Statement of Greg Scarlatoiu, Executive Director, Committee for Human Rights in North Korea at the hearing of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission entitled “North Korea’s Forced Labor Enterprise: A State-Sponsored Marketplace in Human Trafficking," April 29, 2015
Good afternoon, Chairman Pitts. On behalf of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, I would like to express great appreciation for inviting me to speak with you today about North Korea’s forced labor enterprise and its state sponsorship of human trafficking. It is an honor and a privilege to have an opportunity to discuss these issues with you today.
North Korea’s “Royal Palace Economy”
North Korea’s nuclear and missile developments and other military provocations have continued to threaten international peace and security and challenge U.S. foreign and security policy. The Kim regime’s ruthless prevention and suppression of dissent among its population, isolation from the outside world, and denial of fundamental human rights have all worked to undermine peace and security on the Korean peninsula. Meanwhile, the “royal palace economy” (a term coined by HRNK non-resident fellow Kim Kwang-jin) generating hard currency for North Korea’s leaders has continued to enable three generations of Kims to stay in power through, in part, exploitation of its people sent to work overseas. North Korea’s exportation of tens of thousands of workers to foreign countries is an important part of the hard currency generating apparatus employed to sustain the Kim regime and (relatively) one of its more transparent examples of clear human rights violations against its people. Understanding this and the other building blocks of the “royal palace economy” will enable a better discernment of the reasons behind the longevity of the regime. It will also allow for the preparation of more effective sanctions to address the security and human rights challenges the regime poses, thereby improving the human rights situation of North Koreans.
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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" 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-
This report is part of a comprehensive long-term project undertaken by HRNK to use satellite imagery to shed light on human suffering in the DPRK (more commonly known as North Korea) by monitoring activity at political prison and detention facilities throughout the nation. This study endeavors to both establish a preliminary baseline report and detail activities observed during 2002–2020 at a detention facility variously identified by former prisoners and researchers as the “Chŭngsan No. 11
EMBARGOED UNTIL 12:01 A.M. EST WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2019.