invite you to a screening of the award-winning documentary Beyond Utopia on Monday, April 22 from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the DACOR Bacon House (1801 F Street NW, Washington, DC). The screening will be followed by a discussion with co-producer Dr. Sue Mi Te
[02/07/2024] The UN COI Report, A Decade Later: Problems, Prospects, Recommendations
The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) is delighted to invite you to an event entitled The UN COI Report, A Decade Later: Problems, Prospects, Recommendations. The event, which marks the 10th anniversary of the completion of the UN COI report on North Korean human rights, will be held in person on Wednesday, February 7 from 09:30 to&n
[01/25/2024] The Sister: N. Korea's Kim Yo Jong, the Most Dangerous Woman in the World
The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) is delighted to invite you to a conversation with Dr. Sung-Yoon Lee, author of The Sister: North Korea's Kim Yo Jong, the Most Dangerous Woman in the World. The event will be held in person on Thursday, January 25 from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. ET at the 
[11/30/2023] Crafting Strategies for the Free & Peaceful Unification of the Korean Peninsula
The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) cordially invites you to an event entitled "Crafting Strategies for the Free & Peaceful Unification of the Korean Peninsula." It will be held on Thursday, November 30 from 09:30 to 11:30 a.m. ET at the DACOR Bacon House (1801 F Street NW, Washington, DC).
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To understand the challenges faced by the personnel who are involved in North Korea’s nuclear program, it is crucial to understand the recruitment, education, and training processes through the lens of human rights. This report offers a starting point toward that understanding. North Korea’s scientists and engineers are forced to work on the nuclear weapons program regardless of their own interests, preferences, or aspirations. These individuals may be described as “moder

In this submission, HRNK focuses its attention on the following issues in the DPRK: The status of the system of detention facilities, where a multitude of human rights violations are ongoing. The post-COVID human security and human rights status of North Korean women, with particular attention to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). The issue of Japanese abductees and South Korean prisoners of war (POWs), abductees, and unjust detainees.

North Korea's Political Prison Camp, Kwan-li-so No. 25, Update
Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., Greg Scarlatoiu, Raymond Ha
Feb 17, 2024

This report provides an abbreviated update to our previous reports on a long-term political prison commonly identified by former prisoners and researchers as Kwan-li-so No. 25 by providing details of activity observed during 2021–2023. This report was originally published on Tearline at https://www.tearline.mil/public_page/prison-camp-25.

This report explains how the Kim regime organizes and implements its policy of human rights denial using the Propaganda and Agitation Department (PAD) to preserve and strengthen its monolithic system of control. The report also provides detailed background on the history of the PAD, as well as a human terrain map that details present and past PAD leadership.

HRNK's latest satellite imagery report analyzes a 5.2 km-long switchback road, visible in commercial satellite imagery, that runs from Testing Tunnel No. 1 at North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear test facility to the perimeter of Kwan-li-so (political prison camp) no. 16.

This report proposes a long-term, multilateral legal strategy, using existing United Nations resolutions and conventions, and U.S. statutes that are either codified or proposed in appended model legislation, to find, freeze, forfeit, and deposit the proceeds of the North Korean government's kleptocracy into international escrow. These funds would be available for limited, case-by-case disbursements to provide food and medical care for poor North Koreans, and--contingent upon Pyongyang's progress

National Strategy for Countering North Korea
Joseph, Collins, DeTrani, Eberstadt, Enos, Maxwell, Scarlatoiu
Jan 23, 2023

For thirty years, U.S. North Korea policy have sacrificed human rights for the sake of addressing nuclear weapons. Both the North Korean nuclear and missile programs have thrived. Sidelining human rights to appease the North Korean regime is not the answer, but a fundamental flaw in U.S. policy. (Published by the National Institute for Public Policy)

North Korea’s forced labor enterprise and its state sponsorship of human trafficking certainly continued until the onset of the COVID pandemic. HRNK has endeavored to determine if North Korean entities responsible for exporting workers to China and Russia continued their activities under COVID as well.

George Hutchinson's The Suryong, the Soldier, and Information in the KPA is the second of three building blocks of a multi-year HRNK project to examine North Korea's information environment. Hutchinson's thoroughly researched and sourced report addresses the circulation of information within the Korean People's Army (KPA). Understanding how KPA soldiers receive their information is needed to prepare information campaigns while taking into account all possible contingenc

North Korea’s Political Prison Camp, Kwan-li-so No. 14, Update 1
Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr., Greg Scarlatoiu, and Amanda Mortwedt Oh
Dec 22, 2021

This report is part of a comprehensive long-term project undertaken by HRNK to use satellite imagery and former prisoner interviews to shed light on human suffering in North Korea by monitoring activity at political prison facilities throughout the nation. This is the second HRNK satellite imagery report detailing activity observed during 2015 to 2021 at a prison facility commonly identified by former prisoners and researchers as “Kwan-li-so No. 14 Kaech’ŏn” (39.646810, 126.117058) and

North Korea's Long-term Prison-Labor Facility, Kyo-hwa-so No.3, T’osŏng-ni (토성리)
Joseph S Bermudez Jr, Greg Scarlatoiu, Amanda Oh, & Rosa Tokola
Nov 03, 2021

This report is part of a comprehensive long-term project undertaken by HRNK to use satellite imagery and former prisoner interviews to shed light on human suffering in North Korea by monitoring activity at civil and political prison facilities throughout the nation. This study details activity observed during 1968–1977 and 2002–2021 at a prison facility commonly identified by former prisoners and researchers as "Kyo-hwa-so No. 3, T'osŏng-ni" and endeavors to e

North Korea’s Political Prison Camp, Kwan-li-so No. 25, Update 3
Joseph S Bermudez Jr, Greg Scarlatoiu, Amanda Oh, & Rosa Tokola
Sep 30, 2021

This report is part of a comprehensive long-term project undertaken by HRNK to use satellite imagery and former detainee interviews to shed light on human suffering in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, more commonly known as North Korea) by monitoring activity at political prison facilities throughout the nation. This report provides an abbreviated update to our previous reports on a long-term political prison commonly identified by former prisoners and researchers as Kwan-li-so

North Korea’s Potential Long-Term  Prison-Labor Facility at Sŏnhwa-dong (선화동)
Joseph S. Bermudez, Jr., Greg Scarlatoiu, Amanda Oh, & Rosa Park
Aug 26, 2021

Through satellite imagery analysis and witness testimony, HRNK has identified a previously unknown potential kyo-hwa-so long-term prison-labor facility at Sŏnhwa-dong (선화동) P’ihyŏn-gun, P’yŏngan-bukto, North Korea. While this facility appears to be operational and well maintained, further imagery analysis and witness testimony collection will be necessary in order to irrefutably confirm that Sŏnhwa-dong is a kyo-hwa-so.

North Korea’s Long-term Prison-Labor Facility Kyo-hwa-so No. 8, Sŭngho-ri (승호리) - Update
Joseph S Bermudez, Jr, Greg Scarlatoiu, Amanda M Oh, & Rosa Park
Jul 22, 2021

"North Korea’s Long-term Prison-Labor Facility Kyo-hwa-so No. 8, Sŭngho-ri (승호리) - Update" is the latest report under a long-term project employing satellite imagery analysis and former political prisoner testimony to shed light on human suffering in North Korea's prison camps.

Human Rights in the Democratic Republic of Korea: The Role of the United Nations" is HRNK's 50th report in our 20-year history. This is even more meaningful as David Hawk's "Hidden Gulag" (2003) was the first report published by HRNK. In his latest report, Hawk details efforts by many UN member states and by the UN’s committees, projects and procedures to promote and protect human rights in the DPRK.  The report highlights North Korea’s shifts in its approach

South Africa’s Apartheid and North Korea’s Songbun: Parallels in Crimes against Humanity by Robert Collins underlines similarities between two systematically, deliberately, and thoroughly discriminatory repressive systems. This project began with expert testimony Collins submitted as part of a joint investigation and documentation project scrutinizing human rights violations committed at North Korea’s short-term detention facilities, conducted by the Committee for Human Rights