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US State Department releases Report on Human Rights Practices

US State Department releases Report on Human Rights Practices

Posted March. 22, 2023 08:00,   

Updated March. 22, 2023 08:00


The U.S. State Department’s 2022 Country Report on Human Rights Practices: North Korea revealed that the country committed extensive acts of human rights violations such as deliberately breaking the legs or severing Achilles tendons of North Korean laborers working in China, Russia, etc. to prevent them from escaping and suffered repatriation. Reportedly, those who watched the South Korean Netflix series “Squid Game” were punished severely, defining Korean culture as antiregime.

In the report released by the State Department, North Korea was referred to as “an authoritarian state led by the Kim family.” “Significant human rights issues included credible reports of unlawful or arbitrary killings and torture by the government, tri-national repression, and unlawful interference with privacy,” the report said. The State Department publishes the report, providing an overview of human rights practices in countries. This year, reports of 198 countries were published.

According to a North Korean defector who had worked in Russia, all workers there knew that the “Ministry of State Security’s repatriation procedures” meant breaking the legs of would-be defectors and repatriating them in wheelchairs. A high-ranking source in the DPRK reportedly verified that Chu Kyong Chol, a North Korean worker in Russia who attempted to defect, was repatriated in an anesthetized state with injured Achilles tendons after his arrest by a Ministry of State Security team sent to Russia.

The report said most North Korean laborers work overseas in Russia and China, and in some regions, forged IDs are used to employ them. They work up to 20 hours per day but only receive 270,000 to 900,000 won per month, of which the North Korean government takes 70-90%. Also, the government demanded that trade businesses should pay loyal funds to celebrate the “Day of the Sun” (Kim Jong Un’s birthday) during the pandemic, even though national barriers were closed. It also forced North Korean medical professionals in Laos to pay loyal funds.

“In November 2021, RFA reported that a man in North Hamgyong Province who smuggled the South Korean Netflix drama Squid Game into the DPRK and sold it on flash drives was sentenced to death by firing squad, while a high school student who bought a drive received a life sentence, six other students who watched the show were sentenced to five years’ hard labor, and the students’ principal and homeroom teachers were fired.” the report said.