North Korea: Deteriorating human rights situation calls for international attention

Ahead of North Korea’s apparent preparations for a military parade in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People’s Army, Amnesty International’s East Asia Researcher Boram Jang said:

“As the capital Pyongyang prepares for an ostentatious military parade, more than 40% of North Koreans suffer from malnutrition amid widespread food insecurity. People in the country are cut off from communication with the rest of the world. Anyone deemed to act in a manner that is threatening to Kim Jong-un’s government risks being imprisoned for life or could even face execution. 

“The scale and gravity of violations in North Korea demand attention from the international community. In particular, the governments of South Korea, the United States and others must create opportunities for their human rights envoys to engage in dialogue with North Korea.

“The government of North Korea has gone to extreme lengths to conceal its abuses. Authorities maintain a stranglehold on the communication and information flows in and out of the country. People are denied internet access and face arbitrary surveillance, arrest and detention when they attempt to make international calls or access outside information.

“The North Korean government should cooperate with the United Nations and allow independent human rights monitors into the country. 

“The government should invite the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to carry out a visit and extend invitations to other Special Procedures, including the Working Group on discrimination against women and girls and the Special Rapporteurs on the right to heath, on trafficking in persons, and on the right to freedom of opinion and expression.”


A military parade marking the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People’s Army is expected to take place as early as Wednesday, based on observed preparations by the North Korean military.