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Abuses in North Korea Linked to Weapons Program

(FILE) North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversees a strategic cruise missile test aboard a navy warship.

North Korea "relies on forced labor and the exploitation of workers – domestically and overseas – to power its unlawful weapons programs,” said Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield.

Abuses in North Korea Linked to Weapons Progam
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Many human rights violations committed by the North Korean regime of Kim Jong Un “stem directly from or support the increasing militarization of the DPRK,” declared High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk at a special meeting of the Security Council on human rights in North Korea.

“For example, the widespread use of forced labor, including political prison camps, forced use of schoolchildren to collect harvest, the requirement for families to undertake labor and provide a quota of goods to the government and confiscation of wages from overseas workers,” he said. “All support the military apparatus of the state and its ability to build weapons.”

This was confirmed by the Security Council testimony of North Korean defector Ilhyeok Kim: "The North Korean government has no policy to help us; the government turns our blood and sweat into a luxurious life for the leadership and missiles that blast our hard work into the sky,” he said. “We used to think that the money spent on just one missile could feed us for three months, but the government doesn’t care, and is only concerned with maintaining their power, developing nuclear weapons and creating propaganda to justify their actions.”

“We cannot have peace without human rights,” declared U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield:

“Kim Jong Un’s repressive, totalitarian control of society – and the systemic, widespread denial of human rights and fundamental freedoms – ensures the regime can expend inordinate public resources developing its unlawful WMD and ballistic missile programs, without public objection. This war machine – which stands in violation of multiple Security Council resolutions – is powered by repression and cruelty.”

It is clear the North Korean regime neglects the well-being of its people, said Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield:

“Its food distribution policies favors the military, and lead to chronic malnourishment among its citizens. Pyongyang also relies on forced labor and the exploitation of workers – domestically and overseas – to power its unlawful weapons programs.”

The modern world has no place for the North Korean government’s brutality, declared Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield. “And the international community, and this Council must continue to speak out against this injustice and its destabilizing impact on regional and international peace and security.”

The United States will continue to promote human rights and fundamental freedoms at home and around the world.