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HRNK Announcements
August 31, 2017


(A/72/279 dated 3 Aug 2017 – released 28 Aug) 

Pursuant to General Assembly resolution 71/202 on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres submitted his report on August 28. The report is available from http://undocs.org/A/72/279.

The report provides an overview of human rights issues in the country from September 2016 to August 2017 and of the Government’s engagement with the United Nations in that regard. The report directly cites HRNK’s report authored by Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Greg Scarlatoiu, “North Korea, flooding at Kyo-hwa-so No. 12, Jongo-ri” (Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, 16 September 2016. Available from www.hrnk.org/uploads/pdfs/Kyo-hwa-so%20No_%2012%20Flooding.pdf):

37. At the end of August 2016, the remnants of Typhoon Lionrock hit North Hamgyong Province, unleashing strong winds and heavy rains. The Tumen River burst its banks and its tributaries inundated floodplains, submerging agricultural land and damaging water systems, schools and health facilities. Homes were also damaged or destroyed, resulting in the displacement of over 70,000 people. A total of 27,411 hectares of standing crops, mostly rice and maize, were damaged, which constituted 1.9 per cent of total farm crop area in 2016. The Central Emergency Response Fund released $5,054,519 for rapid response in relation to agriculture, food security, health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene. Prison camp (kyohwaso) number 12, in Jongo-ri, North Hamgyong Province, which reportedly housed up to 5,000 prisoners, was not included in the assessment. Satellite images indicate that the prison camp was affected, including by the destruction of nearby crop land and pollution stemming from the overflow of runoff from a nearby copper mill. This may have exacerbated the already severe food situation in the prison camp.9. 

9. Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Greg Scarlatoiu, “North Korea, flooding at Kyo-hwa-so No. 12, Jongo-ri” (Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, 16 September 2016). Available from www.hrnk.org/uploads/pdfs/Kyo-hwa-so%20No_%2012%20Flooding.pdf.

HRNK wishes to thank and congratulate friends and donors for their vision and dedication to bringing freedom and human rights to the people of North Korea. It is your critical contributions that sustain the morale, inspiration and resources needed to be a voice for the voiceless millions oppressed by the Kim regime.

For media inquiries, please contact Greg Scarlatoiu, Executive Director:
[email protected]

Board of Directors
(Affiliations other than HRNK are for identification only)

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)
President, Defense Forum Foundation
Seoul Peace Prize Laureate
Helen-Louise Hunter (Secretary)
Author of Kim Il-Song’s North Korea
Kevin C. McCann (Treasurer)
Formerly of Counsel, Paul Hastings LLP
Roberta Cohen (Co-Chair Emeritus)
Specialist in Humanitarian and Human Rights Issues
Andrew Natsios (Co-Chair Emeritus)
Former Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development 
Director, 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
Morton Abramowitz
Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation
Jerome Cohen
Co-Director, US-Asia Law Institute, NYU Law School
Adjunct Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations
Lisa Colacurcio
Advisor, Impact Investments
Rabbi Abraham Cooper
Associate Dean, Simon Wiesenthal Center, Los Angeles
Jack David
Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute
Paula Dobriansky
Chair, World Affairs Council of America
Adjunct Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs,
Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Distinguished National Security Chair, U.S. Naval Academy
Nicholas Eberstadt
Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy, American Enterprise Institute
Author of books on North Korea including North Korea in Transition: Politics, Economy, and Society
Carl Gershman
President, National Endowment for Democracy
Stephen Kahng
President, Kahng Foundation
David Kim
Coordinator, The Asia Foundation
Robert King
Former U.S. Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Issues
Debra Liang-Fenton
U.S. Institute of Peace
Former Executive Director, HRNK
Winston Lord
Former Assistant Secretary for East Asia, Department of State
Former Ambassador to China
Former Director of Policy Planning Staff, Department of State
Former President, Council on Foreign Relations
Former Chairman, National Endowment for Democracy
David Maxwell
Associate Director of the Center for Security Studies and the Security Studies Program, 
Georgetown University
Colonel, U.S. Army (Ret.)
Marcus Noland
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
Jacqueline Pak
Professor, George Washington University
Executive Director
Greg Scarlatoiu
North Korea’s Political Prison Camp, Kwan-li-so No. 25, Update 3
Joseph Bermudez, Greg Scarlatoiu, Amanda M. Oh, & Rosa Park-Toko
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 P
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

Embargoed until 12:01 a.m. February 25, 2021.  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-