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N. Korean defector reveals human rights violations at UN

N. Korean defector reveals human rights violations at UN

Posted December. 13, 2017 08:26,   

Updated December. 13, 2017 08:51


“North Korea is a terrifying prison, and the Kims are carrying out a vast massacre,” said North Korean defector Ji Hyeon-a at an event titled “The Terrifying Experience of Forcibly Repatriated North Korean Women” held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Monday. Having been repatriated three times to North Korea after being caught in China, Ji tearfully described horrifying experiences she had to go through at the Jeungsan Camp, South Pyongan Province.

“(When I was sent back to the North for a third time), I was three months pregnant and was forced to have an abortion without medication at a local police station. My first child passed away without ever seeing the world, without any time for me to apologize,” said Ji.

“Detainees were fed raw locusts, skinned frogs and rats,” she said. “People died, withered and dehydrated from continuous diarrhea.” Ji also said that the North Korean soldier who recently escaped to South Korea “represents a dash toward freedom, which is a dream of 25 million North Koreans,” and that “it takes a miracle to survive” in North Korea, urging China to “stop repatriating defectors.”

Earlier in the day the United Nations Security Council adopted the human rights situation in North Korea as an official agenda for four consecutive years, and called on the regime to make improvement. “Their menacing march towards nuclear weapons begins with the oppression and exploitation of ordinary North Korean people,” said U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. “The North’s human rights violations and abuses are the means of keeping the Kim Jong Un regime in power.”

In response, North Korea’s U.N. mission issued a statement, saying, “We strongly condemn the meeting as a desperate act of the hostile forces which lost the political and military confrontation with the DPRK that has openly risen to the position of nuclear weapon state,” calling the human rights issue in the country “non-existent.”

Jeong-Hun Park sunshade@donga.com