A site I like to visit from time to time is the Human Rights Watch page to look through their annual review of human rights across the globe. Here is what they have to say about North Korea:
“North Korea remains one of the world’s most repressive states. In his seventh year in power, Kim Jong-un—who serves as chairman of the States Affairs Commission and head of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea—continues to exercise almost total political control. The government restricts all civil and political liberties, including freedom of expression, assembly, association, and religion. It also prohibits all organized political opposition, independent media, civil society, and trade unions.”
On Trumps visit into North Korea The New Yorker reported:
President Donald Trump praised that nation’s dictator, Kim Jong Un, for his efforts on immigration, telling Kim, “No one is trying to get into your country.”
Barely containing his envy, Trump continued, “Of course, you don’t have Congress to deal with, like I do. They’ve caused all the problems I’ve had on immigration. You’ve got a much better deal. You want to build a wall, you build a wall. No one can tell you you can’t.”
But how exactly would North Korea build such a wall, let’s jump back into the HRW report to find out:
“The government routinely uses arbitrary arrest and punishment of crimes, torture in custody, and executions to maintain fear and control over the population. The government and security agencies systematically extract forced, unpaid labour from its citizens— including women, children, detainees, and prisoners—to build infrastructure, implement projects, and carry out activities and events extolling the ruling Kim family and the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK).”
“The government uses forced labour from ordinary citizens, including children, to control its people and sustain its economy. A significant majority of North Koreans must perform unpaid labour at some point in their lives.
Ordinary North Korean workers are not free to choose their own job. The government assigns jobs to both men and unmarried women from cities and rural areas. In many cases, these enterprises do not compensate them, forcing them to find other jobs to survive and pay bribes to be absent at their assigned workplace. Failing to show up for work without permission is a crime punishable by three to six months in forced labour training camps (rodong dallyeondae).”
The report also highlights while North Korea might not have trouble with people trying to get into the country it has significant difficulty with people trying to get out:
“Kim Jong-un’s government bolstered efforts to prevent people from leaving North Korea without permission by increasing the number of border guards, CCTV cameras, and barbed wire fences on its border with China. Other tactics included jamming Chinese mobile phone services at the border and targeting for arrest those communicating with people outside the country.”
“The Ministry of People’s Security considers defection to be a crime of “treachery against the nation.” Harsh punishments apply to North Koreans forcibly returned by China. The severity of punishment depends on authorities’ assessments of what returnees did while in China. North Koreans caught working or living in China are sent to long term ordinary prisons (kyohwaso) or short-term detention facilities (rodong danryeonda). Those discovered trying to reach South Korea are treated more harshly and may be sent to North Korea’s horrific political prison camp system (kwanliso), where prisoners face torture, sexual violence, forced labour, and other inhuman treatment.”
Seems like Trump has really got his finger on the pulse when it comes to how well North Korea is doing. It’s also downright bizarre that Trump would legitimise the North Korean dictator when the country reacts so heavy handed towards its neighbours in the South, who remain an ally of the US.
If Trump gets a second term New America will probably end up doing a trade deal with North Korea and Human Rights Violations will not only be ignored but become the norm in the MAGA Empire. The world should be shocked by Trump crossing the line and American voters should be alarmed at the course their country is on, because whether you’re drinking out of toilets at the border or making flip flops in a concentration camp in North Korea, New America is sending a message that it doesn’t care about Human Rights.