North Korea has been in the news recently for having harsh words for Pres. Donald Trump. Sadly, the political climate in the USA is so heated right now that many who hate the president are quick to side with anyone who goes against him, including a dictator from North Korea.
This is mystifying since the majority of people who oppose Pres. Trump claim to do so because they stand for social justice, equality, and despise “dictators,” or “racism.” Yet some are siding with one of the most horrific countries on the planet, a place filled with human rights violations.
North Korea starves its population. It puts individuals and their families into death camps if they’re thought to be Christians, and punishes people for such things as driving, watching television, or listening to music. Executions, rape, and torture are common, and if you get caught writing a bible verse they’ll put not just you but your entire family into a death camp.
The family that’s ruled North Korea for three generations are worshipped as gods. Anyone who says there’s a higher power is tortured or executed. The people must memorize over 100 pages of poems and songs praising the Kim Il-Sung dynasty, and attend regular meetings to learn “Kimilsungism” the worship of the ruling family.
Racism? They have that. They even practice ethnic genocide to maintain “racial purity” by murdering little babies they believe are fathered by non-North Koreans. Forced abortions and infanticide keeps their bloodline “pure.”
North Korean society is built entirely on class discrimination, a system called songbun which determines where people can live, what job they can have, who they can marry, and even how much food they receive. Punishing people by starving them is common.
Victims who managed to escape this terrible country have described underground detention facilities where cell doors are so low that prisoners can only enter and exit by crawling. One former prisoner said a guard told him, “When you get to this prison you are not human, you are just like animals, and as soon as you get to this prison, you have to crawl just like animals.”
“Torture is a routine feature of interrogation,” The Toronto Star reported. “A former SSD official described a torture chamber with wall shackles designed to suspend prisoners upside down and a water tank to simulate drowning. Interrogators would sometimes drive needles underneath a prisoner’s fingernails or pour hot chili pepper sauce down his or her nose. Interrogators at a Ministry of People’s Security interrogation centre in Pyongyang have kept prisoners in small metal cages for hours.”
This is what the UN said about North Korea:
“Systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations have been, and are being, committed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, its institutions and officials. In many instances, the violations of human rights found by the commission constitute crimes against humanity. These are not mere excesses of the state. They are essential components of a political system that has moved far from the ideals on which it claims to be founded. The gravity, scale and nature of these violations reveal a state that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world. Political scientists of the 20th century characterized this type of political organization as a totalitarian state: A state that does not content itself with ensuring the authoritarian rule of a small group of people, but seeks to dominate every aspect of its citizens’ lives and terrorizes them from within.”
The human rights violations in North Korea are so staggering that even the UN said, “The gravity, scale and nature of these violations reveal a state that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world.”
Those who criticize the government can be imprisoned with their whole family, even little children and grandparents. Once put in this camp, the people are never released. Hoeryong concentration camp, for example, is a maximum security area isolated from the outside world where prisoners and their families are held for life. The people are tortured, forced into hard labor, and cruelly experimented on.
Former guard Ahn Myong-chol recalls the shock he felt upon his first arrival at this camp, where he likened prisoners to “walking skeletons, dwarfs, and cripples in rags.” Guards are taught that prisoners are factionalists and class enemies that have to be destroyed like weeds. They’re instructed to regard the prisoners as slaves, not human beings, and can kill them any time.
Victims of North Korea who have been starved, raped, and tortured would likely be shocked at tweets like this one:
— Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) September 22, 2017
It’s understandable that some might think these dreadful things about North Korea are exaggerated, so we urge everyone to do their own research to verify. If anything, we think we’ve understated the terrible conditions.
Those who say they’d prefer Kim Jong-un over President Trump may want to educate themselves on what life is actually like in North Korea.