December 10, 2019 is Human Rights Day. HRNK celebrates the dignity of all human beings and the progress humankind has made to protect and respect individual human rights. We are also approaching the end of a year that has marked the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of tyranny in Eastern Europe.
Three decades after that new dawn of freedom, millions can be seen marching for liberty in Hong Kong. Freedom loving people everywhere must applaud their efforts. Yet so many people across the globe remain tyrannized by authoritarian governments that do not protect the welfare, rights or security of their populations. One extreme example is North Korea’s Kim regime, which has accomplished two hereditary transmissions of power and continues to deny the fundamental human rights of its people. Crimes against humanity continue to be committed at North Korea’s unlawful detention facilities, including its political prison camps, where 120,000 men, women and children are held. The Kim regime prioritizes its tools of death over the human security of its people, with devastating consequences for North Korea’s humanitarian situation. North Korea’s leader and the Korean Workers' Party continue to subject most of their 25 million people to an unparalleled level of coercion, control, surveillance and punishment.
For almost two years, multiple rounds of summit diplomacy have tried to address the threat North Korean nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles pose to regional and international peace and security. Round after round, month after month, it has become painfully clear that human rights have, once again, been sidetracked by security concerns. The United States and South Korea were once proponents and promoters of international action on North Korean human rights. At the United Nations, both allies have withdrawn from the high ground they once held on the issue, for the sake of appeasing the Kim regime, in search of an always elusive and likely illusory “deal” with Kim Jong-un.
On this Human Rights Day 2019, HRNK affirms that there can be no true peace, reconciliation, or prosperity on the Korean peninsula without respect for human rights. The United States, South Korea and the international community must recognize that just like North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile programs, human rights violations are a symptom of a larger issue, the nature of the Kim regime. Resolving North Korea’s challenge to the peninsula and region will be possible only if serious attention is paid to human rights.
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.