EMBARGOED UNTIL 12:01 AM EST TUESDAY, FEB. 9, 2016
HRNK LAUNCHES PYONGYANG REPUBLIC:
NORTH KOREA’S CAPITAL OF HUMAN RIGHTS DENIAL
BY ROBERT COLLINS
North Korean Elites Enable Kim Jong-un’s Policy of ‘Human Rights Denial’
WASHINGTON, February 9, 2016—Under the hardline regime of Kim Jong-un, Pyongyang continues to stand as the stronghold of the most centralized and oppressive political system in the world. Perpetuation of ‘Pyongyang Republic’ absolute supremacy will result in “continued human rights abuses on a horrific scale, malnutrition of the general population, and corruption as a way of survival,” according to a 180-page report authored by Robert Collins, released today by the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK), a nonprofit organization. The report contributes meaningfully to the body of knowledge needed to establish effective sanctions regimes and other measures aimed to address North Korea’s human rights situation and to counter threats to international peace and security posed by North Korea’s nuclear weapons, long-range ballistic missiles, and military provocations.
Currently home to about a tenth of North Korea’s 25 million people, built around up to 200,000 members of core elite families, the North Korean capital city continues to stand as the stronghold of the Kim family regime. Collins explains the grave human rights breaches occurring in North Korea for decades as the consequence of the Kim regime’s policy of ‘human rights denial.’ He thoroughly examines the levers of North Korean power, abuse, and oppression by scrutinizing the privileged treatment received by the Pyongyang citadel and many of its residents under three generations of dynastic totalitarian rule.
According to HRNK Board Member Nicholas Eberstadt, Henry Wendt Scholar in Political Economy, American Enterprise Institute, “if we hope to help relieve the oppression that ordinary North Koreans suffer, we need to understand the system that oppresses them. ‘Pyongyang Republic’ is now the indispensable primer for anyone who wants to learn how North Korea is really ruled. Robert Collins’ superb study is a public service—and it will pose a moral challenge to all readers of conscience.”
HRNK Board Member David Maxwell, Associate Director of the Center for Security Studies and the Security Studies Program, Georgetown University, noted: “The Kim family regime is one of the most misunderstood regimes in history. Robert Collins' ‘Pyongyang Republic’ allows analysts, scholars and laymen to understand the regime in ways that no other work has been able to do in the past nearly seven decades. This will be the ‘go-to’ reference for as long as the Kim family regime exists and will make an important contribution to the eventual unification process.”
HRNK Executive Director Greg Scarlatoiu pointed out that “through its unique insight into the functioning of the North Korean regime, ‘Pyongyang Republic’ provides information needed to support future accountability and transitional justice processes addressing human rights violations. If such violations are included in the regime behavior subjected to international sanctions—currently focused only on countering the development and proliferation of nuclear and missile technology—‘Pyongyang Republic’ will become reference material.”
In 2014, a United Nations Commission of Inquiry concluded that grave, systematic, and widespread human rights abuses amounting to “crimes against humanity have been committed” in North Korea, “pursuant to policies established at the highest level of the state.” The tightly closed, nuclear-armed communist regime rejects such accusations, which it regards as part of a U.S.-led effort to overthrow it.
The report launch will be held from 12:30 to 1:30 pm on Tuesday, February 9, at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Twelfth Floor, 1150 Seventeenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036. Complimentary copies of the report will be provided to all participants. If you plan on attending, send your RSVP to Rosa Park, HRNK Director of Programs: [email protected]. The publication is also available on HRNK’s website: HRNK.ORG.
Robert Collins served for 31 years in various positions with the U.S. military in Korea, finishing his 37 year career with the U.S. Department of the Army as Chief of Strategy, U.S.-ROK Combined Forces Command, in Seoul, Korea. One of the world’s foremost authorities on North Korean society and the functioning of North Korea’s regime, Collins is the author of the seminal 2012 HRNK study “Marked for Life: Songbun, North Korea’s Social Classification System.”
HRNK was founded in 2001 as a nonprofit research organization dedicated to documenting human rights conditions in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), as North Korea is formally known. Visit www.hrnk.org to find out more about HRNK and to download “Pyongyang Republic” along with previous publications.
You may also download the report by accessing the Dropbox link enclosed below:
THE REPORT IS EMBARGOED UNTIL 12:01 AM EST TUESDAY, FEB. 9, 2016
HRNK Board of Directors
Gordon Flake (Co-Chair)
Chief Executive Officer, Perth USAsia Centre,
The University of Western Australia
Co-author, Paved with Good Intentions:
The NGO Experience in North Korea
Katrina Lantos Swett (Co-Chair)
President and CEO,
Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice
John Despres (Co-Vice-Chair)
Consultant on International Financial & Strategic Affairs
Suzanne Scholte (Co-Vice-Chair)
Defense Forum Foundation
Seoul Peace Prize Laureate
Helen-Louise Hunter (Secretary)
Author, Kim Il-Song’s North Korea
Kevin C. McCann (Treasurer)
General Counsel, StrataScale, Inc.
Counsel, SHI International Corp.
Roberta Cohen (Co-Chair Emeritus)
Non-Resident Senior Fellow,
Specializing in Humanitarian and Human Rights Issues
Andrew Natsios (Co-Chair Emeritus)
U.S. Agency for International Development
Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs
Executive Professor, The Bush School of Government & Public Service,
Texas A&M University
Author of The Great North Korean Famine
The Century Foundation
Co-Director, US-Asia Law Institute,
NYU Law School
Adjunct Senior Fellow,
Council on Foreign Relations
Advisor, Impact Investments
Rabbi Abraham Cooper
Simon Wiesenthal Center, Los Angeles
Chair, World Affairs Council of America
Adjunct Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs,
Kennedy School of Government,
Distinguished National Security Chair,
U.S. Naval Academy
Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy,
American Enterprise Institute
Author of books on North Korea, including North Korea in Transition: Politics, Economy, and Society
National Endowment for Democracy
The Asia Foundation
U.S. Institute of Peace
Former Executive Director, HRNK
Former Assistant Secretary for East Asia,
Department of State
Former Ambassador to China
Director of Policy Planning Staff,
Department of State
Council on Foreign Relations
National Endowment for Democracy
Center for Security Studies and the Security Studies Program, Georgetown University
Colonel, U.S. Army (Ret.)
Executive Vice President and Director of Studies,
Peterson Institute for International Economics
Author of books on North Korea including Avoiding the Apocalypse: the Future of the Two Koreas
George Washington University
THE REPORT IS EMBARGOED UNTIL 12:01 AM WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2019.
THE REPORT IS EMBARGOED UNTIL 12:01 AM FRIDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2019THE REPORT IS EMBARGOED UNTIL 12:01 AM FRIDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2019. Lost Generation: The Health and Human Rights of North Korean Children, 1990–2018 is a nearly thirty-year study monitoring the health and human rights conditions of North Korean children. “Health” is defined by the World Health Organization as a “state of complete physical, mental, and social well being, and not merely the absence of dis
EMBARGOED UNTIL 12:01 A.M. EST WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2019.
This report is part of a comprehensive long-term project undertaken by HRNK to use satellite imagery to shed light on human suffering in North Korea by monitoring activity at prison facilities throughout the nation. This study details activity observed during the past 15 years at a prison facility identified by escapees and researchers as “Kyo-hwa-so No. 4, Kangdong” (39.008838° 126.153277°) and endeavors to establish a preliminary baseline report of the facility.