The chairman behind a United Nations inquiry into human rights abuses in North Korea claims the crimes uncovered were like those carried out in Nazi Germany. The United Nations report also alleges that North Korea’s police and security forces use violence and gratuitous punishments consistent with violations of human rights.
North Korea has long been associated with strict leadership and human rights abuses. But the fact the country is all but closed off to the outside world has made it difficult for other countries to obtain information. Yet, the latest claims from the chairman of an inquiry by an august intergovernmental organization like the United Nations makes for sober reading.
The inquiry chairman Michael Kirby said the manner in which North Korea’s authorities conducted themselves was akin to that of Nazi Germany. The report also revealed that under the regime, torture was an “established” part of interrogation. The North Korean regime rejected the claims detailed in the report, stating it was predicated on “faked evidence” back pedaled by enemy forces such as the European Union, the United States and Japan. The commissioners also sent a letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, in which they said they would like to refer the United Nations findings to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Furthermore, the United Nations report criticized North Korea for denying its people what it called “denial of basic freedoms of thought, expression and religion.” It also pointed to the country’s kidnapping of people from South Korea and Japan. Although the country–its official name is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea–calls itself a socialist republic with elections continually held there, the outside world views it as a dictatorship. North Korea has even been labeled totalitarian and Stalinist.
The United Nations findings are the result of a year-long probe that has seen public testimonies by defectors. Among the testimonies were ex-prison camp guards who spoke at hearings in Asia, Europe and the United States. One defector, Shin Dong-hyuk, was praised for having the courage to relay his horrific account of his life in prison, including his subsequent escape. When he was 13, he told a prison guard that his mother and brother were planning an escape. Both were then executed. The stories are detailed in Dong-hyuk’s book, Escape from Camp 14.
Former NBA star Dennis Rodman has come in for criticism from many media outlets and political figures because of his apparent close friendship with the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Rodman added fuel to the fire when he recently led a chorus of “Happy Birthday” to Jong-un. Although Rodman is adamant his friend is a nice man, others see him as a brutal dictator who even lauded his own uncle’s execution.
The latest claims leveled at Kim Jong-un by the United Nations and the chairman of the inquiry is that his North Korea is like Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany. Now it remains to be seen whether the matter will be pursued further by the appropriate people, or if North Korea will be left alone as it has been for the past few decades.
By Robert Shepherd
CNN: Dennis Rodman appears to bow, sings ‘Happy Birthday’ to North Korea’s Kim
SkyNews: North Korea Regime Compared To Nazis By UN
Telegraph: North Korea Regime Compared To Nazis By UN