HRNK releases its third David Hawk report on NK’s political prison camps!

For the newest information on North Korea’s political prison camps, please read the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea’s (HRNK) report, North Korea’s Hidden Gulag: Interpreting Reports of Changes in the Prison Camps, by David Hawk. It is available here.

North Korea's Hidden Gulag“The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK), a US-based non-governmental organization, has launched a new report by David Hawk, updating the current status of the North Korean political prison camp system. The report was made possible by funding from the Open Society Foundations (OSF). The report confirms the closure of two of North Korea’s known six political penal labor colonies, finding “extremely high” the total number of prisoners remaining incarcerated on political grounds, reported missing and unaccounted for, and who have died in detention. The report builds on the 2012 HRNK report Hidden Gulag Second Edition by the same author, drawing on recent satellite imagery analysis, interviews with former camp prisoners and guards as well as new sources of information within North Korea.” (emphasis added)

Full press release is here.

 

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Commission of Inquiry now taking submissions!

In case you haven’t heard, the UN Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Human Rights in the DPRK is currently accepting submissions about human rights violations in North Korea. If you would like to submit evidence to assist the Commission, please read this: COI information sheet.

Additionally, the COI is currently hearing testimony from defectors on the human rights situation in North Korea. Here’s a NYTimes article featuring Shin Dong-hyuk. The Commission will reportedly be in Seoul until August 27th.

Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters

Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters
Shin Dong-hyuk attended a public hearing at Yonsei University in Seoul on Tuesday.

The Commission’s contact info:

For any query relating to the COI or to provide information relevant to its mandate, please write to: coidprksubmissions@ohchr.org

or

Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea OHCHR
United Nations Office at Geneva
CH-1211 Geneva, Switzerland

Check out thebearandthetiger’s first guest post by Professor Morse Tan!

The first essay featured is, A State of Rightlessness: The Egregious Case of North Korea.

Abstract: 
This essay steps into the relative dearth of popular and legal academic treatment to analyze this egregious state of rightlessness (an intentional neologism) and concludes with reflections upon possible judicial redress options. Experts in the human rights field have averred that the human rights situation in North Korea is the worst in the world. The North Korean government denies any human rights abuses, insisting “that ‘there is no human rigths [sic] problem in North Korea.'” This academic work challenges this outright denial by providing an analysis of various human rights abuses persisting north of the most heavily armed border in the world.

Contrary to the constant denial of the North Korean government, this essay seeks to help establish the case for this state of rightlessness, the egregious case of North Korea. It lays the foundation for a subsequent article regarding judicial redress of these gross and systematic violations of human rights. Before any need for judicial redress raises itself for consideration, the case that cries out for such a forum must receive delineation: this essay proposes to expound on the major violations of human rights in North Korea together with the context that makes such violations possible.

It’s Liberation Day in Korea

August 15th is a public holiday in both North and South Korea and signifies the date Korea became free from Japan. This date  – August 15, 1945 – marks Japan’s surrender to the Allied forces and the end of World War II. In North Korea, Liberation Day is commonly known as Jogukhaebangui nal, whereas in South Korea it is called Gwangbokjeol.

Kim Yong Nam Meets New Iran’s New President

North Korea Leadership Watch

Iranian President Hassan Rohani met with Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Presidium President Kim Yong Nam (Kim Yo’ng-nam), the DPRK titular head of state in Tehran on 3 August (Saturday).  During the meeting President Rohani said that he will push for an “all-out expansion of ties between Tehran and Pyongyang.”  According to KCNA the meeting was also attended by Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, DPRK Vice Minister of Foreign Affair Pak Kil Yon (Pak Kil-yo’n), DPRK Ambassador to Iran Jo In Chol (Cho In-ch’o’l) and other officials.  According to a news release from Iran’s Presidential Office, Rohani “referred to long, good, and expanding ties between the two countries and said he is confident that the ties will develop during his presidency. ”  Rohani also “reminded Iran’s peaceful use of nuclear energy and said that Tehran is moving totally in the framework of regulations and pressures by the US and the…

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Guest Blog Posts Coming Soon!

I’m honored to have Professor Morse Tan’s articles on my blog. Stay tuned for his deeply insightful works about North Korea!

morse_tan

 

Professor Morse Tan, J.D., Northwestern University, teaches at Northern Illinois University College of Law and has published in   leading law journals in his fields, including as one of the leading legal scholars on North Korea in the Western Hemisphere. He is currently working on a book with Routledge Press on the dual crises of security and human rights in North Korea.