We’ve all suspected North Korea had something unsettling occurring behind the scenes — but now the evidence is piling up. The UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights, established by the Human Rights Council in March 2013, recently released a detailed, almost 400-page report based on testimonies from victims and witnesses of “crimes against humanity” in North Korea. Although names were not named, some crimes were said to have been ordered by various high-ranking officials.
“These crimes against humanity entail extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence, persecution on political, religious, racial and gender grounds, the forcible transfer of populations, the enforced disappearance of persons, and the inhumane act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation,” the report says.
Michel Kirby, chairman of the UN panel, wrote a letter to Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un stating that “any official of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea who commits, orders, solicits, or aids and abets crimes against humanity incurs criminal responsibility by international law and must be held accountable under that law.” The letter even threatens that Kim himself could be held personally responsible for not playing an active role in preventing such atrocities.
Currently the commission plans to refer its findings to the International Criminal Court for possible prosecution. Meanwhile, the government of North Korea pronounced the committee’s report to be fake, an attempt to undermine their unpopular form of government. They released a prepared statement: “It is nothing more than an instrument of political plot aimed at sabotaging the socialist system by defaming the dignified images of the DPRK and creating an atmosphere of international pressure under the pretext of ‘human rights protection.'”